Jan. 8, 2013
UCF Athletics Social Media Directory
By Brian Ormiston
ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - Boasting a 10-4 record, a Conference USA East Division title and a victory in the Beef `O' Brady's Bowl, the UCF football team received votes in both of the final top-25 polls this season. The Knights placed 31st in the USA Today Poll as well as 33rd in the Associated Press Top 25.
Those marks were good for the second-highest final rankings in program history. Only the 2010 squad had higher rankings to finish a season when it was 20th in the USA Today Poll and 21st in the AP Top 25. Those were also the best rankings that UCF has earned overall since the program jumped to the FBS level in 1996.
In 2012, UCF received votes six weeks during the year. Its highest showing occurred on Nov. 11 when it reached 30th in the USA Today rankings. The Black and Gold tied TCU and received more votes than Wisconsin in the AP Top 25, as well as Arkansas State, Arizona State, Rutgers and Kent State among others in the USA Today Poll.
Led by the winningest senior class in school history, UCF delivered a lot of hardware this season. Along with the division and bowl trophies, Quincy McDuffie was voted as the C-USA Special Teams Player of the Year and Kemal Ishmael earned C-USA Defensive Player of the Year honors. The Knights paced the league with six players named to the All-C-USA First Team, while sophomore quarterback Blake Bortles (second team) became the first UCF signal-caller to be voted on to an all-conference first or second team dating back to its first year as a member of the MAC in 2002.
UCF already is looking ahead to 2013 when it brings back an impressive group. Anchored by Beef `O' Brady's Bowl MVP Bortles, the Knights return second-leading rusher Storm Johnson (507 yards, four touchdowns) and its top three wide receivers in J.J. Worton (44-594-5 TD), Jeff Godfrey (39-429-3 TD) and Rannell Hall (35-631-4 TD). Up front, offensive guards Jordan and Justin McCray join left tackle Torrian Wilson and tight end Justin Tukes.
Flipping over to defense, E.J. Dunston, Joey Grant, Victor Gray, Deion Green, Jose Jose and Thomas Niles all have experience starting on the line and will be tutored by new defensive line coach Lorenzo Costantini, who was in the same position at UCF from 2000-03. Right behind them, middle linebacker Terrance Plummer started most of 2012, while Troy Gray started the bowl game. And in the secondary, strong safety Clayton Geathers has 186 career tackles, and cornerbacks Brandon Alexander and Jordan Ozerities both started during the year.