On today's first day of practice, Canisius coach Rich Robbins said that the Crusaders don't bring back as much talent as they did last year, which is certainly true.
But they do bring back one of the most talented players Western New York high school football has ever seen.
TJ Wheatley begins his senior season of high school football with five finalists among the many Division I powerhouses who recruited him: Alabama, Michigan, USC, UCLA and Miami.
Wheatley, a 6-foot-6, 260-pound defensive end/tight end who put on 15 pounds of muscle since this time last year, said Monday that he has no timetable for making his final decision on where he'll attend college.
"No, I'm not sure, I'm just going with the wind," Wheatley said, before commenting on any possible official recruiting visits he will take to schools. "I don't know when I'll take my officials; I don't even know if I'm going to go on officials to all five of those schools."
He said that coming up with a college decision prior to Canisius' kickoff on Sept. 6 (home against Rochester's McQuaid) is not a concern.
"That would be nice, but if the time isn't right ... ," Wheatley said. "I'm hoping that before I start basketball season this winter, we'll get that out of the way then."
Wheatley, the son of Buffalo Bills running backs coach and Michigan all-time great Tyrone Wheatley, has been heavily recruited since his family moved to Buffalo last summer, when his father followed coach Doug Marrone from Syracuse University to the Bills.
"It's exciting. It's pretty crazy," Wheatley said of being recruited by the very best programs in the country. "The last couple of years, when I was in Syracuse, I was watching all of these guys my dad was recruiting, and now I'm one of them. I'm just happy."
I spoke with Wheatley and Robbins at Canisius' Tripi Field Monday morning:
Stay with the Prep Talk blog for more updates today.