ORLANDO - The big recruiting year is finally here. The class of 2023 is a special class of prospects in the state of Florida and the UCF Knights have a chance to cash in. Considering the talent level the Sunshine State produces on a yearly basis, that’s a mouthful.
Looking at UCF’s 2023 high school recruiting needs, it will be a chance to continue to hit the local areas – Orlando, Tampa, Cocoa, Lakeland, and Apopka – to reel in a top class. In fact, UCF already collected the commitment from Apopka defensive end Kaven Call, a top target for the UCF staff.
It’s also a year with even more players from across the state worthy of pursuing, and that means the Knights could sign a few more players from north and/or south Florida. Time will tell.
Can UCF sign more national recruits like Jalen Brown or Brandon Inniss, two of the nation's top overall players? What about John Walker or Cedric Baxter or Darren "Goldie" Lawrence, all three of which are big-time and from nearby cites close to Orlando?
Within the podcast below, those are some of the players and circumstances that are discussed. There’s also a position breakdown of how many scholarships the UCF Football team needs for 2023, with also knowing those numbers could change with the Transfer Portal always an option for UCF or any other program’s players.
The podcast also goes into a list of players that have been seen live here in Florida. Each one of the high school prospects is a big-time player and one that could contribute at the Power Five level rather quickly. Below the podcast, two areas to think about, in general, that UCF needs to address. The last section breaks down the ideal scholarship allotment for UCF, as seen by Inside The Knights.
Potential Impact Players
This is the No. 1 goal. How many signees end up playing right away? How many truly big-time players come to Orlando and earn minutes from game one of the 2023 season? This is not an easy task, and there may not be more than two or perhaps three that are capable of accomplishing this task, but it’s a goal. As a side note, almost all of the players in the above podcast fit this goal to a “T.”
Balancing the Scholarship Numbers
At minimum, look for the Knights to sign 13-14 high school players from the class of 2023. Due to the talent in the state of Florida alone, it could be higher. Head Coach Gus Malzahn, as well as members of his coaching staff like Co-Defensive Coordinator Travis Williams, will put in the work to sign as many Floridians as possible. This is certainly the year to do it.
High School Recruiting Numbers by Position, a Projection
QB - 0/1
RB - 0/1
WR - 2/3
TE - 1/2
OL - 4
DE - 2
DT - 1/2
LB - 3
CB - 2/3
S - 2
The Knights will still hold back some scholarships to place towards the Transfer Portal. That does not suddenly change. If UCF reaches 18 in-state recruits that would be fantastic because it also means the Knights landed some of the big fish in recruiting, but Coach Malzahn already made it clear that the Transfer Portal is a part of UCF Football’s makeup and that does not appear to be something that he will steer away from.