ORLANDO - UCF Football visit updates, commitment dates, scholarship offers, and camp performances will be included within the Recruiting Tracker moving forward. UCF is in the midst of numerous prospects coming to camp and taking unofficial visits, so there will be a variety of recruiting topics that are continuing to be discussed.
SUNDAY, JULY 3, 9:40 PM UPDATE
UCF has been going after Lake Mary (Fla.) High School cornerback Braeden Marshall for a long time. In fact, UCF offered Marshall on March 3, 2022. Since that day, he's made multiple unofficial visits to UCF, as well as taking an official visit on June 4.
The Knights are battling three other college football programs for Marshall's signed letter of intent. Wisconsin (June 9), Pittsburgh (June 16) and North Carolina (June 24) all hosted Marshall for official visits as well. That led to to the following graphic showing up on Marshall's Instagram page earlier today.
The Knights have been making a concerted effort to sign the best talent possible in Florida, especially high school football players living near the city of Orlando. Marshall lives less than an hour from the UCF campus; he's definitely a prime target for Gus Malzahn and the Knights.
FRIDAY, JUNE 24, 8:20 AM UPDATE
The UCF Knights have four prospects committed for the class of 2023. With Florida State losing the commitment of tight end Randy Pittman, perhaps the Knights will be adding to that commitment total.
Pittman has been to the UCF campus multiple times, including camping with UCF last summer and attending the 2022 spring game. A prime target of UCF Tight Ends Coach Brian Blackmon, the Knights should be considered one of the favorites to land his commitment.
When Pittman decides is not yet known. The Panama City (Fla.) Mosley product has several offers to his credit, including but not limited to Florida, Mississippi State, South Carolina, and Tennessee, in addition to Florida State and UCF.
SATURDAY, JUNE 18, UPDATE
The UCF Knights had six commitments for the class of 2023. That number is now five with Isaiah Nixon decommitting.
Beyond UCF, he has offers from programs like Georgia, Florida, Miami, Florida State, Alabama, Southern California, Ole Miss, Utah, and Oklahoma. UCF is definitely now in a fight to keep him committed based on Nixon’s own tweet:
With Nixon in Gainesville on an official visit, the recruiting battle for him is actually just beginning. This is the norm with recruiting nowadays. Even a commitment does not necessarily mean that prospect will stay away from communicating and even visiting another prospective football program.
Nixon committed on April 16, the same day as the UCF Spring Game. Along with fellow edge defender Kaven Call, Nixon helps the Knights to have a fantastic combination of recruits set to play on the edge at defensive end and/or outside linebacker. That’s why going all-in to keep him committed and eventually signing with UCF is so important.
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 15, 6:00 AM UPDATE
There are many reasons for seeing a young football player run a forty-yard dash. The obvious, what's the time? More than that, however, watching a person run the forty also provides insight into just how much of an athlete a person has become.
Based on the video above, there's really not much question that Kaj Baker is a superior athlete. His burst, stride, and ability to accelerate all the way through the line were all fantastic. While it's obvious he's been coached well to run the forty, Baker looks tremendous, even despite one other prime factor.
Baker will only be a freshman this next season at Somerset Academy, which is located in Pembroke Pines, Fla. Yes, he's a class of 2026 prospect.
According to Max Preps, this past season Baker ran for 839 yards, averaging 6.8 yards per tote, seven touchdowns, and four games of at least 100 yards. He also played varsity a little bit as a seventh grader, playing in five games.
While too early to know just how good this young man will be, Baker's film is impressive.
College camps often allow for prospects to emerge. Usually it's a rising sophomore, junior or senior. Seeing a player that has not begun his freshman year of high school run like Baker is truly impressive, both during last season and at UCF. Baker is a player to watch moving forward.
FRIDAY, JUNE 10, 2:40 PM UPDATE
During the month of June, there will be some top prospects ready to announce where they plan to play college football. One of those young men just announced his decision day will be tomorrow.
Cost is a versatile defensive back that can play safety, cornerback or nickel. He's a very smooth athlete that trancks the football well while it's in the air, has the ability to change direction well, and he is also valuable in the run game.
Coming from Tyrone (Ga.) Sandy Creek, located just south of the city of Atlanta, Cost knows a thing or two about playing top competition, and that's why he's in the position he is now to play college football and earn a free education.
UCF is one of his final five schools, with Mississippi State, UNC, Pittsburgh and Georgia Tech being the other finalists.
MONDAY, JUNE 6, 8:50 PM UPDATE
One of UCF's biggest priorities continues to be recruiting Polk County, the area that includes towns such as Lakeland, Haines City, Davenport, Auburndale, Bartow, Fort Meade, Lake Wales and Mulberry among others. For whatever the reason, this area is always loaded with prospects and the class of 2023 is no different.
Lakeland (Fla.) High School wide receiver Daidren Zipperer is yet another top prospect from Polk, and from the perennial power high school program to boot. Lakeland sent UCF defensive end Keahnist Thompson from the class of 2022. The Knights want to keep the pipeline from Lakeland High School going, and Zipperer is about to take an official visit to UCF.
Zipperer took the time to see UCF before via an unofficial vist. He attended UCF's camp in 2021 as well. The Knights will still face tough competition as South Carolina and North Carolina (just visited both programs), as well as Pittsburgh and other programs are trying to get him to leave the Sunshine State.
FRIDAY, JUNE 3, 8:05 AM UPDATE
UCF Football's camp season is starting to ramp up. The specialist camp (K/P) already took place, and now the position group camps will begin. One of the key 2024 prospects that's seeing his stock rise, and be on UCF's campus Saturday, would be Jaylen Heyward, a very athletic defensive back from Rockledge (Fla.) High School. It's located on the Space Coast, roughly an hour from Orlando.
This young man has seen programs like Ole Miss, Alabama, North Carolina, Georgia, Michigan, Ohio State, and Texas A&M offer since May 11. That's the definition of a prospect "blowing up" with college programs. UCF, however, has been on Heyward a lot longer.
Since last June 16, Heyward knew UCF will be going after him as the offer was extended. UCF Head Coach Gus Malzahn and his coaching staff threw their hat in the ring for Heyward very early. The relationship has been building ever since. He's been back to campus since.
Heyward took an unofficial visit to UCF in early March and he really likes the staff and campus. Coming back again to UCF to continue to build a relationship with the coaching staff of the Knights is a vital aspect of for both prospect and program. UCF is definitely in a battle for one of the best players in the state of Florida for the class of 2024.
Friday, May 27, 2:30 PM UPDATE
While Orlando is absolutely the home base for UCF recruiting, finding top talent across Florida is also a priority for the Knights. Tampa, in particular, is close. UCF must be active there, just like it was by signing Tampa (Berkeley Prep) standouts WR/RB Xavier Townsend and linebacker TJ Bullard in the class of 2022. To that point, UCF is after several prospects near and in Tampa for 2023, and that effort also extends to the class of 2024 as well.
Considering UCF is the only in-state program currently on the slate for Eddie Pierre-Louis to take a June unofficial visit, that is a great sign that the coaching staff for the Knights is being active on the recruiting trail. He's one of Florida's top prospects, and might be the best offensive guard prospect in Florida for his class.
Pierre-Louis has been acquiring FBS offers since his freshman season of high school because of his size and athleticism. Penn State, Tennessee, Florida State, Auburn, Georgia Tech, Oregon, Kentucky, Louisville, Michigan, Indiana, and Miami are just some of the offers for the rising 6’3”, 315-pound offensive lineman.
SUNDAY, MAY 22, 7:50 PM UPDATE
One of the top targets on UCF's board, regardless of position, would be Savannah (Ga.) Calvary Day School defensive tackle Terry Simmons, Jr. He has narrowed his decision down to just three institutions:
After the Knights did not sign a pure interior defensive lineman in the class of 2022, adding a penetrating interior force like Simmons would be an excellent addition to the UCF roster. Not to mention, he's an excellent student that is very interested in the field of engineering.
Simmons does have a tie to UCF already. Committed linebacker recruit Troy Ford, Jr. actually plays for Calvary Day School just like Simmons. He's definitely been in Simmons' ear about joining the Knights.
FRIDAY, MAY 20, 6:00 PM UPDATE
UCF is continuing to push for several underclassmen recruits, attempting to get a jump on recruiting for years to come. This notion extends beyond the state borders of Florida as well.
KJ Lacey is one of the elite young signal callers in America, with a big arm and the legs to tuck the football and scamper for substantial yardage as well. After spending his freshman season at Daphne (Ala.) High School, Lacey is now attending Saraland (Ala.) High School, just to the north of Mobile.
Here's a look at Lacey's freshman highlights. It's obvious this young man is talented based on his film. UCF is the fifth offer overall for Lacey, and it's the first of what is likely to be a slew of scholarship offers from major programs.
MONDAY, MAY 9, 1:45 PM UPDATE
The UCF Football program is building a super 2023 recruiting class. One of the official visits for a committed prospect, quarterback Dylan Rizk, is also already set.
The talented gunslinger from South Florida committed to UCF back on April 21, 2022. With that, it’s a good sign that he’s already locked in with the Knights. Inside the Knights will be at the Cardinal Gibbons’ intra squad scrimmage on May 21 and have a full report on Rizk and the rest of the Chiefs after the game.
Rizk and the rest of the Cardinal Gibbons team will be defending their State Championship this next season, as well as Cardinal Gibbons program seeking its fourth State Championship in five years (2018, 2020, 2021) when it takes to the field this fall.
One of the biggest objectives for Gus Malzahn and his UCF coaching staff is staying on top of the top prospects in Florida. That's also including the top recruits that are still underclassmen.
After seeing WR/RB Arkese Parks utilize his speed and overall athleticism this past week for Tampa (Fla.) Wharton, it's not surprising that UCF offered shortly thereafter. Parks is fast. Make no mistake about that. He's quick enough to make defenders miss in space as well.
Last season, Parks was primarily a running back. This season, however, Parks is looking at the wide receiver position. He's also a candidate to end up in the secondary if he eventually prefers any one of those positions.
With offers from Pittsburgh, Michigan, Ole Miss, Florida State and USF among others, the talented 2024 skill position talent has already established a solid group of suitors.
THURSDAY, APRIL 28, 2:40 PM UPDATE
UCF has stayed vigilant with its efforts to recruit the top players in the greater Central Florida area. That includes the always important area of Polk County, located just to the southwest of Orlando. There are numerous programs in this county that have talented players each year. Well, another one of those talented players just earned an offer from the Knights.
Daidren Zipperer is one of those all-around athletes that could play different positions at the college level. He's primarily a wide receiver for Lakeland (Fla.) High School, but the shifty wide receiver is also a potential candidate to play safety or nickel at the college level by way of switching to the defensive side of the football. Zipperer's recruitment is one that is likely to expand in the coming months and UCF is now squarely in the mix for his services. He actually attended UCF's camp in the summer of 2021.
Other offers for Zipperer include BYU, UNC-Charlotte, Incarnate Word, Eastern Kentucky, Eastern Michigan, USF, UCF, and Rhode Island.
FRIDAY, APRIL 15, 8:25 AM UPDATE:
With the spring game one day away, social media outlets are full of posts like the following from 2024 UCF wide receiver target Dallen Ponder. The class of 2024 prospect hails from Ocala (Fla.) Vanguard and also plays for Prime Truth 7v7 based out of Tampa.
Ponder made major progress last fall for Vanguard and continued to improve this spring for Prime Truth. He's going to have a bunch of offers.
Look for a plethora of 2023, 2024 and 2025 prospects to be making comments about UCF during and after their unofficial visits to UCF on Saturday. The never ending list of prospects should also lead to one or more commitments.
This weekend is also a springboard for UCF making an impression on top prospects so that they return for official visits. Inside The Knights will update any recruiting news on the site, as well as at the Twitter handle directly above.
TUESDAY, APRIL 12, 12:50 PM UPDATE:
UCF extended a scholarship to a unique defensive prospect from the state of Alabama. Edge defender Demarcus Riddick plays for Clanton (Ala.) Chilton County. The 6'2", 205-pound player took to social media to showcase his offer from the Knights.
On film, Riddick shows a player that can come of the edge and rush the quarterback, peel off a rush and take the running back in the flat, or simply drop into coverage and be a part of the overall pass coverage scheme. Finding versatile players that handle all three is rare. He should be considered a candidate to play what UCF calls the "Knight" position, i.e. a hybrid linebacker-safety.
In addition to his UCF offer, Riddick earned offers from a bevy of top programs such as Notre Dame, Arizona State, Florida State, Georgia, Arkansas, Auburn, Ole Miss, LSU, Kentucky, Florida, South Carolina, Georgia Tech, Oklahoma, Penn State, and Coastal Carolina among others.
MONDAY, APRIL 11, 1:55 PM UPDATE:
UCF is almost finished with spring practice, but not before it hosts numerous prospects while the pads are popping. One of the recruits that was recently on campus was 2024 Gulf Shores (Ala.) High School prospect Chris Pearson.
The 6'3", 195-pound skill player could end up at multiple spots during his college career, but UCF just offered him as a defensive back.
"I loved it," Pearson said of his unofficial visit to UCF. As for the practice, Pearson offered the following. "It had a lot of energy!"
Pearson already held offers from Arkansas State, Coastal Carolina, University of Louisiana, Minnesota, Memphis, Liberty, Georgia Southern, and UAB prior to his offer from the UCF coaching staff.
For the Knights, the person that's leading Pearson's recruitment would be Addison Williams, the Cornerbacks Coach.
UCF also offered a teammate of Pearson, slot receiver Ronnie Royal III. Royal is the explosive get-up-the-field athlete that colleges seek for the spread offensive philosophy. Royal was Max Preps National Freshman of the Year in 2020 and continued to develop this past season. Like Pearson, he's also a class of 2024 player.
Elsewhere, UCF has been busy with other top prospects like this highly regarded class of 2025 player, Max Buchanon from Sanford (Fla.) Seminole.
Buchanon is one of the rare freshman that was able to play early for a big-time Florida high school program and he's expected to develop into one of Florida's top linemen.
Sticking with offensive line play, a local prospect from the class of 2024 will be visiting UCF on Tuesday, April 12. Good to see the Knights continue to bring in top Orlando talent, with Kamal Harris playing for Oak Ridge High School.
As for recruiting overall, the Knights added a new Player Personnel Director:
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 6, 6:50 PM UPDATE:
As UCF continues to move through spring ball, recruits continue to trek to Orlando to see what UCF has to offer. As has been the case for quite some time, it's hard to keep up with all the visitors. That's a good thing.
Lakeland (Fla.) Lake Gibson edge defender Quinton Moore, Jr. was just at UCF a few days ago. The class of 2024 prospect is among a growing list of Polk County players that visited UCF since the beginning of the year.
Another recent visitor would be Davi Belfort, a 2025 quarterback from Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) Dillard. He's the son of former UFC Heavyweight Champion Vitor Belfort.
Having underclassmen prospects like Moore and Belfort on campus this early adds additional opportunities for the UCF coaching staff to build relationships with prospects and anyone that comes to the UCF campus with the recruits. There's more of that coming UCF's way, too.
After communicating with the Head Coach of Gulf Coast Athletics, Jason Barnett, he is bringing many of his players from his organization to UCF this upcoming weekend. No publicly known number of players is set to come yet, but it's a big roster and there will be plenty of talent headed to UCF. Barnett operates one of the fastest rising seven-on-seven teams in the South.
"We will be down (to Orlando) Friday night and Saturday," said Barnett.
Gulf Coast Athletics has some of the best talent in the state of Alabama on its roster, and pulls top talent from across the state of Alabama to play within its organization. There are several Power Five prospects on the roster already and the list is growing.
Inside The Knights will update the list of players coming as soon as further information becomes available.
TUESDAY, APRIL 5, 8:10 AM UPDATE:
There are multiple topics to discuss and update within the world of UCF Football recruiting. First, there's a growing list of underclassmen that UCF has offered, including 2026 offensive lineman Katrell Webb from Suwanee (Ga.) Collins Hill.
While it may seem shocking to see UCF offer a player that's only getting ready to enter high school in the fall, Webb is actually not the only player from the class of 2026 UCF offered yesterday. Here's the FULL ARTICLE REGARDING T.K. CUNNINGHAM, a 2026 defensive end from Johns Creek (Ga.) High School from yesterday, and his social media post defining the offer.
Numerous schools are beginning to offer recruits at earlier and earlier stages of their football careers. It will be interesting to see how many 2025 and 2026 recruits the Knights offer over the course of the next few months.
There's the spring evaluation period beginning shortly and the June camps that will be hosted on the UCF campus having top prospects of all ages coming. It's definitely something to keep an eye on because it changes how and when UCF begins to build each recruiting class. There's also the important notice that T.K.'s older brother, T.A. Cunningham, just visited UCF.
The older Cunningham is a class of 2024 prospect that's likely to end up in the nation's top 10 prospects for 2024. Just cannot find 6'6", 275-pound frames like Cunningham that also move like Cunningham. He's a special talent with offers from most of the SEC, ACC And B10 among others.
UCF getting him on campus prior to his junior season is a great sign for recruiting not only him, but talented Atlanta-area prospects in general. He lives just north of Atlanta.
FRIDAY, APRIL 1, 9:45 AM UPDATE:
The UCF recruiting efforts have been primarily concentrated on Florida, Georgia and Alabama during Coach Malzahn's 13-plus months as the Head Coach. That does not mean it's completely stuck on those three states.
With the unofficial visit of defensive back DJ Barksdale from Rock Hill (S.C.) South Pointe, a program just across the border from the state of North Carolina, it shows that UCF's reach is growing.
South Pointe is the same school that produced Jadaveon Clowney, the former No. 1 overall NFL Draft pick after he played for the South Carolina Gamecocks. Rock Hill is one of the most talented small cities in America when it comes to producing NFL players. Just about every SEC and ACC team comes through the high schools there. It's good to see UCF is also involved with those same high schools.
As a side note, Co-Defensive Coordinator Travis Williams hails from Columbia, S.C., so there's a direct connection to The Palmetto State. Even adding one player per year from Rock Hill or any place in talent-rich South Carolina would be quite beneficial to the UCF Football program.
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 30, 6:50 PM UPDATE:
One of the top prospects in the state of Mississippi, Isaac Smith, has received an offer from the Knights. The deep secondary defender is one of the most highly touted prospects in Dixie. Along with being a member of Itawamba (Miss.) High School, Smith also plays for one of the top seven-on-seven organizations in the country in the Louisiana Bootleggers.
During multiple tournaments since the beginning of the 2022 seven-on-seven circuit , Smith has been instrumental in making the Bootleggers one of the nation's more talented and productive secondaries. His 6'2", 190-pound frame moves well in space and he could be a nickel back in addition to playing safety at the college level.
Smith has secured offers from many programs beyond UCF including Michigan, Michigan State, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Texas A&M, Tennessee, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, and Arkansas just to name a few.
TUESDAY, MARCH 29, 8:30 AM UPDATE:
With UCF only signing one high school safety from the class of 2022, it’s a priority position in the class of 2023. One of the prospects that UCF had been evaluating was TJ Metcalf from Alabama prep power Pinson Valley High School on the edge of Birmingham.
He’s one of the savviest deep secondary defenders in the country. His film flashes athleticism as expected. What it shows even more of is a player with tremendous timing and hand-eye coordination. The combination of Metcalf being capable of taking the football in the opposite direction of the offense, i.e. an interception, provides insight into why he’s been offered by numerous programs. Now that list includes UCF.
For UCF, adding a player like Metcalf to the back half of the secondary would be an excellent addition to the program while also opening the doors to recruiting talent-rich Birimingham even more than it already is with many UCF coaches being familiar with the area. In short, UCF would do quite well to sign this young man to play football in Orlando.
MONDAY, MARCH 28, 11:45 AM UPDATE:
Trying to keep up with UCF offers and unofficial visits can be quite the task. In fact, it's incredible how much recruiting information scrolls across the screen at any one given time. Here are some of the visits and offers that UCF have been through in the past few days. It's a blistering pace...
UCF is hitting the Miami area hard. One of the prime schools the UCF coaching staff is checking out would be Gulliver Prep, home to big-time wide receiver Jalen Brown. He’s not alone on UCF’s wish list, however.
Two more of the recruits the Knights offered would be Antonio Smith and Daniel Harris. Both are long and rangy defensive backs in the mold of several of the current UCF secondary members, something that’s always a priority along the recruiting trail.
Smith could end up playing cornerback or safety, while Harris is likely to play cornerback once he reaches the collegiate level.
There are few programs in the state of Georgia that possess as much raw talent as Langston Huges. Located in Fairburn, just southeast of Atlanta, there are Power Five prospects at literally every position group. It's a truly a program that's rising to elite status, and the Knights have taken notice.
Jordan Thompson is a 2024 prospect that could play on either side of the football in college. UCF has been hitting the Atlanta area hard, and Hughes has players even in the 2025 class with a high level of talent. The following 6'3", 290-pound talent could end up being a national recruit.
Over in Alabama, UCF is working hard to land arguably the top 2024 player in the Yellowhammer State.
Kavion Henderson is one of the rare defensive ends that can be a power player and stuff the run or get after the quarterback off the edge. His recruitment has already reached a national perspective. Good to see UCF already get the young man on campus.
FRIDAY, MARCH 25, 3:00 PM UPDATE:
A 2024 offensive tackle prospect that received an offer from the Knights back on Christmas Day, 2021, just took an unofficial visit to see the Knights.
From the central region of Georgia, Web Davidson plays for Macon (Tattnal Square Academy). The 6'7", 290-pound offensive lineman
THURSDAY, MARCH 24, 4:40 PM UPDATE:
With roughly 20 offers out to top prospects in the state of Alabama, UCF is definitely invested in recruiting top talent from the Yellowhammer State. The UCF coaching staff should be invested. They know the prep programs in that state well after several of them coached at Auburn, and Co-Defensive Coordinator Travis Williams even played for the Tigers.
That's why it's not surprising to see the Knights continue to stay involved with top prospects like safety Daakari Nelson from Selma (Ala.) High School. The 6'3", 200-pound athlete has played cornerback for his high school as well as safety. The reason is Nelson's one of those rare players with length that can really move well laterally. After he picks off a pass, Nelson's speed can take him all the way to the end zone as well.
Most players size simply cannot play cornerback or even be in off-man coverage very often. That probably explains why his list of offers includes but is not limited to UCF, Ole Miss, Auburn, Clemson, Texas A&M, Duke, Vanderbilt, Florida State, Tennessee, Kentucky, Penn State, Oregon, South Carolina and Oklahoma.
The key for UCF to land players from Alabama like Nelson is to continue to bring them in for unofficial visits. UCF has done a tremendous job with unofficial visits thus far in 2022, and that's the type of effort it will take to land players like Nelson.
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 23, 8:53 PM UPDATE:
The theme "State of Orlando" has been used quite often by those inside the football offices at UCF. Head Coach Gus Malzahn wants to sign as many top-notch Floridians as possible, and on Thursday he will get his chance, along with the rest of the UCF coaching staff and recruiting administration team, to make that happen.
Jaremiah Anglin, Jr. is one of the top cornerback or safety prospects in Florida and one that's been red hot while receiving offers from programs across Dixie and beyond. Florida State, Tennessee, Indiana, Kentucky, South Carolina, Pittsburgh, Penn State, Louisville and Nebraska represent several of his offers beyond UCF.
Here's what Anglin had to say about UCF during a brief exchange of messages:
"Its close to home and they are building and headed in the right direction. Looking forward to the visit tomorrow to see what the school has to offer."
Anglin is also the type of player that the Knights need to keep at home. He lives less than two hours from the UCF campus in south Polk County, an area that's rich with talent each year. Lake Wales is the same high school that produced current UCF running back Johnny Richardson.
SATURDAY, MARCH 19, 12:20 PM UPDATE:
Another talented prospect is on campus at UCF, and that would be Alpharetta (Ga.) Denmark linebacker Dee Crayton. He's one of Georgia's top prospects, and also one of Dixie's most heavily recruited 'backers.
After seeing him last year with Cam Newton 7v7 and during the Atlanta Under Armour Camp, it's clear that Crayton is one of the best coverage linebackers in the country. He's been very well coached.
Crayton's offer list is extensive, including Clemson, Auburn, Florida State, Ole Miss, Penn State, West Virginia, Virginia, and Pittsburgh among others. The 6'2", 220-pound linebacker is a prime recruit for the Knights and he would be a welcomed addition to the class of 2023.
Look for more updates throughout the next several days as more information becomes available at Inside The Knights.
SATURDAY, MARCH 19, 11:00 AM UPDATE:
One of the top cornerbacks in the entire country visited UCF on Friday. Playing for Ellenwood (Ga.) Cedar Grove, Kayin Lee is a cornerback that is coveted across the country. It's for good reason as the 5'11", 175-pound talent one of the best man-to-man cornerbacks a college coach can recruit, regardless of state.
The former Georgia commitment is now making unofficial visits and could end up at a number of college programs. After seeing Kayin practice, workout at the 2021 Under Armour Atlanta Camp, and play in a game for Cedar Grove at Colquitt County last season, he's one of the top five cornerbacks in the country, conservatively, in this scout's opinion.
He just visited UCF. This is the type of cornerback that a defensive coaching staff can build a defense around because he's capable of taking the opposing team's best player away.
Lee has the expected offer list of college football's heavyweights. No position is harder to recruit than cornerback because there simply is not nearly enough of them, so it's a supply and demand situation. Cornerbacks are always in high demand.
Georgia, Texas, Ohio State, Notre Dame, Auburn, Michigan State, Tennessee, Oregon, LSU, Florida, Florida State, and Southern California are some of his offers in addition to UCF.
It's great to see the Knights getting talent like Lee on campus. As UCF Head Coach Gus Malzahn likes to say, "Game changer."
THURSDAY, MARCH 17, 9:20 PM UPDATE:
An offer to a committed recruit, unofficial visits to UCF, and an announcement date are a part of today's recruiting efforts for the Knights.
To start, even though Martel Hight, Jr. committed to Louisville back on Jan. 31, that has not stopped many other schools from coming after the talented wide receiver from Rome (Ga.) High School. UCF, Duke, Wake Forest, Indiana, and other programs are still giving chase.
There are several unofficial visits to discuss. It's great to see prospects coming to Orlando to catch a UCF spring practice and/or just checking out the facilities and meeting with the players and coaches. Whether it's prospects that have not been offered yet like the following two players, or prime targets like Bryce Lovett and Isaiah Nixon, the unofficial visits are a big part of the recruiting process.
There is one other prime target on the UCF campus today! Big, bad John Walker from Osceola High School, just south of Orlando. He's as talented a defensive tackle recruit as there is in America.
With all the talent that's been coming to campus, it was inevitable that the Knights would start hear about final decisions from recruits. One of those prime recruits is set to announce. You can READ ABOUT IT HERE, AS TROY FORD, JR. WILL ANNOUNCE TUESDAY.
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 16, 8:50 PM UPDATE:
As spring practice kicks off in Orlando, the Knights are doing more than just working on spring practice. Co-Defensive Coordinator and Linebackers Coach Travis Williams extended an offer to Tylar Wiltz, a linebacker that's originally from Breaux Bridge (La.) High School.
After signing with Independance Community College, Wiltz then signed with Missouri State but decided to transfer. UCF just offered today.
Louisiana Tech, Colorado State, Tennessee State, and Akron are some of the other schools that offered since Wiltz entered the Transfer Portal.
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 9, 5:00 PM UPDATE:
UCF extends offer to Andrew Rumph, a defensive lineman that likely projects to defensive tackle at the FBS level. Rumph is listed at 6'6", 250-pounds and plays for Palmetto (Fla.) High School just north of Bradenton.
Although not a household name for many people in Florida, Rumph and his high school football program are on the rise. Seeing Rumph's length and athleticism on film helped to forge the obvious conclusion that he possesses a very high ceiling.
In fact, his raw power is quite impressive. So too would be Rumph's ability to bend well despite his natural height. This is a player that could easily weigh in excess of 280-pounds within two or three years and still be very mobile. That's exactly what college defensive line coaches need: athletes along the defensive line.
Besides UCF, other programs that extended a scholarship to Rumph include Kentucky, Miami, USF, Liberty, Indiana and Florida Atlantic.
MONDAY, MARCH 7, 6:40 PM UPDATE:
With UCF likely in the lead for talented linebacker Troy Ford, Jr. from Savannah (Ga.) Calvary Day, it's nice that his teammate is also worthy of playing Power Five football as well.
Terry Simmons, Jr. is an interior defensive lineman that can penetrate and make plays in the backfield for the Knights. The 6'2", 305-pound defensive tackle fits the personality of what UCF Co-Defensive Coordinators Travis Williams and David Gibbs as they want the defensive line to penetrate and disrupt. That's a good fit for what Simmons does best.
Watching his film, this young man comes off the snap of the football right now! Talk about passion! Check out these highlights:
UCF will be battling for Simmons against teams like Wake Forest, USF, Northwestern, Minnesota, Georgia Tech, Iowa State, and Duke among others. More importantly, Simmons is now seeing his recruitment heat up a little bit. Look for more offers to head his way.
THURSDAY, MARCH 3, 9 PM UPDATE:
The Knights have extended an offer to a local player that reportedly has long since wanted the offer. That player would be Lake Mary (Fla.) High School cornerback Braeden Marshall. The north Orlando suburban city has long since produced very good football players, and this one just landed the hometown offer.
Marshall is a quick cornerback. His 5’10”, 175-pound frame has been allowing him to shift and change direction for the past couple of seasons in a way that’s led to big interceptions, passes deflected at the last possible moment, and big tackles in open space.
The latter is the most surprising. He’s a willing tackler despite not being a big cornerback. He will lay a hit on a bigger player with no issues at all. Combined with his natural athleticism and football acumen, that’s another excellent trait for a defensive back.
Marshall’s offer list is growing. He’s now placing UCF on the list of offers with Tennessee, Arkansas, Wisconsin, Indiana, Iowa State, Minnesota, Northwestern, Boston College, Cincinnati, USF, Penn State, Pittsburgh, Nebraska and West Virginia among others.
Now that Marshall has the UCF offer, it will be interesting to see if he takes an unofficial visit soon to see the campus in Orlando. He should also be considered a possible commitment at some point this spring or summer, as UCF is definitely considered one of the best bets for where he signs.
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 2, 6:37 PM UPDATE:
The Knights hosted one of the top prospects from the Space Coast when Rockledge (Fla.) High School DB/LB Jaylen Heyward came to visit. He's been somewhat under the radar until this past season and now Heyward's recruitment is truly taking off.
The versatile defender could end up at free safety, strong safety, or even a hybrid linebacker position. He's roughly 6'0" and 200-pounds, and that's solid muscle.
Heyward just finished up an unofficial visit to UCF, and that's a really good sign as the staff for the Knights are already making inroads with top rising junior prospects like Heyward. Besides UCF, he has offers from programs like Florida State, USF, Arkansas, Georgia Tech, Pittsburgh, Coastal Carolina, West Virginia, Mississippi State, Houston, Illinois, Iowa State and Indiana.
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 28, 9:10 PM UPDATE
The UCF Knights have offered one of the top prospects in the state of Mississippi with Ayden Williams being extended a scholarship. The 6'3", 190-pound class of 2023 prospect is one of the top receivers in the country and has several scholarship offers.
Among the programs that offered Williams already include Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Southern Miss, Louisiana Tech, Southern Miss, Oregon and Florida State among others. He's also talking to several schools including the University of Oklahoma.
Stay tuned to Inside The Knights as tomorrow there will be an Williams' interview article that will be up on the site.
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 28, 8:05 AM UPDATE: