UCF OL Preview

The key to competing against the best teams in the country is to be physical and deep on your offense line. That’s what separates the contenders from pretenders. For years UCF Struggled in those areas but those days are over. UCF Head Coach George O’Leary likes his offense line depth he has this season despite losing two starters from last season including two-time all-CUSA player Jah Reid.

Stepping in to replace Reid is senior Nick Pieschel who moving from right guard where he started last season and was All-CUSA Honorable mention to right tackle. Freshman Tony Jacob will start the season as Pieschel backup. Junior Cliff McCray who started at left guard last season got beat out by his twin brother in sophomore Justin McCraywho will start the opener after a strong preseason camp. Cliff McCray  who dealt with injuries during preseason camp will start the season as the back up to junior Theo Goins for the starting right guard position. The McCray’ other brother Jordan McCray is listed as backup to Justin at left guard. The McCray’s are hoping to be on the field at same time this season like they were briefly last season and back in high school at Miami Southridge.

 Junior Jordan Rae returns at center after a successful season last year exceeding expectations and went from being a question mark at this point last season to one of the team’s big strength currently. Rae is back up by sophomoreRey Cunha.  Sophomore Chris Martin who is a former defense lineman will start at left tackle with freshman Torrian Wilson right in his heels. “He is a good enough athlete to help the blind side” O’Leary said on Martin starting at left tackle. “He earned the spot”.  Wilson was rated as the eighth-best offensive guard by rivals coming out of Miami Northwestern High School redshirted last season.

It’s the deepest and most flexible offense line O’Leary has had since being at UCF which brings more competition. Competition is something the players don’t mind. “The depth has helped us out a lot,” Pieschel said. “The coaches were just saying the other day the second offensive line is just as good as the first offensive line. The younger players are pushing us every day.”

At tight end, senior Adam Nissley who may be used more in the passing game will help  in blocking as well as backup tight end freshman Justin Tukes.

Look for the Knights to use this depth to their advantage as they have rotation so all the guys get some experience early in the season especially with home opener against Charleston Southern. The linemen have high expectations for themselves including not giving up sacks and protecting sophomore Jeff Godfrey. If the line lives up to its own expectations it should equal them to separate themselves to contenders in the BCS level.

                                          News and Notes

  •  Check out UCF previous position previews DL,DB,LB,WR
  • George O’Leary announced at his tuesday press conference that senior Nick Cattoi will be his kicker but that he was on a short leash as Cattoi had his issues last season just hitting 11 of  19 field goals. O’Leary also said that freshman Shawn Moffitt will get action saturday night Moffitt was a star kicker at Dr Phillips High School..Senior David Bohner will handle punts while junior Jamie Boyle will be backup. Sophomore Quincy McDuffie who among nations best kick returners will be join by senior Khymest Williams on kick returns while junior Josh Robinson will handle punt returns  back up by freshman Josh Reese.
  • Charleston Southern will have many fans and relatives in the stands as they have 46 players on the roster that is from Florida including 13 from Orange and Seminole counties.
  • Charleston Southern is from the Big South conference went 3-8 last season with wins over North Greenville, Mars Hill, and Presbyterian.
  • Charleston Southern starting Linebacker Brad Sweat was teammates with UCF wide out Quincy McDuffie and defensive lineman E.J.Dunston at Edgewater High School.
  • UCF Basketball received bad news Monday night as CBSSports.com first reported that UCF 4-star recruit center Michael Chandler did not qualify academically and will not attend UCF. Chandler will go to a prep school and is free to sign with any school after he finishes prep school as his letter of intent is no longer binding. UCF will still be in the mix for Chandler once he finishes prep school.  It’s a big loss for the Knights on many levels including trying to replace last year starting center Tom Herzog. Look for senior Dwight McCombs,and  junior transfer Josh Crittle to battle to start at center