The Worst Kind of Loss

UCF freshman wide receiver Ereck Plancher passed away Tuesday, collapsing after a conditioning drill. Plancher's death will be determined by an autopsy, but no matter the results, the death came as a shock to the entire UCF community.

"He was a great kid and was always nothing but respectful," former UCF running back Kevin Smith said. "He was always smiling and worked hard. He was not much of a talker. He didn't really hang. But on the field, he always came to practice working. I'm gonna miss him."

Plancher enrolled at UCF a year ago and practiced with the Knights in the spring, in hopes of getting a head start on school and football. A month ago, Plancher told the Orlando Sentinel his thoughts on entering college early.

"My goal was to try to get a 4.0 [grade-point average] in the spring so I could get off to a good start," Plancher said. "I wasn't worried about playing time. I just wanted a chance to find my way around."

The redshirt freshman hailed from Lely High School in Naples, Florida and was recruited heavily by USF, Mississippi, Indiana and other schools. He played running back at Lely but switched to receiver with the Knights.

UCF was slated to start spring practice today, but after Plancher's tragic death, they will push it back.

In the wake of Ereck's death, Inside Knights offers our condolences to his family, friends and teammates. It is never easy to lose a loved one and we wish everyone close to Ereck good luck in dealing with these difficult times. We'd also like to thank all the supporters from other schools who have stopped by to wish Ereck's loved ones well. Ereck was a bright man on the cusp of a great life, both on and off the field.

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