University at Buffalo ‘Beast of the Border’ football camp aimed at Canadian recruits

Graphic courtesy: Buffalo Athletics

The University at Buffalo is looking to cement its status as Canada’s team in NCAA Division I football with a bold new endeavour that may be the first of its kind.

On Wednesday, the Bulls unveiled plans for their 2022 ‘Beast of the Border’ MegaCamp, aimed at bringing athletes from across the 49th parallel down to campus for a chance to showcase their talents.

Commonplace across the US, these types of non-padded camps are billed as a development opportunity for players, but also serve as a valuable tool for recruitment and prospect exposure. Buffalo alone will be hosting four such camps, but only one is being marketed specifically to Canadian recruits in what the school believes is the first ever international prospect camp to be hosted by a Division I program.

The camp is open to players in grades 9-12, as well as post-graduate students, JUCO prospects, and those in the transfer portal. It is set to take place on June 5 from 2:00-6:00 p.m. at UB Stadium under the instruction of Bulls coaches, but they won’t be the only ones in attendance. Buffalo is in the process of extending invitations to all 27 U Sports football programs to attend the event and evaluate the next generation of Canadian talent in an NCAA setting.

It will be the second time this offseason that Buffalo has included U Sports elements in a major event. On March 17, four U Sports prospects — Waterloo brothers Tre and Tyrell Ford, Western’s Deionte Knight, and Queen’s Anthony Federico — were invited to perform for scouts at the school’s NFL pro day in an unprecedented move. Quarterback Tre Ford has since received serious NFL interest.

Current Buffalo director of player personnel and pro liaison Rich Massaro is a fan of Canadian talent after spending five years in the front office of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, rising to the role of assistant director of player personnel and football operations. However, players have long traveled the half hour across the border to make Buffalo their collegiate home.

The Bulls boasted four players from Canada on their roster last season: receiver Dominic Johnson of Windsor, Ont., tight end Cole Burniston of Grimsby, Ont., offensive tackle Deondre Doiron of London, Ont., and guard Gabe Wallace of Salmon Arm, B.C.

Abbott is a UBC student, youth coach and lifelong CFL fanatic. He specializes in coverage of the CFL draft and the league's global initiative.