Knights War Room Archive
September 27, 2002
Marcus Clemons will redshirt
Coach Lorenzo Costantini confirmed that sophomore three-technique Marcus Clemons will take a medical redshirt this season. Clemons, a top signee in the 2001 class from Titusville-Astronaut, will be considered a redshirt sophomore for the 2003 season a year from now. In order to facilitate the move redshirt freshman Frisner Nelson will move into the backup three-technique spot (he had been playing nose guard). Coach Zo had some very good things to say about Nelson's progress.
UCF is only allowed to bring 60 players to MAC road games and Coach Zo can only bring four defensive linemen (he took five in the first two games). He took DeMarcus Johnson, Larry Brown, Frisner Nelson, and Mike Lynche to Marshall. Nelson can play both interior spots if needed. Nick Rosinski will be the fifth player in the mix for home games and could always factor in to travel.
NFL teams like Gaines
Tight end Michael Gaines has the option of returning to UCF for another season if he can graduate by the end of next summer. Doing so would entail a lot of work on his part and he will have to make a decision on that very soon after the season. I can't speak for what he will ultimately do but I can say many NFL teams would be very interested in Gaines this year. If he came back for another year he could ultimately work himself into a higher round but it looks like he could be a mid-round pick easily this year. Of course that depends on if he continues to make positive progress this season.
P.J. Smith glad to be coming back home
I'm sure everyone read the P.J. Smith commitment interview on the front page. I decided not to use this quote because I didn't want to offend any Arkansas fans that would undoubtedly read the interview. After spending the last year in Kansas P.J. admitted he's very glad to be coming back home.
"It (Kansas) kind of reminds me of the visit to Arkansas and I know I couldn't handle this for another four years," Smith said. "It's terrible."
UCF is most likely done recruiting running backs unless they decide they want another fullback. Ron Williams will be their big back and P.J. Smith will be their smaller, finesse type back. They both should compliment each other nicely.
Hedge enters the coaching profession
Former UCF quarterback and long snapper Mike Hedge is now a full-time coach at Quincy University in Illinois. He is responsible for the linebackers while working on his Master's degree. Quincy competes in NCAA Division II and plays in the Great Lakes Valley Conference. The Quincy Hawks have played a tough schedule and are 0-4 including a loss to I-AA member Illinois State. Hedge will be responsible for recruiting Florida for Quincy. I will try to interview Mike sometime later this season to see how his first year of coaching has been.
Dozier could be a steal
I believe I said it in a previous thread but I think the feeling is that UCF is getting a real steal in Olympia linebacker Randy Dozier. He was also offered by East Carolina and Bethune-Cookman and surprisingly nobody else yet but Florida had been calling him about once a week since September 1st. He's got fantastic speed for a linebacker and always made it clear he wanted to be at UCF.
Moffett: To Visit or Not to Visit
Winter Park quarterback Steven Moffett has always maintained UCF is his favorite school but he seems reluctant to pin down an official visit. Sure, he lives ten minutes away from the campus and he has already taken plenty of unofficial visits to UCF but you would think if he really wanted to come here he would least set something up. He has setup three visits-- December 6th to Southern Miss, December 13th to Georgia, and January 10th to South Carolina (I'm assuming USC will drop Moffett though in light of their recent QB commitment). He may (or may not) visit UCF on January 3rd.
UCF needs QBs
Moffett has gotten plenty of attention but UCF will likely take two quarterbacks in this Class of 2003. UCF is also hot on the trail of Audubon, N.J. QB Joe Flacco. I tried reaching Flacco earlier this week for an interview. He wasn't home but I did speak to his father for several minutes. Steve Flacco said his son would have already liked to have committed somewhere by now but he'll have to wait until after his season to take visits. Joe is very interested in UCF because of their passing offense and they both watched the Penn State and bits of the Marshall game. The dad said UCF quarterbacks Coach Jamie Barresi was at Joe's game during UCF's open week (Sept. 13). Mr. Flacco said that the Audubon team as a whole is not very good and Flacco gets rushed nearly on every play and the game Barresi attended happened to be one of their worst games.
Flacco also has offers from Temple, Rutgers, Pittsburgh, and Virginia Tech. Mr. Flacco felt that his son probably wouldn't fit into the offense too well at Virginia Tech and knows they have Michael Vick's younger brother in waiting. Joe is also a good baseball player (a pitcher). He said they would both definitely be watching the UCF-Syracuse game on television.
Other QBs UCF has shown an interest in are Patrick Carter (St. Petersburg-Lakewood), Landon Leach (Russellville, Ark.), and Stephen Reaves (Tampa-Plant). Unfortunately Reaves broke his leg in a recent game and I believe he's out for the season. UCF might go after a junior college quarterback as well. Candidates from the JUCO ranks could be Walter Washington (Dodge City CC) or Bobby Robinson (Northwest Mississippi CC). Washington is from Daytona Beach-Mainland and Robinson from Fort Walton Beach.
Florida players at Dodge City
Woodly TelfortClick P.J. Smith might not be the only Dodge City player UCF recruits. The Knights are very interested in offensive tackle Woodly Telfort and corners Donald DeFrane and Reynaldo Hill. I spoke with Dodge City asst. head coach Andy Siegal earlier this week and here's what he had to say about a few of his Florida players.Here to view this Link., Offensive Tackle - "He's pretty good. A big kid, runs well. He's probably got over 30 offers and most of them were coming out of spring practice alone. He's being pretty highly recruited right now. The thing with him is he's going to graduate in May and he'll have four years to play three seasons so that really makes him marketable plus he's 6-8 and 305 pounds. He's from North Miami High School."
Has Telfort narrowed his list or scheduled any visits?
"I'll be setting those up. He hasn't setup any visits yet. He's keeping it kind of wide open and just checking it out and seeing what's going to happen. I think he's just kind of putting everything on the shelf until the season is over and then he'll sit down to decide the five he's going to visit or even if he's going to visit five. I know that he's got a pretty good interest in Miami. He signed with Pitt coming out of high school and he feels like he owes them something. When UCF was up here two weeks ago he had an interest to go back home. I just don't know which ones he's going to look at real hard."
Notes: Telfort does not have an offer from Miami. He will probably get one soon from UCF.
Gerard Jackson, Running Back - "Gerard signed with UCF coming out of high school and they couldn't get him in so he sat out a year. What happened with that is Coach Fountain was up here recruiting Terrance Bell and I just started talking to him. We were originally talking about Andreal Curry and said we'd love to have Andreal because I've got to find a running back. I said, 'hey didn't you guys sign Gerard Jackson two years ago?' He (Fountain) said yeah I asked whatever happened to him. Fountain said he was back at home doing something and Fountain got me his phone number and then I recruited Gerard to come up here. He's led the nation in rushing last year and he's leading the nation so far this year."
"Yeah he does. Oregon State, University of Wisconsin, Illinois, NC State, Indiana, Oklahoma State...
He's kind of indicated he'd like to go into a running offense, someone who's going to let him run the ball over 30 times a game. I know the University of Florida talked to him in spring about playing fullback and he didn't really have a big interest in that but you never know because it is the University of Florida.
Notes: UCF is not recruiting Gerard Jackson this time around. There is no need for a junior college running back with only two years left. P.J. Smith has four years left so that's why UCF wants him.
Walter Washington, Dual-Threat Quarterback - "He's being recruited by just about everybody and their mom right now. He's in the top five of every offensive category you can be as a quarterback. He's having a great season right now and he'll get out of here and be four for three."
"Cal and South Carolina. He's got a strong interest in going back home and if UCF does pull the trigger and I know they have a strong interest that they'd probably have a pretty good shot at him. I think he wants to come home. He's 6-1 and a half, 245 pounds. Runs well."
Donald DeFrand, Cornerback - "Our top guy is Donald DeFrand from Fort Lauderdale-Stranahan. He's the No. 1 rated junior college corner in American right now according to JCFootball. He's got right now over 42 Division I offers from Nebraska to University of Florida, University of Tennessee, to Kansas State, Kansas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State. You name it. Illinois, Ohio State, Michigan State, Iowa. He's 6-2, 175 pounds, runs a 4.25. He's redshirting this fall because of a hip injury but he's healthy. He could play right now if he wanted to. He'll graduate in December and have three for three."
Leon Cesar, Linebacker - "He's from Miami Central. He's 6-1 and a half, 225 pounds, runs a 4.5. He's being recruited right now by Miami, LSU, Oklahoma State, Illinois. Oklahoma State has already offered. Miami is just waiting to check on his academics. He'll graduate in December. He'll be a three for two guy. He's having a good year."
Reynaldo Hill, Cornerback - "Our other guy is Reynaldo Hill, another corner from Stranahan. He's 6-2, 185, runs a 4.25. Same amount of schools as Donald, same amount of offers. He's playing for us this fall and he'll graduate in December. He and Donald both went to the nationals in track in the 100 meters. Those are our top sophomores from Florida."
Notes: UCF could offer the corners (DeFrand and Hill) and maybe Washington if they want a JUCO QB. They likely won't recruit Cesar because UCF doesn't need a JUCO LB.
Recruits at Liberty Game
The following recruits, and many more, are expected at the game on Saturday...
-Ron Williams, running back, American Heritage (committed)
-Randy Dozier, linebacker, Olympia (committed)
-Renford Parkes, safety, Titusville (offered)
-Brian Goins, linebacker, Rockledge (offered)
-Cody Wells, safety, Belleview (offered)
-Mike West, athlete, North Marion (offered)
-Carlton Medder, offensive lineman, South Lake (offered)
-Aaron Lindsey, quarterback, Mayo-Lafayette
-Jermaine Thomas, corner, North Marion
-Garrick Clig, offensive lineman, Spruce Creek
-Chris Rhoden, wide receiver, Baker Co.
-Josh Jenrette, linebacker, Armwood
-Shane Hawthorne, linebacker, Gainesville-Bucholz
October 4, 2002
Future of O-Line is Bright
I spoke with Coach Robert McFarland after practice last week and he had some great things to say about his young offensive linemen. Dan Veenstra, a guard from Largo who is currently taking a redshirt, could have contributed this season as a freshman. Coach Mac also praised his other true freshmen-- Seth Ulsh, a big tackle from Ocala who might end up being a guard for UCF, Larry Peoples, a tackle from Jacksonville, and Cedric Gagne-Marcoux, a center/guard from Quebec. Coach Mac wants to continue to recruit quality high school talent like that for his o-line. Speaking of Seth Ulsh, I ran into him last week and noticed a cast on his right hand. He hurt his hand (I think he said something was broken) and was having surgery on it last week. It's not considered too serious.
Recruits in the Citrus Bowl Last Week
I know I didn't catch everyone but Randy Dozier, Renford Parkes, Aaron Lindsey, Chris Rhoden, and Josh Jenrette caught my eye because they were in UCF's locker room following the game. I also noticed standout junior Keith Rivers of Lake Mary High School. Rivers, a linebacker, will be one of the top recruits in the state next year.
Renford Parkes Update
I had a nice chat with Titusville head coach Dan Diesel prior to the Liberty game last Saturday. Diesel is a huge UCF fan and certainly is encouraging Renford to come here. Diesel believes in the end Renford will be a Knight but he wants to take a few visits first. Diesel also said Florida and Florida State have stepped up their recruitment of Renford and have been requesting game film. He believes both may end up offering scholarships when it's all said and done. Parkes is scheduled to visit UCF the first weekend of January. By the way, Renford Parkes leads Central Florida in tackles. After four games Renford has 70 total tackles, 38 of which were unassisted.
I removed Andrew Harris from the commitment list on the site. Harris, a product of Northeast High School in St. Petersburg, originally signed with UCF in the 2001 class as a QB/safety. He may end up coming back to UCF but I don't believe he has officially been re-offered by UCF just yet. He's a good player but UCF needs to be picky with the junior college players they sign especially if they only have two years of eligibility left. Is he good enough to compete at quarterback here (the position he wants to play) or if he's willing to play defensive back is he the best UCF could get? Does UCF really want a JC safety? Again, this is the type of info that the War Room is all about which isn't intended to be distributed elsehwere.
A Couple New JC Names
UCF will probably sign at least one junior college corner this year and there are several great ones out there that are originally from Florida. I told you about Dodge City's Donald DeFrane and Reynaldo Hill last week and here are two excellent prospects from Garden City (Kan.) Community College and they're both roommates...
Cedric Williams, originally from West Palm Beach, and Corey Reddick, originally from Boynton Beach, both have expressed an interest to return to the Sunshine State and both are interested in signing with the same team. To the best of my knowledge both are December graduates. UCF is recruiting these guys and they're on my list to call for an interview in the very near future to see if they are reciprocating that interest in UCF.
Miami Game on TV
I'm still hearing the Miami (Oh.) game on November 23rd will be televised by Sunshine Network although I don't believe there has been an official announcement. I think it's a certainty that the Buffalo game on November 9th will not be televised. If the Miami game ends up being on TV then the Buffalo game would be the only road game this season not televised.
October 12, 2002
UCF offers another local player
Word has it that UCF has recently extended a scholarship offer to Edgewater High School athlete Troy Washington. The 6-foot, 180 pound linebacker/wide receiver is one of the top players for one of the state's best Class 6A programs and if my memory is correct he was returning kicks and punts when I saw the Eagles play in their kickoff classic against Winter Park earlier this season. I will do my best to track down Washington or one of the Edgewater coaches to confirm the offer and to see what other schools are involved. (Over the summer I did leave a couple messages for Edgewater's head coach to inquire about some of their players but I never heard back).
Mike Walker, a safety, is another I-A recruit from Edgewater. It's unknown if running back Jamal Clay and linebacker Jeremiah Wright are getting I-A looks but it's something I will look into.
A new name in Seminole
One of the top players in Seminole County on defense this year has been Justin Curry, a linebacker from Lake Howell High School. I heard Cincinnati has offered and several other schools including UCF are interested. If he does go I-A there could be a record number of I-A signees from Seminole County this year. Jordy Lipsey, Josh Ferguson, Clint McMillan, Howard Lingard, Chris Narsesian, Travo Woods, Victor Johnson, and Marcus Hubbard are the bigger names I'm aware of and there could even be more I haven't heard of yet.
Speaking of Seminole County, the buzz is that Purdue has offered Lake Brantley linebacker Josh Ferguson. I will follow up with him ASAP. His teammate, center Jordy Lipsey, recently committed to Virginia. I've heard that N.C. State, Florida, and West Virginia along with UCF are involved with Oviedo DE/LB Howard Lingard. Grades will be a factor. He's on my call list too. Same goes for Marcus Hubbard.
DB from South Florida
I heard UCF is involved with a defensive back from Miami-Krop, the same high school we signed Travonti Johnson from earlier this year. His name is Joe Tolliver and he's 6-1 and 170 pounds. I don't know anything else about him right now but I will make it a point to find out.
UCF has now offered two of Dodge City's players-- Offensive tackle Woodly Telfort and cornerback Reynaldo Hill, both Florida natives. Both will be among the most recruited of JUCO players this year.
Fall Baseball Practice
I interviewed UCF assistant head coach Greg Frady late this week and I hope to have that story up within a couple days. UCF lost a few players but certainly looks to return their strongest team since 2001 especially in the pitching department. Look for junior college transfer P.J. Lehman to take over for Adam Miller at second base with some competition from talented freshman Jon Cooper. Third base will be up for grabs between the returning Nathan Kragt and newcomers Ricky Bowes and Ryan Bono (who will also catch). Matt Fox looks to be the starting shortstop and could see time as a closer on the mound. Four players may battle for first base-- returning players Rich Wallace and Blaine Schulte along with newcomers Bill Englehart and David Lambert.
October 25, 2002
Wells Sets Visit
I received an e-mail today from Ron Wells, the father of Belleview (Fla.) safety Cody Wells. He wrote to say that his son has set three official visit dates, including a January trip to UCF. He will visit South Carolina on December 13, UCF on January 3 and Florida State on January 13. He has offers from all of those schools. Wells has 104 total tackles (68 solo/36 assist), seven touchdowns (five from punt returns), and 7.2 yard rushing average. The weekend of January 3rd will be a huge weekend for official visits.
January 3rd Visits
Other confirmed visitors for January 3rd include linebacker Randy Dozier (Olympia, commitment), quarterback Steven Moffett (Winter Park), safety Renford Parkes (Titusville), and cornerback Jermaine Thomas (North Marion). I heard that additional visitors will be cornerback Mike West (North Marion), and offensive lineman Carlton Medder (South Lake). The list is probably bigger and will continue to grow.
Some New Recruiting Names
Cornerbacks are definitely a need in this class and I heard UCF recently offered two players that seem to be flying under the radar of the recruiting services-- Yamari Dixon (5-10, 170) from Booker T. Washington in Miami and Trae Williams (5-10, 180) from Durant High School in Tampa.
Also some names to watch who might have future involvement with UCF are tight end Dennis King (Daytona Beach-Mainland), cornerback Devin Blake (Jacksonville-First Coast), cornerback Sheldon Shakespear (Jacksonville-First Coast) and defensive end/linebacker Anthony Kelly (Ormond Beach-Seabreeze).
Just One Visitor So Far Next Weekend
Running back commitment P.J. Smith (Dodge City CC) is taking an official visit to UCF next week for the Syracuse game. UCF would like to have some other junior college visitors but it may be too soon. Many junior colleges will be wrapping up their seasons next week and then of course there may be playoff games to deal with.
UCF is involved with one of Seminole County's best players this fall, Oviedo DE/LB Howard Lingard. Grades are expected to be an issue with Howard and he may have to be played in a junior college. I heard that Florida and West Virginia are also heavily involved with him. I will try to contact him (along with the other names I mentioned here) but I've never been able to get an answer at the number I have for Lingard.