In 2008, UCF had arguably the toughest season in coach George O'Leary's four years at the school. Consider the 4-8 record and the controversy swirling around the death of Ereck Plancher after an offseason conditioning workout. The Knights still received 24 signees Wednesday, many of whom will compete to play this season.
A closer look …
BIGGEST EARLY IMPACT: The touted signees are North Miami Beach QB Nico Flores and Tucker (Ga.) LB Jonathan Davis. The 6-foot-2, 199-pound Flores should compete as the Knights search for a solid starter. He was 135-for-210 passing for 1,517 yards, with 4,192 yards for his career. The 5-9, 205-pound Davis was sought after by South Carolina, but a scholarship offer was pulled after his recruiter switched schools. That prompted Tucker coach Franklin Stephens to ban S.C. coach Steve Spurrier and his staff from campus. Davis was a four-time all-state selection and Georgia's Class 4A player of the year. He is the shortest of UCF's signees.
THE NEED FOR SPEED: Plantation ATH Josh Robinson is an early enrollee. He was a receiver and cornerback in high school and considered one of the fastest recruits in the state. For a summer job, he was a mechanic in the Broward County Sheriff's Office. He had 18 catches for 364 yards and four touchdowns.
TAMPA bay TOO FAR? None of the signees has Tampa Bay ties. Almost half of the class is from the Central Florida area. "I'm pretty much going to go where the athletes are," O'Leary said. "And I thought Central Florida had some talent that we were looking for. I thought we secured the talent. …We pretty much have hit every school in the state of Florida."
tallEST RECRUIT: Choctawhatchee OL Chris Martin is 6 feet 5, 270 pounds. He signed with the Knights last February and took a grayshirt (waiting until the second semester to enroll rather than the fall). In high school, he was an All-American as a junior and all-state as a senior with 92 tackles and 21 sacks.