Wednesday marks a big day for the UCF football program.
The Knights are expecting about 25 commits to secure their future with UCF by signing their names on the dotted line on National Signing Day.
As of Sunday, UCF has 21 players who have verbally committed to play for the Knights, with the possibility of of the list expanding. Here are some of the story lines heading into Wednesday’s signing deadline:
One of the biggest stories in the last month for the Knights has been the commitments of Jeffrey Godfrey and Joshua Reese, two prized prospects out of Miami Central High School.
Godfrey was an early Christmas present for the Knights. Listed at 5-foot-11 and 167 pounds, he is one of the best dual-threat quarterbacks in the nation and made his official announcement that he would sign with the Knights back on Dec. 20. Godfrey is rated as the No. 8 dual-threat quarterback in the nation, according to Rivals.com and rated as a three-star athlete on both Rivals.com and ESPN.com. He finished his career at Central as the all-time career passing leader in Miami-Dade County with 7,251 yards, passing Jacory Harris’ mark. Godfrey is currently enrolled at UCF for the spring semester.
Along with Godfrey came teammates Reese, Jamar McClain and LeBrandon Richardson.
Reese, a four-star wide receiver, is the highest rated prospect in UCF’s class so far. He is ranked as the No. 22 WR in the nation, according to Rivals.com and is explosive in his route running and play-making abilities.
McClain is an underrated cornerback that is being compared to a Kemal Ishmael-type for the Knights. The 5-foot-10, 175-pound prospect also had offers from Auburn and Memphis, but decided to join his teammates in Orlando.
The latest addition to the puzzle is Central defensive lineman LeBrandon Richardson, who verbally committed to play for the Knights on Saturday, according to the Orlando Sentinel. Richardson was a first-team All-Dade selection and helped anchor a defense that led Central to a state semifinals appearance.
Also rumored to be leaning toward UCF are Central running back Brandon Gainer and offensive lineman Jose Jose. Gainer is listed as a four-star RB by ESPN.com and is deciding between North Carolina and UCF, although he has offers from Oregon, South Florida and Florida State, to name a few.
Jose Jose has drawn high interest from Tennessee and verbally committed to USF on Dec. 16, but like Godfrey, he could also spurn the Bulls for the Knights. Listed at 355 pounds, Jose is listed as a three-star prospect, according to Rivlas.com.
Beefing up the line
With the emergence of Brynn Harvey and a solid run game, head coach George O’Leary knew he had to beef up the offensive line, and he did that through recruiting. The Knights currently have five offensive lineman committed, headlined by three-star recruit Perry Meiklejohn and the brother tandem of Justin and Jordan McCray.
Meiklejohn has good footwork for his 6-foot-3, 319-pound frame, and should help anchor what will be a young offensive line.
Justin and Jordan McCray are both committed to UCF and will have a chance to join older brother Cliff McCray, who is also an offensive lineman for UCF. The identical twins are both are rated as three-star prospects, according to Rivals.com out of Miami Southridge.
Some other strong prospects the Knights received verbal commitments from were local Oviedo quarterback Blake Bortles and Georgia-native defensive end Quenton Brown, among others.
Bortles, who is listed at 6-foot-4, committed back in early August and has remained committed even with the signing of Godfrey. He is rated as a three-star quarterback by ESPN.com and is said to be very athletic and mobile for his size. The Sentinel has him ranked No. 63 among their top 100 prospects in Florida. He was a two-sport athlete in high school, also starting on Oviedo’s baseball team.
Brown played tight end and wide receiver at Tucker High in Tucker, Ga., but was being recruited as a defensive end for college. The three-star recruit received offers from countless schools, including Miami, West Virginia and Ole Miss, but chose the Knights.
Keep an eye out for some names that could show up on the Knights’ commitment list this week, including Union Grove’s Jordan Akins, listed as a three-star athlete by Rivals.com and ESPN.com. Akins has several offers but is still considering UCF. The 6-foot-3 wideout would be a great addition to Reese and three-star recruit Cornelius Whitehead from Mount Dora.