UCF has never been shy about starting young players, especially when they fill a need. George O’Leary his generally taken a “best player for the job” approach and has given young players a chance to battle for playing time if they are deserving of it.
These players are ones that will be asked to make immediate contributions after never or rarely playing in the past. All certainly have the ability to make a difference, but they’ll have to progress quickly during camp to show that they're ready to potentially start for the Knights.
1.) Josh Robinson, CB- No surprise here. Robinson, one of UCF’s most highly-touted recruits of the 2009 class, got a ton of reps during the spring. He had his ups and downs, but for the most part he proved that he was capable of starting at this level very early on. Robinson has a similar skill-set to Joe Burnett and could be that good of a player. With Emery Allen’s status in question, the Knights are lacking a ton of experience at corner and so talent will have to do. As long as Robinson continues to develop consistency, the staff will likely have enough confidence to give him the starting nod, so this is certainly a big story line this summer.
2.) Chris Martin, DT- The talented recruit was grey-shirted last year and now he’ll be asked to enter the team’s rotation. Martin needs to bulk up still, but the freshman can hold his own inside. With two seniors in front of him, Martin will battle not only for the top reserve spot this year beginning this summer, but for a chance to be a starter in 2010.
3.) Moose Robinson, OG- With the additions of guards Cliff McCray and Abre Leggins, the redshirt freshman will have to battle for his starting spot now. Robinson was one of, if not the best recruit UCF landed in 2008 and he’s already one of the strongest players on the team. He looked the part of a starting lineman this spring and the team has high hopes for him. If he continues to improve like he did during the spring, he can be a great starter for years to come.
4.) Jonathan Davis, RB/LB/S- Arguably UCF’s top recruit of this past class, Davis has the makings of an elite player. With his only knock being height, Davis is basically the total package and can contribute either as a running back or as a linebacker or safety. With depth a concern at running back, he might stick to offense, but his natural position is likely linebacker. Regardless of where he goes, Davis will be given the chance to play early, that’s if he catches on this spring.
5.) Justin Boddie, CB/S- Boddie is the only player on this list that has been on campus for more than a year. As a junior, the Georgia native will get his chance to start, but he must prove he can be a consistent playmaker. Boddie’s versatility is a plus and the fact he came along nicely during the spring only increases his stock. As of now, he’ll probably be battling for a starting spot at either corner or safety, but if he picks up this summer where he left off, he can be a legitimate player at a position of need.