UCF Knights Football: Inside Slant

Michael Greco (Getty Images)

Central Florida entered the spring with big questions to answer at tailback and quarterback. The Knights will still be looking for those answers when they report for preseason practice.

The biggest challenge facing UCF is replacing tailback Kevin Smith, the nation's leading rusher in 2007. The coaches had hoped to spend the spring preparing junior Phillip Smith for the starting job but he sat out most of the spring and will miss significant time this summer as he rehabs from a leg injury.

That makes it more and more likely that UCF coach George O'Leary will be taking a very close look at the four freshmen backs expected to arrive in August, especially Latavius Murray.

The Knights will also carry the quarterback competition over into the summer after junior Michael Greco and redshirt freshman Joe Weatherford failed to win the starting job in the spring. As is the case at tailback, freshman Rob Calabrese may factor into the decision come August.

The good news is the defense returns nine starters, including a secondary that has played together the past two seasons.

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