Player News

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Diehards football analyst Oliver Connolly lists UCF CB Mike Hughes as the top "small school" prospect in the draft.

Before anyone gets offended at calling UCF a small school, the list includes all schools that aren't independents or Power Five schools. Connolly compares Hughes to Marcus Peters, only he's able to tackle (shots fired). " In a deep cornerback class, Mike Hughes might be the best," he writes. "I know this for sure: He’s the most aesthetically pleasing. An excellent press corner, with a nose for the ball, schematic versatility, a big mouth and bigger skills. Sign me up."
Source: Diehards
Feb 5 - 2:16 PM

UCF received a verbal commitment from three-star 2018 WR Ke'Von Ahmad.

It's the fourth player to commit to UCF since Josh Heupel took over for Scott Frost as head coach, but this might be the one with the most impact. He's rated the 86th best wide receiver in the class and 515th overall by 247 Sports, and he had offers from schools like Northwestern, Louisville, Illinois and Kansas. The 6-foot-1, 185-pound wideout could immediately compete for playing time in the UCF offense in 2018.
Source: 247 Sports
Feb 3 - 8:28 PM

Former UCF kicker Donald De La Haye is suing the NCAA due to free speech violations.

You remember De La Haye as the kicker who was ruled ineligible by the NCAA for monetizing his YouTube website. He names UCF AD Danny White, UCF president John Hitt and members of the UCF Board of Trustees, and it states that the school's insistence he stop his YouTube channel was a violation of his freedom of speech. His current channel currently has over 50,000,000 views, and often features current NFL players.
Feb 3 - 5:27 PM

UCF freshman LB Eriq Gilyard will contribute immediately, according to ESPN's David Hale.

The Knights lost defensive leaders Chequan Burkett and Shaquem Griffin and are looking for replacements in their starting linebacking corps. The 5-foot-10, 225-pound Gilyard, a four-star recruit and one of the crown jewels of UCF's 2018 class, is the nation's No. 15 overall inside linebacker, per ESPN. "Gilyard is already a stout run defender, and if he can refine his efforts in coverage, he could see a big role in the early going for UCF," Hale wrote.
Source: ESPN
Jan 30 - 10:54 PM

UCF LB Shaquem Griffin received an invitation to the NFL Scouting Combine.

Griffin's previous lack of a combine invitation was an oft-reported story during the Senior Bowl practice week. That invitation now in his possession, the 6-foot-1, 233-pounder will have his chance to make a case for a potential Day 3 selection in testing and interviews at one of the lynchpin events in the evaluating process come the end of February. NFL Draft Scout's Dane Brugler wrote of Griffin's work in Mobile that he "surpassed expectations" with his ability to rush off the edge and -- when called upon -- to work in coverage. While undersized, he was phenomenally productive at UCF, posting 33.5 tackles for loss and 18.5 sacks over the last two seasons for the Knights.
Jan 30 - 3:34 PM

UFC TE Jordan Akins snagged two passes for 31 yards for the South in a 45-16 win over the North on Saturday in the Reese's Senior Bowl.

Akins showed off his receiving skills on both catches, and it's a solid -- if not spectacular -- end to a week where the 6-foot-3, 246-pound tight end impressed many draft pundits. The only thing that could limit his draft stock is his blocking, but for teams that are looking for a receiving tight end that could be a threat in the end zone, he could go in the first 100 selections if he continues to impress over the coming months.
Jan 27 - 7:55 PM

UCF WR Tre'Quan Smith caught five passes for 79 yards and a score for the South in a 45-16 victory over the North on Saturday in the Reese's Senior Bowl.

Smith's touchdown was the first of the game, coming on a 14-yard strike from WKU QB Mike White in the first quarter. He made several other big plays on the game, and showed that he's improved his route-running while still having the big-play ability. Smith didn't always flash during Senior Bowl practices according to reports, but he didn't do anything that suggest he won't be off the board after the first 100 or so selections.
Jan 27 - 6:58 PM

NFL Draft Scout's Dane Brugler ranked UCF LB Shaqueem Griffin seventh in his list of the top 15 Senior Bowl performers during practices.

We're supposed to be unbiased in our evaluations, but it's hard not to love that Griffin story. "Just like he has done his entire life, Griffin again surpassed expectations during Senior Bowl practices," Brugler writes. "During team and individual drills, he rushed off the edge, dropped in space and did a little bit of everything — and did it all well." Griffin also told reporter Alex Flanagan during the Senior Bowl that he'll find out early next week whether or not he'll receive an invite to the Scouting Combine.
Jan 27 - 5:39 PM

UCF received a verbal commitment from three-star 2019 QB Charlie Dean.

Dean ranks 28th in 247 Sports pro-style quarterback rankings, and as the 9th best player in the always loaded state of Florida. He had offers from Toledo, Western Kentucky and Northern Iowa, and reportedly was beginning to draw interest from several other big schools. It's entirely possible he'll be given a chance to compete for the job in 2019 after superstar McKenzie Milton leaves for the NFL next year.
Source: 247 Sports
Jan 27 - 5:18 PM

Walter Football's Charlie Campell writes that UCF TE Jordan Akins is in the "love/hate" category after his Senior Bowl practices.

Campbell writes that some feel that Akins (6'3/246) receiving skills make him one of the top tight end prospects in the draft, but others feel he's not at that level because of his blocking -- or lack thereof. Campbell still notes that even if some teams aren't in love with his package, there are enough teams that are impressed that he likely goes in the third-round range.
Jan 26 - 7:29 PM

UCF junior QB McKenzie Milton was named the winner of the 2017 Touchdown Club of Columbus Archie Griffin Award.

The Archie Griffin is low-key one of our favorite awards handed out each year, as unlike the Heisman and a slew of other honors, it takes into account bowl play. Milton wins the award on the strength of a magical 2017 season in which he threw for 4,037 yards (67.1-percent completions, 10.2 YPA) with a 37/9 TD/INT ratio while rushing for 613 yards and eight additional scores. Milton is rubbing shoulders with some serious name-power, now: The previous three winners of the award were USC QB Sam Darnold, Clemson QB Deshaun Watson and Ohio State RB Ezekiel Elliot.
Jan 26 - 3:31 PM

In asking four evaluators about the draft prospects of UCF LB Shaquem Griffin, Bleacher Report's Matt Miller passes along that the view is that he will not go undrafted.

All four evaluators gave Miller the same answer -- that Griffin will likely see some love near the end of the draft. The 6-foot-1, 233-pounder has been showcasing his wares at the Senior Bowl this week and has put in work as a safety, linebacker and edge rusher down in Mobile. He has yet to receive an invitation to the NFL Scouting Combine.
Jan 26 - 1:42 PM

UCF LB Shaquem Griffin has yet to receive an invitation to the NFL Scouting Combine.

Griffin (6'1/233) believes that he will eventually receive an invitation to Indianapolis, but at this juncture, one has yet to come his way. A lack of an invite would probably be a sign that the NFL does not believe he has a realistic chance to be drafted. Count us on the other side of that argument. Griffin may be undersized, but he's been a terror on the field over the last two years with the Knights, posting 33.5 tackles for loss and 18.5 sacks in that space. He's also incredibly versatile, having already seen work at safety, linebacker and edge during the Senior Bowl practice week. Setting aside all of the football aspects that would go into a Combine invitation, Griffin's is also an enormously inspirational story -- he had his hand amputated at a young age due to his being born with a birth defect -- and this would be an incredibly positive move on a pure PR level for the NFL.
Jan 25 - 12:50 PM

Houston Texans coach Bill O'Brien, the coach of the Senior Bowl South squad, has auditioned UCF LB Shaquem Griffin at safety, linebacker and edge rusher.

"We're trying to move him around. I think that's what the NFL wants to see, so we're trying to do things so everybody can get a look at him at safety, at linebacker, and maybe even as a DPR (designated pass rusher) and on special teams," O'Brien said. "We moved him around a lot (Wednesday)." Griffin (6'1/223), a former American Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Year, is trying to become the first one-handed player in the modern era to get drafted. In terms of hearing his name called in the spring, he's close to a lock. This week, Griffin has interviewed with the Oakland Raiders, New York Giants and New York Jets, among other teams.
Source: NFL.com
Jan 24 - 9:28 PM

UCF LB Shaquem Griffin dispelled concerns about missing a hand.

Griffin's left hand was amputated as a four-year-old due to a pre-natal condition known as Amniotic Band Syndrome. "As long as I'm going fast and making plays, they're going to forget how many hands I have," he said. Griffin (6'1/223) was utterly dominant in college, winning an American Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Year award. Senior Bowl executive director Phil Savage believes Griffin will be no worse than a special teams star. Shaqueem's brother Shaquill Griffin was a third-round pick of the Seahawks last year who became a starter.
Source: NFL.com
Jan 23 - 11:07 PM


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