"We believe it's a very strong class," said UCF Recruiting Coordinator Scott Fountain said. "I think we have some real impact receivers and I believe we've signed four or five of the best defensive backs we've signed here in a long time."
UCF signed 21 high school players and five junior college players. Some will redshirt and some will be looked to for an immediate contribution. "This class is a little bit different than last year's," UCF coach Mike Kruczek said. "It is made up of more skilled people. Last year was a lot of big people; a lot of interior people. This is a skilled class."
UCF had a lot of success locally with the signing of 10 players from the Central Florida area. "We've always looked to do that," Kruczek said. "An objective of ours has been to sign as many of the of the best football players in Central Florida that we can. Those players have established their legacy here and would like to continue it at the next level at our place."
The Wayne Densch Sports Center, which will house the football program, is currently under construction and slated for completion in June. Every recruit who visited campus was given a tour of the construction site and shown renderings of the building that will include a 10,000 square-foot strength and conditioning center and a 4,000 square-foot locker room.
Chris Narsesian joined by his family and school's administrations on National Signing Day.
"Seeing the building actually going up has been a huge thing for us," Fountain said. "We've talked about it for several years, but now that it's happening it's had a big impact on recruitment."
The other big impact on recruiting was conference affiliation. Prior to 2002 UCF had competed as an independent since its inaugural season in 1979. The chance to compete for a conference championship and bowl appearances, along with the MAC's television package with ESPN also added to UCF's allure.
"Now that we're in the MAC we can talk about bowls and talk about championships and that makes a difference," Fountain said. "That's something we've never been able to talk about before. It's really been a huge, difference for us."
"I think our success over the last six or seven years at I-A has a lot to do with the opinion that some of these young guys have," Kruczek added. "The respect and reputation that has been built over the last seven years is probably the biggest reason why this class is going to be one of the more prolific classes that we have signed."
2003 UCF Football Signees
Rodney Allen, 6-2, 243, DE, Miami, Coral Gables HS
Aaron Bern, 6-4, 287, OG, Montgomery, Ala., St. James HS
Randy Dozier, 6-2, 200, LB, Orlando, Olypmia HS
Ron Ellis, 5-11, 173, CB, Palm Bay, Palm Bay HS
Brian Goins, 6-1, 205, LB, Rockledge, Rockledge HS
Trae Gomes, 5-9, 177, CB, Sarasota, Riverview HS
Craig Harvey, 6-0, 250, LB, Miami, Miami Central HS, Reedly (Calif.) JC
Marcus Hubbard, 6-3, 265, DL, Sanford, Seminole HS
Sergiori Joachim, 6-4, 180, WR, North Miami, North Miami HS
Harvey Joiner, 6-3, 274, TE, Austin, Texas, Crockett HS/Trinity Valley (Texas) CC
Dennis King, 6-2, 217, DE, Daytona Beach, Mainland HS
Mike Merritt, 6-3, 244, TE, West Palm Beach, Suncoast HS
Steven Moffett, 6-3, 190, QB, Winter Park, Winter Park HS
Chris Narsesian, 6-0, 188, WR, Oviedo, Lake Howell HS
Renford Parkes, 5-11, 198, S, Titusville, Titusville HS
R. J. Pullings, 6-0, 242, LB, Ocala, Vanguard HS, Reedly (Calif.) JC
Sheldon Shakespeare, 5-10, 160, CB, Jacksonville, First Coast HS
P.J. Smith, 5-10, 215, RB, Daytona Beach, Mainland HS/Dodge City (Kansas) CC
Josh Stephens, 6-2, 242, DE, Port Arthur, Texas, Port Arthur HS/Trinity Valley (Texas) CC
Brooks Turner, 6-0, 193, WR, Deerfield Beach, Deerfield Beach HS
Mike Walker, 6-2, 182, WR, Orlando, Edgewater HS
Troy Washington, 5-9, 183, CB, Orlando, Edgewater HS
Brad Williams, 6-6, 270, OT, Vidalia, Ga., Vidalia HS
Evandall Williams, 6-1, 217, FB, Havana, Havana Northside HS
Ron Williams, 6-0, 205, TB, Boynton Beach, American Heritage HS
Richard Zulys, 6-5, 300, OT, Toronto, Canada, St. Michael's College School