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What is UCF's Hometown Hero Event?

The UCF Knights have their first big 2023 recruiting event this Saturday, and it’s one of the most important events in UCF Football recruiting history.

ORLANDO - To compete with the SEC and other Power Five schools around the country like Ohio State, UCF will eventually have to start landing truly elite talent. Well, the Knights are certainly going into the 2023 recruiting class with a bang.

It’s not every day that players like five star wide receivers Brandon Inniss (Plantation American Heritage) and Jalen Brown (Miami Gulliver Prep) show up at the UCF campus. 

That’s a part of this weekend’s UCF Hometown Hero recruiting event. So what exactly is it? Well, it’s truly not that complicated, but also very valuable. Ever heard the phrase, keep it simple?

The concept behind the UCF Hometown Hero event stems from literally keeping top-notch Florida prep players at home. To do this, it’s about relationships. The more times prospects come to UCF and get to know the culture of the student body, know the other UCF players, and of course all the good folks inside the UCF Football offices, the better it will be for UCF’s recruiting. It’s been proven that when recruits visit a school more than one time that there’s a higher percentage chance for signing those same recruits.

That’s also a big part of his weekend’s efforts. Down the line, UCF will want many of these young men to come back for an official visit. That’s not been a trend that schools inside the state of Florida had much success with recently.

During the past decade, more and more Floridians have signed with out of state college football programs. Roughly 60% of the top talent left the state of Florida borders during that timespan. UCF Head Football Coach Gus Malzahn and his staff are going to use this weekend’s unofficial visit opportunity to help turn that trend around. Here’s a look at a few of the unofficial visitors, with some insight to how this process works in today’s world of the Transfer Portal also being a major part of recruiting. Let’s begin with

Pylon Seven-on-Seven Event Provides Added Help

As noted above, Inniss and Brown are coming to the event, as are numerous other players. Both of them will be coming to Kissimmee for the Pylon seven-on-seven event and then heading over to UCF later on Saturday. At Pylon, many of the seven-on-seven coaches will arrange for transportation to UCF. That means dozens of recruits will be at UCF at one time, from across the state of Florida.

For instance, the Immortals organization out of Miami will be bringing their players to UCF. That’s an absolutely loaded roster, Brown included. Even without Brown, there are easily a half dozen or more players with the physical skills to play for the Knights on the Immortals roster. It’s a big-time group.

Prime UCF target Darren "Goldie" Lawrence just sent a message confirming once again that he would be attending the Hometown Hero Event, as will some of his teammates with Certified Dawgs, one of the top seven-on-seven organizations in Florida. That's good news, as is the following information.

According to one parent of a recruit that’s headed to UCF this Saturday, “That event is gonna bring them in. I think that’s a smart move by the school.”

Indeed, holding this event the same weekend as Pylon being in Kissimmee is a great deal for UCF. It’s paying dividends with numerous recruits.

That’s the same deal with Inniss. He’s been a star since before he went into high school, literally. The South Florida Express team that he’s rolling with is absolutely loaded with “dudes” that can run and make plays.

Beyond Pylon, Who’s Coming to UCF?

The easiest answer to this would be, let’s see who shows up. Literally, it’s impossible to keep up with all the players announcing on Twitter and Instagram that they earned an offer from UCF. The last week or two in particular, it’s been crazy. Many of those recruits will now come to UCF for the Hometown Hero Event.

With that in mind, do note that the list will extend beyond the class of 2023.

Getting an elite talent like Antione Jackson, a class of 2024 prospect, on the UCF campus before he plays a down of his junior year is huge. This is the trend that’s being set, however, and now UCF has joined the big boys of college football recruiting. Thus, this is the new norm. UCF desires to play for National Championships. Okay. Now you have to recruit like it. This UCF Hometown Hero event is looking exactly like it needs to be. Big-time players, and a lot of them.

A Concerted Effort

Beyond the actual recruits, players that have already signed with UCF have decided to come and check out the campus again, as well as be around the recruits.

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With a loaded class of 2023 in the state of Florida, plus all the players converging in Kissimmee for the Pylon seven-on-seven event right next to Orlando, this is going to be a great start to UCF’s 2023 recruiting class.

Inside The Knights will have interviews and recruiting nuggets between now and the early portion of next week from this event. Stay locked in!

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