The Top Five UCF Football Players Over the Last Three Years
Over the last three years, the UCF Knights football team has seen some good players come through the program. In 2007, when the Knights won the Conference-USA championship, the team had quite a few stars.
From 2007-2009, UCF fans have been treated to some good players and I am going to list the best players that UCF has had on their roster.
5. Kyle Israel
Say what you want about Israel, but he was one of the major factors in UCF's success in 2007 when the Knights won the Conference-USA championship. He led UCF that year with 2,173 yards and 15 TDs.
As much as fans criticized Israel for his lack of performance come clutch time, he solidified his role as the team's starting quarterback when the team won seven games in a row to end the season under his guidance.
Until the Knights got Wake Forest transfer Brett Hodges, Israel was the last unquestioned starting quarterback the team had.
4. Rocky Ross
The Red-shirt senior has been a reliable wide receiver for the Knights over the previous three seasons. Last year, he was medically red-shirted and missed most of the season.
His sophomore season, he was named as a Conference-USA honorable mention by the coaches. In 2007, he was one of the team's leading receivers with 658 yards.
This year, Ross will lead a young core with his veteran presence and look to finish his UCF career strong.
3. Sha'reef Rashad
Rashad had a very solid four year tenure with the Knights. The defensive back improved greatly each year. In his sophomore year, Rashad was named a honorable mention in C-USA by all 12 coaches. His junior year, he improved to Conference-USA All Second Team and his senior year he was named to C-USA All First Team.
He finished his career with 14 interceptions to rank fifth in C-USA history and second in UCF history. He was always a solid veteran presence in the UCF locker room and was named team captain his senior season.
2. Joe Burnett
Burnett was one of the best players in UCF history. The star cornerback was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the fifth round of last year's NFL draft.
He had a highly successful career with the Knights. However, his senior year was his best campaign with the team. He was named first team All-American, as well as Conference-USA Special Teams Player of the Year.
He set a multitude of records with both the team and within Conference-USA. He graduated in 19th place for most career punt return yards in NCAA history with 1,304, which is a UCF record. He also set the UCF record and ranked second in C-USA history with 16 career interceptions, as well as setting UCF career records for most punt returns (96) and the most interception return yards (262).
To top it all off, Burnett earned a total of eight career All-Conference USA honors, including a four-year sweep of the first-team punt returner award.
He will always be remembered as a UCF great.
1. Kevin Smith
The unquestioned top player for the UCF football program in the last three seasons, not to mention one of the top players in the programs history.
Smith was UCF's first consensus All-American. His junior year, he received eighth place in the Heisman Trophy voting, becoming only the second UCF player (Daunte Culpepper) to be considered for the trophy.
24K had plenty of accomplishments in his three-year tenure in Orlando. He racked up the accolades in his final year with the team, falling 62 yards shy of the single-season rushing record as well as breaking the record for rushing attempts with 450. He was the Conference-USA Offensive Player of the Year in 2007 and the nation's leading rusher.
He finished his UCF career as the Knights all-time leading rusher, as well as the state of Florida's all-time leading rusher.
Smith is now the Detroit Lions starting running back, where he fell just shy of 1,000 yards in his rookie season. He will truly be remembered as a UCF legend.