Fred Lee is the latest member of the University at Buffalo football team to earn a look at the next level.
Lee is one of four players who will attend the Buffalo Bills’ rookie minicamp – which runs today through Monday – on a tryout basis.
He’s the third member of the Bulls who will be in attendance, after defensive lineman Colby Way and defensive back Derek Brim agreed to terms as undrafted free agents earlier in the week.
It’s another sign of the blossoming relationship between UB and the Bills.
“It just shows you that they’re on the right path,” Bills General Manager Doug Whaley said in March, when UB held its pro day inside the Bills’ field house.
“It’s a nice connection. It also helps us to delve deeper into their personalities. With the relationships we have with the football team and coach Jeff Quinn, we’re excited. We hope to keep developing it.”
Lee becomes the eighth member of the Bulls’ 2013 team – out of a senior class of 21 – to either sign a contract or receive an invitation to try out for an NFL team. The two-year starter for the Bulls made 103 career catches for 1,174 yards and eight touchdowns. He’s got good size at 6-foot-2 and 205 pounds, and is known for his impeccable character off the field.
Also receiving invites to try out are fellow receivers Caleb Holley of Division II East Central University in Oklahoma and Ivan McCartney of West Virginia. Ohio State quarterback Kenny Guiton will also try out this weekend.
Guiton put up impressive stats for the Buckeyes in relief of starter Braxton Miller, finishing with 14 passing and five rushing touchdowns in 2013 against just two interceptions, completing nearly 70 percent of his passes.
Holley had 55 catches for 970 yards and nine touchdowns for the Tigers in 2013, while McCartney had 71 catches for 861 yards and four touchdowns in his career with the Mountaineers.
The four tryout players will join the Bills’ seven draft picks and 10 undrafted free agent signings, along with nine first-year players, for a three-day minicamp. Practice today and Sunday is at 2:30 p.m., and 11:15 a.m. Monday. All three sessions are closed to the public.
The on-field work will be the first opportunity for the newest Bills to transfer what they’ve learned so far in the classroom onto the playing field.
“That’s the biggest thing for me right now. I maintained my shape throughout this whole process, but I really want to get into the playbook so I can play fast on the field,” said linebacker Preston Brown, the team’s third-round pick. “I think I’m settling in pretty well. ... I think I have a good fit here.”
The on-field work will be a return to familiarity. During the pre-draft process, prospects like Brown flew all over the country interviewing with teams.
“It’s been kind of crazy ever since our last bowl game, kind of running around,” he said. “This was my first visit and my best visit, so I’m glad I got to come here.
“Brown called it a “tremendous honor” to be in the NFL with the Bills.
“It just felt really homey when I first got here,” he said. “I liked all the coaches. I felt a real family vibe when I got here.”
The Bills also announced Friday that they’ve released wide receiver Brandon Kaufman.