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May 24, 2013UCF hopes to strike gold in Eustis like they did in 2005.
That was the year the Knights signed Joe Burnett, a talented cornerback and return specialist who became an All-American and is now honored inside Bright House Networks Stadium as one of the program's all-time greats.
Now UCF has their sights set on another Eustis star: Jaylon Graham.
The defensive end/linebacker spoke with defensive coordinator Jim Fleming on Friday and was told he had an offer.
"Coach Fleming has been recruiting me since my 10th grade season and has always had a good interest in me," Graham said. "They offered me as a defensive end. We were talking and he asked what offers I had and he said, 'Put UCF down.' They offered this morning."
His previous offers include Arizona, FAU, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisville, Marshall and Memphis. The 6-foot-3, 245-pounder says schools are split between him playing defensive end or linebacker.
"Several other schools have been talking about defensive end," Graham said. "I can play different positions. I switch it up now between linebacker and defensive end."
As far as UCF, Graham plans to make an unofficial visit this summer.
"I had a basketball tournament and that's the only time I've been over there, but I want to find out more about UCF," Graham said. "I should be going over there next month to see the campus and when the season starts I want to see a few games."
Graham is actually quite familiar with Burnett, who currently plays with the Edmonton Eskimos of the Canadian Football League.
"I talk to him a lot," Graham said. "We always talk about the recruiting process. We talk almost day-to-day. He's a substitute teacher at my school when he's off from the CFL. We talk and work out and stuff. He's given me a lot of knowledge and has told me a lot about UCF."
He plans to get a better feel for UCF once he visits this summer, but Graham says a few things already appeal to him.
"First of all, I like that's close to home," he said. "The program is getting better and better each year. They've also got a good academic program."
Of his previous offers, Graham noted that Arizona, Kentucky and Louisville were probably recruiting him the hardest. No favorites list yet and he anticipates taking official visits this fall.
"I'll most definitely be looking at playing time when I make a decision," Graham said. "If I do leave Florida, is the school on TV so my family can watch? I'd like them to be able to support me. Also a great academic program. I could get hurt playing football, but you still need a good education."
Eustis will play a pair of schools - North Miami Beach and Kissimmee Gateway - during a spring jamboree tonight at Orlando's Cypress Creek High School.