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Next Steps for UCF Football to be a Consistent Top 25 Program

A look at what needs to happen for UCF Football to be ranked and recognized in the polls, starting with the 2022 season.

ORLANDO - Gaining steam in college football was, is, and will be a process. Building a program is not easy or fast either. As Head Football Coach Gus Malzahn likes to say, “As we build this thing…”

Coach Malzahn will mention little aspects of the team after that comment. Something about the quarterback play, or a defensive back creating a turnover, or Isaiah Bowser’s ability to pick up a big first down. The Knights are indeed a program on the rise but there are several steps that need to take place for the program to move forward, and today is a closer look at 2022 and what it can bring.

The majority of information will be inside the podcast below, but there is one key element that needs to be shared up front and foremost. Recruiting must take yet another step forward after a really good start to the 2022 recruiting class. This means winning battles against even more teams that usually do not lose out in recruiting to UCF.

The Knights won recruiting battles over Alabama, Florida, Arkansas, Ole Miss, Georgia Tech, Florida State, Miami, Virginia Tech, and Texas to name a handful this year. Whether people want to hear it or not, recruiting is the end-all be-all for winning a national title.

Read More - Senior Film Reviews: UCF's 2022 Recruiting Class

It’s not a coincidence that Alabama, Georgia, Clemson, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Notre Dame, Penn State, and Michigan are continually ranked inside the top 10 and contending for the College Football Playoffs. Ole Miss and Texas A&M are starting to recruit at an elite level and both of those programs could be pushing for a spot in the Playoffs soon. They are often ranked inside the top 10 with their recruiting classes, with the Aggies finishing as the No. 1 class in 2022 barring a change with the second National Signing Day in February.

Even Clemson, a program that develops quite a few players and will fall outside the top 10 of recruiting rankings, the Tigers hit the home run with Deshaun Watson and then Trevor Lawrence with quarterback recruiting. If you are not going to sign as many five stars as Ohio State or Alabama, making up for it at quarterback is the surest bridge to cross and bringing home National Championships.

That’s the next step for UCF. They need a few truly elite national recruits to walk in the door. There’s no shortcut. Either the Knights sign some of these players over the course of the next few seasons or they will be stuck in the middle of the pack like an ACC program such as North Carolina State, which can be good in spurts but never has the depth to consistently get over the hump and win an ACC Title or make a serious run at the College Football Playoffs.

Coach Malzahn talks about winning a National Title at UCF. Well, the next step is signing elite recruits. It may or may not happen with the class of 2023, but it needs to happen in very short order – the class of 2024 at the latest – or UCF will level off and just be a 8-4 type of program. The potential is there. The goal is set. Let’s see what happens in recruiting over the next few seasons.

As for 2022, there are a few key elements discussed within the podcast. First, quarterback play. UCF has a lot of unraveling to do for next season. Second, bringing in and actually utilizing some of the freshmen for next season to build the depth chart. Finally, adding pieces to the defense, which is far from a finished product and definitively needs graduate transfers added so that depth issues do not cause more problems like they did in 2021 are three aspects discussed, among six total in the podcast, for the Knights to be consistent in 2022.

For UCF coverage and recruiting information go to: The Daily Knight podcast. For more college football, UCF and recruiting information, go to Twitter: @fbscout_florida and @UCF_FanNation, as well as Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram. Like and Subscribe!

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