By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
The UCF Knights proclaimed themselves the 2017 National Champions last year. However, the Alabama Crimson Tide defeated the Georgia Bulldogs to win the College Football Playoff National Championship at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia.
The Knights are coming into this season on a 13-game win streak. They have not lost since December 17th, 2016 when they were defeated 31-13 by the Arkansas State Red Wolves in the AutoNation Cure Bowl in Orlando, Florida.
This season, many of the Knights are returning from last year’s team. However, Scott Frost, the mastermind behind the 2017 perfect season, has returned to his alma mater at the University of Nebraska to be their head coach. Josh Heupel will be the team’s head coach this season.
Heupel will have McKenzie Milton under center in 2018. The junior signal-caller finished eighth last season in the Heisman Trophy voting.
Milton, who was the only sophomore in the Top 10, went 265 of 395 for 4,037 passing yards. He also had 37 touchdowns and nine interceptions.
Adrian Killins, the junior back, will return to the backfield. Milton will also have Gabriel Davis and Dredrick Snelson returning, who are projected to be two starting receivers this fall.
The Knights are returning receivers and tight ends that had 142 receptions for 2,205 yards and 19 touchdowns last season.
Snelson is the highest returning receiver. He had 46 receptions for 695 yards through 12 games. He also had eight touchdowns.
Heupel also has to make some changes to the line that is set to protect Milton this season. He’s going to have to find a starter at right guard if the projected starters remain the same as last year.
Jake Brown is projected to be the team’s starting left tackle. Samuel Jackson is projected to be the team’s starting left guard. Jordan Johnson is projected to be the team’s starting center.
Boman Swanson is projected to be the team’s right tackle.
There are only four projected starters returning on the defensive side of the ball. Trysten Hill is projected to be the team’s starting nose guard.
Shawn Burgess-Becker is projected to be the team’s starting outside linebacker. Kyle Gibson is projected to be the team’s free safety, while Nevelle Clarke is projected to be one of the team’s starting cornerbacks.
Clarke, with the exodus on defense, is the highest returning player, as he had 25 tackles last season. He also had two tackles for a loss, one interception, and one quarterback hurry.
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