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 Draft Scout College Football Player News: Central Florida
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  Arkansas has set key dates for its spring football practice. The Razorbacks are scheduled to begin the practice season March 9 and have scheduled their spring game for April 15 at Reynolds Razorback Stadium. The spring game is scheduled to begin at noon, but TV and streaming details have yet to be announced. The spring game was scheduled to coincide with a home softball game against Alabama-Birmingham and a home baseball game against Tennessee later that day.

Festivities will begin that morning with live music and food trucks as part of HogTown north of the stadium. Admission to the spring game and HogTown will be free. Arkansas coach Sam Pittman said last week the team will practice five times prior to the university's spring break, which is scheduled for March 20-24, then complete the 15-practice season after classes resume March 27. - Northwest Arkansas Times


rSr/2025 QB KJ JeffersonCentral Florida
News Source: Northwest Arkansas Times
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  After UCF football lost on the road 34-13 at East Carolina this past season, Pirates defensive back Jireh Wilson was named AAC defensive player of the week. Wilson recorded an interception, recovered a fumble and totaled 3 tackles against the Knights. Now, he's joining forces with them as UCF heads to the Big 12 Conference this summer. "When I entered the portal, I wasn't really sure what I was going to get," Wilson said. "I didn't really have any expected destinations. I was open to all opportunities." That included joining a familiar foe in the Knights, a move that Wilson admitted was strange at first.

"I played here twice as an opponent," he said. "Being in the facility and meeting the coaches that I just played against a few months ago was definitely a little weird." Wilson entered the NCAA transfer portal on Dec. 29 and less than two weeks later committed to UCF. "I wanted the chance to play on a bigger stage than the American Conference," he said. "I wanted to be somewhere I could call home, develop a good relationship with the coaches, play in an area where the team has a lot of support like Orlando, a chance to play at the next level and a winning history. "Everything that UCF has is what I was looking for when I entered the portal." - Orlando Sentinel


rSr/2024 SS Jireh WilsonCentral Florida
News Source: Orlando Sentinel
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  Memphis football added a boost to its receiver room after Marshall receiver Corey Gammage committed to the Tigers on Monday. Gammage, who is 6-foot-4 and 220 pounds, led Marshall in receiving for the past three seasons and was an All-Sun Belt honorable mention selection the last two seasons. As a junior, he had 52 catches for 774 yards and six touchdowns after recording 78 catches for 878 yards and two touchdowns in 2021.

Gammage made his announcement on Twitter and originally hails from Delray Beach, Florida. He has one season of eligibility remaining and is the Tigers' third commitment within the last 24 hours. In his career, he's caught 178 passes for 2,239 yards and 13 touchdowns. Gammage also reunites with Memphis offensive coordinator Tim Cramsey. Cramsey served in the same capacity at Marshall from 2018-21, which coincided with Gammage's first four seasons. Memphis needs more speed and size with its receivers and Gammage could help fill that void. - Memphis Commercial Appeal


rSr/2024 WR Corey GammageCentral Florida
News Source: Memphis Commercial Appeal
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  LSU sophomore edge rusher Zavier Carter entered the NCAA transfer portal Thursday, according to multiple reports. Carter would have competed to replace BJ Ojulari as the starting Jack linebacker after appearing in 11 games. He made his first career sack in the Citrus Bowl. A four-star recruit from Atlanta, Carter played in 18 games over two seasons. He recorded nine tackles, one pass breakup and one forced fumble. He has two years of eligibility. Both of Ojulari's backups this season, Carter and redshirt junior Desmond Little, have entered the transfer portal. The Tigers brought in Oregon transfer Bradyn Swinson and five-star Da'Shawn Womack at the position. - Baton Rouge Advocate

Sr/2025 OLB Zavier CarterCentral Florida
News Source: Baton Rouge Advocate
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  UCF long snapper Alex Ward was sitting down in his living room checking email on his phone when a new message arrived. The sixth-year UCF long snapper had received an invitation to the NFL Scouting Combine. "It came through very nonchalant," Ward said. "It's just some guy's name and NFL beside it. I'm like, "What is this?" I open it up and the first thing I see is the Combine logo, "We're excited to extend an invite to the Combine. I jumped up, my phone went flying and I ran to the front door, ran back to the living room, I'm jumping up and called my Dad," he recalled. "It was great." - Orlando Sentinel

rSr/2023 LS Alex WardCentral Florida
News Source: Orlando Sentinel
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  Things are looking up at UCF, on the roster and on the coaching staff. Former Florida wide receiver Trent Whittemore is staying in-state and is transferring to UCF, he announced via social media Saturday morning. Dan Mullen originally brought the Florida native to Gainesville, but struggled to find his footing under the leadership of new head coach Billy Napier, only having four receptions for 87 yards in 2022. Whittemore saw more success when Mullen was in charge, having 29 catches for 338 yards and two touchdowns during the 2020 and 2021 seasons.

New UCF offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Darin Hinshaw signed a two-year deal that pays him $600,000 annually, according to documents obtained by the Orlando Sentinel. Additionally, new UCF defensive coordinator Addison Williams, who was promoted from assistant head coach and defensive backs coach, signed a two-year contract that included a $450,000 annual raise in pay, documents show. Williams originally signed a two-year deal that paid him $250,000 per year when he was hired by UCF coach Gus Malzahn in February 2021 but now he'll make $700,000 as the defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach. - Orlando Sun Sentinel


rSr/2025 WR Trent WhittemoreCentral Florida
News Source: Sun Sentinel
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  The Razorbacks are coming off a season in which the offense showed incredible balance, with 3,077 rushing yards and 3,051 passing yards en route to the No. 16 rank in total offense in the FBS with 471.4 total yards per game. Arkansas produced 6,128 total yards, the second-highest figure in school history behind 6,273 yards in 2010. Jefferson, who announced in December he is returning for his senior season, is eighth in the country in passer efficiency. Jefferson's 68% completions in 2022 is the second-highest single-season mark at Arkansas behind Feleipe Franks' school record of 68.5% set in 2020 in Briles' first season as offensive coordinator. - Northwest Arkansas Times

rSr/2025 QB KJ JeffersonCentral Florida
News Source: Northwest Arkansas Times
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  New UCF defensive coordinator Addison Williams will have two of the Knights' top defenders back for the program's inaugural season in the Big 12 Conference. Senior linebacker Jason Johnson and redshirt junior defensive tackle Ricky Barber Jr. announced their intentions to return for the 2023 season on social media Saturday. Johnson is taking advantage of an extra year of eligibility granted to athletes from the NCAA due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Barber could return for the ‘24 season as well if he wants to do the same.

Johnson led the Knights with 126 total tackles - the 8th most for a single season in program history and more than double the next tackler. He added a sack and a forced fumble. Barber recorded a team-high 12 quarterback hurries and finished second on the team in both sacks (3) and tackles for loss (9) to go with 4 pass breakups. He totaled 54 tackles. - Orlando Sentinel


rSr/2024 ILB Jason JohnsonCentral Florida
News Source: Orlando Sentinel
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  Arkansas and Kansas met for the first time in 116 years, and the Razorbacks used an old-school rushing attack to prevail. Arkansas gained 394 of its 681 total yards on the ground. Dubinion added 112 yards for the Razorbacks. Kansas (6-7) played in its first bowl game since 2008 but was unable to stop a late-season streak in which it lost seven of its past eight games. Kansas quarterback Daniels passed for 544 yards and five touchdowns. He set Liberty Bowl records for passing yards, touchdown passes, completions (37) and total touchdowns scored (six). KJ Jefferson passed to Rashod Dubinion for a 2-point conversion in the third overtime and Arkansas held off a furious second-half rally by Kansas for a 55-53 win at the AutoZone Liberty Bowl on Wednesday night.

The Jayhawks rallied from 25 points down in the second half to force overtime, but a failed 2-point conversion pass from Jason Bean to Lawrence Arnold ended a four-and-a-half hour bowl marathon. "We got lucky at the end, but we're Liberty Bowl champs and I'm pretty excited," Arkansas coach Sam Pittman said. It looked like Bean had room to run instead of throwing it out of the end zone, and Pittman said his team was ready for either. "I told them to go after him. I wanted to go after him," Pittman said. "We weren't being able to man them up. I wanted to go put some pressure on them. We got lucky there at the end. We're Liberty Bowl champs. I'm just excited as I could be." Arkansas (7-6) celebrated the win prematurely in the second overtime after stopping Kanas quarterback Jalon Daniels just shy of the goal line on a 2-point conversion try. But a targeting call on Arkansas' Quincey McAdoo gave the Jayhawks another play, and they converted. Jefferson passed for 287 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for 130 yards and two more scores to lead the Razorbacks, who won despite missing many players who had critical roles during the season. - Arkansas/AP College Football


rSr/2025 QB KJ JeffersonCentral Florida
News Source: Arkansas/AP College Football
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  UCF linebacker Jason Johnson has a significant decision to make. The senior who started every game for the Knights could return for his final year of eligibility when UCF plays its inaugural season in the Big 12 Conference in 2023. "I have an extra year but I [have] not decided yet what I'm going to do," Johnson said. The Eastern Illinois transfer has served as an integral part of UCF's defense this season. Earning first-team All-AAC honors, Johnson (114) finished second in the conference and led the Knights in total tackles.

Making the jump from FCS to FBS didn't seem to be a challenge for Johnson, who boasts more than twice as many tackles as any other UCF player. "It's been a great year," he said. "I did what I thought I was going to do. A lot of people thought I wouldn't do it but I did. For the people who believed in me, I appreciate them." - Orlando Sentinel


rSr/2024 ILB Jason JohnsonCentral Florida
News Source: Orlando Sentinel
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  When John Rhys Plumlee transferred to UCF earlier this year, he made it clear he wanted to continue to play baseball and football like he did at Ole Miss. Although he was able to practice with the baseball team, Plumlee was denied a waiver to play baseball last season. Instead, he went through spring football with Gus Malzahn and the Knights football program. After earning the starting quarterback job in the preseason and leading UCF to a spot in the AAC championship, Plumlee recently announced he's returning for his final year of eligibility to guide the Knights in their first season in the Big 12 Conference.

Before then, however, he's aims to return to the baseball diamond and play this time. "Getting to play baseball, I'm excited about it but definitely pumped up about the upcoming football season as well," he said. A dual-threat quarterback, Plumlee led the Knights with 2,404 passing yards and 841 rushing yards. He scored 25 total touchdowns (14 pass, 11 rush) while completing 63% of his passes and averaging 5.8 yards per rush. He battled multiple injuries throughout the season, including with his hamstring down the stretch. Plumlee sat out after halftime in the regular-season finale against USF after running for 133 yards and 2 touchdowns. - Orlando Sentinel


rSr/2024 QB John Rhys PlumleeCentral Florida
News Source: Orlando Sentinel
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  2022 ALL-CONFERENCE USA HONORABLE MENTION: DB: Decorian Patterson, Middle Tennessee,...The following players earned Honorable Mention recognition: QB Chase Cunningham (became just second player in school history to record multiple 400-yard passing games), RB Frank Peasant (led team in rushing and touchdowns scored), WR Jaylin Lane (led team in receiving), TE Izaiah Gathings (led all C-USA tight ends with 53 receptions), OL Jordan Palmer (three-time lineman of the week), DE Zaylin Wood (National Defensive Player of the Week), DT Marley Cook (career year with 9.5 TFLs and 6.5 sacks), CB Decorian Patterson (led nation with six interceptions), CB Tra Fluellen (led team with 97 tackles), PK Zeke Rankin (made 12 of 14 field goals, and KR Jaylin Lane (averaged 23.1 yards a return). - Middle Tennessee Football

rSr/2024 CB Decorian PattersonCentral Florida
News Source: Middle Tennessee Football
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  2022 ALL-CONFERENCE USA HONORABLE MENTION: LB: Shaun Peterson Jr., FIU,...Peterson Jr. enjoyed a breakout season after shifting from running back during spring drills - he tabbed a season-high three sacks in the Panthers' win at Charlotte on Oct. 22 - it tied for the fourth-best single game total by an FIU player and the best individual performance since 2015. His six overall sacks are tied for the 10th-highest single-season total in FIU annals. Peterson Jr. finished the season with 28 total tackles, including 8.0 TFLs (-45), two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries - both of which came off strip sacks. - Florida International Football

rSr/2024 OLB Shaun Peterson Jr.Central Florida
News Source: Florida International Football
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  2022 ALL-SUN BELT CONFERENCE FOOTBALL HONORABLE MENTION: WR - Corey Gammage (RS Jr., WR - Delray Beach, Fla.),...Four additional Marshall players earned All-Sun Belt Honorable Mention honors. Wide receiver Corey Gammage, lineman Koby Cumberlander, linebacker Eli Neal, and defensive back Andre Sam each received recognition. - Marshall Football

rSr/2024 WR Corey GammageCentral Florida
News Source: Marshall Football
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  Like quarterback John Rhys Plumlee and tight end Alec Holler, UCF offensive lineman Lokahi Pauole will be back for the Knights' inaugural season in the Big 12 Conference next year. Pauole, who has started every game the last two seasons at guard, is using an extra year of eligibility granted to athletes by the NCAA due to the COVID-19 pandemic. "After being home for some time, I've had countless conversations with God and my family discussing my future," Pauole wrote on social media. "As a native Hawaiian, I have a kuleana (responsibility) to be loyal and to have the backs of those that have mine. Respecting the program that helped me grow roots outside the islands I call home. "That being said, I am a Knight," he added. "I will forever be bleed black and gold. We're not going anywhere."

The return of Pauole is major for UCF's offensive line. He'll provide stability and leadership up front as experienced linemen Sam Jackson and Ryan Swoboda have exhausted their eligibility. Pauole has earned some type of all-conference honor from the AAC's coaches three seasons in a row - first-team this year, second-team last season and an honorable mention in 2020. This season, the 6-foot-4, 305-pound offensive lineman helped UCF rush for 200 or more yards in nine of its 12 games. - Orlando Sentinel


rSr/2024 OG Lokahi PauoleCentral Florida
News Source: Orlando Sentinel
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