In the years since Daunte Culpepper was drafted in the first round by the Minnesota Vikings, the best way to describe subsequent UCF quarterbacks would be "boring," "ineffective," and "short lived."
There hasn't been any quarterback with the physical presence, psychological poise, and overall athletic ability that Culpepper displayed at the helm of the Knights' offense.
In Culpepper's four-year career at Central Florida, he completed over 11,000 passing yards and threw 81 touchdowns. He rewrote virtually all of the previous UCF quarterback records, approximately 30 in all. He also set an amazing NCAA record to beat Steve Young in single-season completion percentage.
So how can we compare five of the quarterbacks that came after Culpepper to the big man himself? Can we compare them at all?
In the same year George O'Leary took the reins at UCF, starting QB Ryan Schneider was kicked off the team for academic violations. Therefore, his stats are not impressive, or even worthy of looking at.
The amount of academic trouble Schneider had put a minor smudge on the allure of the UCF football team, but the main concern for Knights fans is that there was no leader at the QB spot.
Moffett, who glimmered in his career, still can't compare by any means to Daunte Culpepper.
With a career 6,031 yards and 39 touchdowns, Moffett was a decent quarterback, but his team, in his years at UCF, just didn't have the talent and focus as a whole to make things happen.
The Kyle Israel era began the subsequent "Really now, where has my quarterback gone?" era. Israel, in his career with the Knights (he started in 2006 and 2007), Israel only netted 3,380 yards and 22 touchdowns.
Michael Greco and Rob Calabrese
As fans celebrated the departure of Kyle Israel from UCF football, Michael Greco entered center stage, but after no time, was replaced by Rob Calabrese. Calabrese, as a freshman, had the weight of the world on his shoulders, and Knights fans gave him credit for what he did do.
Now we're at a time in Knights history where Rob Calabrese is often sharing snaps with Senior Wake Forest pickup Brett Hodges.
In his last year as a college football player and his first year as a UCF Knight, Hodges has completed 1,558 yards and 10 touchdowns, and there are still a few games to go.
However, it really illustrates how the quarterback scouting strategy at UCF is weak, and has definitely dipped in the years since Daunte Culpepper. It also shows faulty strategies elsewhere. We need a four-year quarterback, and one in which we can have confidence.
1) Either we got lucky with Daunte Culpepper, which is the likely answer, since Culpepper had grades too low to get into the bigger Florida Schools, or scouting was "on it" in 1994 and 1995.
2) Since Culpepper's departure to the Minnesota Vikings and an NFL career, there hasn't been a quarterback to even compare to Daunte. Either the scouts don't know what they are doing, George O'Leary is running a ship without its wheel, or, for some reason, they believe that our running backs and wide receivers can make up for a quarterback, as the opinion was wrongly formed when the amazing Kevin Smith was a UCF Knight.
3) Knights fans want a team quarterback, a "franchise quarterback," one that will play for three or four years, and make for a solid team player. Hodges isn't a failure, but he'll be gone at the end of the season.
When do you think we will pick up another Daunte Culpepper-like quarterback? An imposing, athletic, dominant, four-year player? Write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your answers!