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 Draft Scout College Football Player News: Central Florida
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  After going through the NCAA transfer portal process for a second time, Branden Jennings has finally settled on a destination. The linebacker announced he will be playing for head coach Gus Malzhan and the UCF Knights during the 2022 season. Jennings played last year with the Maryland Terrapins as a true freshman but left the program in favor of the Kansas State Wildcats. By the time mid-April came around, Jennings reentered his name in the transfer portal for the second time in the same cycle. Now, the Jacksonville, FL native will return to his home state of play for UCF. Jennings played in eight games last season with Maryland, having 23 tackles, a tackle for loss, and a forced fumble. He left the program after the year finished and went through spring practice with the Wildcats. - Orlando Sentinel and On3

(DS#999 OLB) So/2025 OLB Branden JenningsCentral Florida
News Source: Orlando Sentinel and On3
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  More details are emerging following the arrest of former Maryland linebacker and UCF transfer Terrence Lewis on Sunday. The new Golden Knights' defender allegedly punched a woman in the face at a residence in Miami Gardens, per Miami radio host Andy Slater. Slater tweeted that an unnamed senior law enforcement source shared the victim was arguing with a cousin when the incident occurred. Police arrested and charged Lewis for domestic battery on Sunday evening, per public records. Authorities booked Lewis into the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center in Miami-Dade (Fla.) County with a $1,500 bond.

After entering the NCAA transfer portal at the end of the season, Lewis committed to UCF and Gus Malzahn following the new year. He did not play during the 2021 season after receiving surgery before Spring practices began. Upon joining Maryland, the medical staff diagnosed him with a torn ACL. Lewis was a four-star prospect and the No. 43 player in the nation when recruited. In the transfer portal, he was the No. 17 linebacker available this offseason, according to On3's transfer rankings. In the arrest report, Lewis is listed at 6-foot-1, 195 pounds - On3.com


(DS#999 OLB) rFr/2026 OLB Terrence LewisCentral Florida
News Source: On3.com
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  UCF linebacker Terrence Lewis was arrested Sunday night in South Florida on a domestic battery charge, public records show. Lewis was taken into custody at the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center in Miami-Dade County at 7:46 p.m. according to booking information posted online. His bond was set at $1,500 according to the records. 247Sports was the first to report the arrest. "We're still gathering information right now and once we do, we'll handle it appropriately," UCF coach Gus Malzahn told the Orlando Sentinel. Lewis transferred to UCF from Maryland in January after missing all of the 2021 season with a knee injury.

As he continued to rehab in Orlando, Lewis was limited in action during UCF spring camp. UCF defensive coordinator Travis Williams previously described Lewis as a student of the game. "He's always in the office trying to learn the playbook," Williams said in March. "When he's not out there, he has a play strip [card.] He's going over each play, just trying to be a pro while he's on the sidelines." - Orlando Sentinel


(DS#999 OLB) rFr/2026 OLB Terrence LewisCentral Florida
News Source: Orlando Sentinel
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  05/06/22 - Ryan OKeeferJr/2024, Central Florida, 5-09, 175 (DS#40 WR) + More +

  UCF is reportedly negotiating a $17 million-$20 million settlement with the American Athletic Conference to clear a path to the Knights joining the Big 12 Conference in 2023. Cincinnati, Houston and UCF have been in negotiations with the AAC the past couple of months after all three accepted bids to join the Big 12 in September. The intent was to join the league by July 2024 at the latest, but hoping to make the move by 2023. AAC bylaws require schools to give 27 months' notice and pay a $10 million exit fee, but an earlier exit would mean a negotiated settlement.

According to a report by Action Network's Brett McMurphy, the exit fee is somewhere in the "$17 million to $20 million range." Initial reports had the AAC seeking $30 million-$35 million per school, which would be around double what the league received from UConn in 2019 when the school left early to rejoin the Big East ($17 million). A settlement could be reached this month, according to the report. - Orlando Sentinel


(DS#40 WR) rJr/2024 WR Ryan OKeefeCentral Florida
News Source: Orlando Sentinel
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  Amari Johnson has had to wait his turn. In a new college football world in which players regularly enter the NCAA transfer portal instead of riding the bench, the Miami native has stayed loyal to UCF. Despite a coaching change halfway through his four years and sitting on the depth chart behind wide receivers such as Gabriel Davis, Jacob Harris and Tre Nixon - all in the NFL now - Johnson never wavered. "That was pretty much the best thing for me," Johnson said. "Just to learn from those guys and be able to take what those guys did on the field, [I] implement it into my style of play." Johnson showed why the wait was worth it during Saturday's spring game when he caught 4 passes for 66 yards and 2 touchdowns, including the first score of the intrasquad scrimmage. "It felt really good," he said. "Going into my senior year, it just felt good to be able to perform at a high standard for the crowd and for my coaches and improve from last spring. Everything felt good." Johnson arrived at UCF in the summer of 2019 and caught a 49-yard touchdown pass in his debut against FAMU. That season he appeared in seven games as a receiver and on special teams. The next year he saw the field in two more games, but only caught 3 passes for 12 yards while mostly playing on special teams. In Gus Malzahn's first year in Orlando, Johnson's role expanded as he became a jack of all trades. - Orlando Sentinel

(DS#999 WR) rJr/2024 WR Amari JohnsonCentral Florida
News Source: Orlando Sentinel
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  2021 OHIO VALLEY CONFERENCE FIRST-TEAM (COACHES): ILB - Jason Johnson, Eastern Illinois,...Johnson led a Panthers defense that was ninth in the FCS in pass defense while leading the conference in tackles for loss. EIU was second in turnovers gained with Johnson recovering four fumbles during the year to rank first in the FCS. The third year linebacker would lead the OVC in tackles with 112 as he became the 39th player in school history to finish with 100 or more tackles in a season. He was seventh in the FCS in solo tackles with 63. Johnson would add eight tackles for loss, two pass break-ups and a forced fumble to his season totals. - Eastern Illinois Football

(DS#999 ILB) rJr/2024 ILB Jason JohnsonCentral Florida
News Source: Eastern Illinois Football
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  02/28/22 - Koby PerryrSr/2023, Central Florida, 6-0, 185 (DS#31 FS) + More +

  2021 OHIO VALLEY CONFERENCE FIRST-TEAM (COACHES): SAF - Koby Perry, Austin Peay,...Perry's year-to-year improvement was remarkable. Last spring, he finished with 36 tackles (4.0 pg), three tackles for loss, and two pass breakups. This season? The OVC Defensive Player of the Year compiled 85 tackles (7.7 pg), eight tackles for loss, two interceptions, and three pass breakups. His 75-yard interception return for a touchdown at UT Martin was a masterclass in reading the play and attacking the point of the pass. Yet that game was even more impressive thanks to his 16 tackles - most by a Governor in 2021 - he was quite literally everywhere at once. - Austin Peay Football

(DS#31 FS) rSr/2023 FS Koby PerryCentral Florida
News Source: Austin Peay Football
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  2021 ALL-ASUN CONFERENCE FIRST TEAM (COACHES): OL - Tylan Grable, Jacksonville State, So., Gordon, Ga.,...Grable, a junior offensive tackle from Gordon, Ga., grabbed his first All-ASUN honor this fall after being named to the All-Ohio Valley Conference squad in an All-American campaign in the spring of 2020. In a season that saw injury force him to miss most of the last three games of the year, Grable still led the JSU offensive line to an ASUN-best 1,665 rushing yards. - Jacksonville State Football

(DS#42 OT) rSr/2023 OT Tylan GrableCentral Florida
News Source: Jacksonville State Football
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  Isaiah Bowser ran for 155 yards and two touchdowns, Ryan O'Keefe had 85 yards on seven receptions, and Central Florida earned Sunshine State bragging rights by beating Florida 29-17 in the Gasparilla Bowl on Thursday night. UCF (9-4) took a 26-17 lead late in the third when Daniel Obarski made a 21-yard field goal and Mikey Keene threw a 54-yard scoring strike to O'Keefe in the span of about two minutes. Obarski then made it 29-17 on a 33-yarder with 2:41 to play. "Yeah, we are the best in Florida," said O'Keefe, who also had 110 rushing yards. "We always thought that, but now we finally got to prove it." Florida quarterback Emory Jones, playing in his final game with the Gators before entering the transfer portal, completed 14 of 36 passes for 171 yards.

He also ran for 62 yards on 10 carries. "Not thinking about my future right now," Jones said. "Will talk to my mom and family, and then made a decision." Florida was led by interim coach Greg Knox, who took over when Dan Mullen was fired before the regular-season finale against Florida State. Former Louisiana coach Billy Napier will take over for the 2022 season. Florida (6-7) finished with its first losing record since 2017. The Gators had eight penalties for 85 yards. - Central Florida/AP College Football


(DS#12 RB) rSr/2023 RB Isaiah BowserCentral Florida
News Source: Central Florida/AP College Football
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  2021 ALL-AMERICAN ATHLETIC CONFERENCE SECOND TEAM (COACHES): S Divaad Wilson, UCF, Jr.,...Wilson started 11 games, finished fourth on the roster in tackles with 65 and shared the team lead with a pair of interceptions. - Central Florida Football

(DS#9 FS) rSr/2023 FS Divaad WilsonCentral Florida
News Source: Central Florida Football
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  2021 ALL-AMERICAN ATHLETIC CONFERENCE SECOND TEAM (COACHES): OG Lokahi Pauole, UCF, Jr.,...Earning honorable mention notice were offensive guard Cole Schneider (Fort Myers, Florida), junior linebacker Tatum Bethune (Miami, Florida) and senior offensive tackle Marcus Tatum (Daytona Beach, Florida). Pauole opened in all 12 games at guard. - Central Florida Football

(DS#25 OG) rJr/2024 OG Lokahi PauoleCentral Florida
News Source: Central Florida Football
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  2021 ALL-AMERICAN ATHLETIC CONFERENCE HONORABLE MENTION (COACHES): OG Cole Schneider, UCF, Sr.,...A four-year starter on the UCF offensive line, Schneider opened in all 12 games in 2021 and boasts 46 career starts for the Knights. - Central Florida Football

(DS#26 OG) rSr/2022 OG Cole SchneiderCentral Florida
News Source: Central Florida Football
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  2021 ALL-AMERICAN ATHLETIC CONFERENCE HONORABLE MENTION (COACHES): OT Marcus Tatum, UCF, Sr.,...Earning honorable mention notice were offensive guard Cole Schneider (Fort Myers, Florida), junior linebacker Tatum Bethune (Miami, Florida) and senior offensive tackle Marcus Tatum (Daytona Beach, Florida). Tatum started all 12 games at left offensive tackle in 2021. - Central Florida Football

(DS#54 OT) rSr/2022 OT Marcus TatumCentral Florida
News Source: Central Florida Football
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  2021 ALL-AMERICAN ATHLETIC CONFERENCE FIRST TEAM (COACHES): DL Big Kat Bryant, UCF, Sr.,...Bryant finished as the UCF team leader in sacks (6 for 31 yards in losses), tackles for loss (14 for 59) and quarterback hurries (8). He started every game in 2021, had 50 tackles and finished third in the AAC in sacks. - Central Florida Football

(DS#33 DE) rSr/2022 DE Big Kat BryantCentral Florida
News Source: Central Florida Football
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  12/22/21 - Ryan OKeeferJr/2024, Central Florida, 5-09, 175 (DS#40 WR) + More +

  2021 ALL-AMERICAN ATHLETIC CONFERENCE SECOND TEAM (COACHES): WR Ryan O'Keefe, UCF, Jr.,...The Knights also had three second-team picks in junior wide receiver Ryan O'Keefe (Austin, Texas), junior offensive guard Lokahi Pauole (Kapolei, Hawaii) and junior safety Divaad Wilson (Miami, Florida). O'Keefe led UCF in receiving in 2021 (77 for 727, 6 TDsā€”most catches by a UCF player since 2006). - Central Florida Football

(DS#40 WR) rJr/2024 WR Ryan OKeefeCentral Florida
News Source: Central Florida Football
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