UCF Knights 2016 Football Season Preview: Senior Spotlight

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN SPORTS) — Now that the UCF Knights have kicked off their Fall football camp, moving forward into camp and the beginning of the season, we’re already wary to look out for a new explosive passing system, but what should we look for in terms of players? Making a coaching change the way the Knights did, I would say it’s time for a senior spotlight. How have the seniors potentially adapted, and what can we hope to see out of them? As seniors, these boys were groomed for years in a completely different system than coach Frost will be implementing, so for starters, look closely for versatility, keep an eye on true athleticism, and give them some credit for the big turn around.

Kicking off our senior spotlight is starting quarterback Justin Holman. Holman has made growth over the two seasons he has started with UCF. In the team’s back-to-back championship, Holman humbly helped his team return to an AAC championship game in 2014. Sadly, in 2015, Holman lost many weapons to throw to and didn’t have much protection from the offensive line.

So what to expect from Holman this 2016 season? Expect a more composed quarterback. Someone who will have to confidently scramble if needed, and a quarterback with a quicker release to comply with his new system.

Next: Nick Patti. He came to UCF as a quarterback, but Coach O’Leary moved him to receiver. Patti was mainly known last season for his participation in the wild knight play.

What to expect from Patti in the 2016 season? Coach Frost has placed Patti back at quarterback, so we can assume that he will be used as a running quarterback potentially or maybe even still used at receiver for certain plays.

Moving down the line, we have tight end Cal Bloom, originally a groomed blocking tight end for UCF, and whom also helped his team on special teams. As the starting tight end last season, Bloom was a strong blocker for the team, but also had three contributing catches.

What to expect from Bloom in the 2016 season? Frost’s tight ends at Oregon were more of the receiving prototypes. After watching the 2016 spring game, Bloom had an impressive 74-yard catch, showing his versatility, so I think it’s fair to say that we will see Bloom still helping easily with blocking, but we should see many catches and some red zone plays from the big tight end.

Caleb Houston has been the team’s reliable punter for the past three seasons. Last year, after finishing with 2,874 yards, Houston was voted the All American Athletic Conference Second Team Punter. With that said, I’m sure we will see another consistent season from him!

On the defensive side of the ball, we start with defensive back Shaquill Griffin, who was helpful on secondary last year on the plays they were able to stop. Hopefully with a strong, more consistent defensive, we can expect to see more tackles and important shut downs from him.

Drico Johnson should be a familiar name. Senior defensive back Johnson, made big plays for UCF last season. Hopefully bringing the same energy, Johnson should lead his secondary in a more successful shut down season.

All in all on the offensive line, the line struggled with timing and chemistry. A line that was pieced together last year after losing many keys expectantly grew and jelled with one another to become more unified. Two Seniors to watch are Jason Rae and Chester Brown.

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