For anyone that follows UCF football, that person should expect to see a really fast-paced offense, and it should also be ready to see some very fast players. With wide receiver Jaylon Robinson coming back for his red-shirt junior season, Knights fans will certainly see speed inside the Bounce House this fall, but the future will likely feature several burners as well.
UCF Head Coach Gus Malzahn implements speed into his roster, his position groups, and especially into his offensive philosophy. While at Auburn, Coach Malzahn recruited top Florida Prospect Anthony Schwartz to play for Auburn. He was one of the nation’s fastest high school track athletes, running 10.07 in the 100 meters and winning the Florida state meet.
Schwartz went on to be one of Auburn’s prime offensive weapons before entering the NFL Draft. Here’s a look at Schwartz’s NFL Draft Measureables according to NFL.com. His versatility to take jet sweeps, screens, look passes, reverses and even a simple five yard hitch reception and turn into a big play made him one of Auburn’s most feared weapons. Now at UCF, Coach Malzahn will be looking for prospects that can change a game like Schwartz.
Here are a few of the 2022 Florida prospects that are going somewhat under the radar despite their speed and natural football talent. The Knights could find their next gamebreaker right here in the state of Florida, and these two players are possible options.
Jmariyae Robinson, WR, 6’0”, 165-pounds, Cocoa (Fla.) High School
Traveling through Florida, Georgia and South Carolina this spring for seven-on-seven tournaments and high school football combines, several of Florida’s fastest prospects kept making themselves known. One of those players would be Robinson.
When he plants his foot in the ground and makes a cut, he immediately changes direction and gains separation from a defensive back. A lean athlete with a sprinter’s frame, Robinson plays a game based on speed and quickness; he will take the top off a defense.
There are only so many players like Robinson in Florida or any other state. A swift receiver that makes defenders miss, and will make a cornerback pay for play bump-and-run coverage. After seeing Robinson play several times this spring, it became clear that he was one of the most consistent deep threats from the state of Florida. UCF offered Robinson, but it’s unclear if the Knights will bring him in for an official visit. His only official visit thus far, surprisingly, would be to Central Michigan.
Cocoa always has speed, and it’s a program that UCF will certainly recruit moving forward. There’s plenty of talent on the current Cocoa roster, and Robinson is one of the best on the current Cocoa depth chart.
Terrell Crosby, WR, 5’11, 180-pounds, Saint Petersburg (Fla.) Lakewood
Crosby dominated during multiple seven-on-seven tournaments this spring, even winning tournament MVP as a cornerback during the Championship 7v7 tournament held in Tampa. Here’s the interesting aspect of that fact: he played both ways the entire tournament, and still won defensive MVP while rarely coming off the field. That’s an incredible amount of energy and effort being extended. When in pads, Crosby is also a big-play threat as an offensive player.
Playing for the most explosive offense in Pinellas County and probably the greater Tampa Bay-Saint Petersburg area, Crosby is the focal point for the Spartans offense as a wide receiver. He’s a pure deep threat that dominated against Tarpon Springs East Lake during the spring game.
Crosby ran by defensive backs several times, catching multiple bombs for touchdowns, as well as juking defenders and making big plays after a catch. He’s a true weapon no matter how the football reaches his hands. As for recruiting, it’s baffling how few offers this big-play wide receiver earned to date.
UCF is aware of Crosby, but has yet to offer. Central Michigan, Coastal Carolina, Marshall, Miami of Ohio, Troy and Toledo extended committable offers to date. As someone that’s seen Crosby play live several times, he’s an athlete that can play in any Division I league. Again, it’s baffling why he does not hold several more scholarship offers.
As the high school seven-on-seven circuit has all but come to a close, and the same can be said for UCF hosting prep football camps, there will be decisions that need to be made about which prospects to go after. Some recruits will go up the board, while others will certainly fall.
Robinson and Crosby are two prospects that can run by defenders time and time again, and they fit what Coach Malzahn likes to do. The sweeps, jet-motion fakes to set up another player, a screen pass, a five yard hitch, and of course taking shots down the field are plays these two prospects excel at turning into big gains.