Three Are Better Than None

Spring football came and went for the Knights. Over the course of several weeks, there were glimpses of greatness in UCF's backfield, something that no one could honestly say they saw a year ago at this time.

Brynn Harvey will be a staple at running back for years to come and there was plenty to be happy about amongst the quarterbacks. However, a new quarterback has been added to the mix and there still is uncertainty in regards to who will be the Knights' starter next year.

The leading candidate is Rob Calabrese. UCF has a lot invested in the versatile quarterback from New York. He was thrown into the thick of things as a true freshman last year and didn't drop jaws. Calabrese did improve drastically this spring and finished with a 60% completion percentage during the camp. He still battled some problems with inconsistency, but he proved that he can manage an offense and move the chains with his arm and his legs.

Right behind Calabrese is Joe Weatherford. The redshirt sophomore had his chance to take the reins last spring, but he wasn't able to unseat Michael Greco, who has since been moved to safety. Weatherford clearly has the better arm of the two, although he is a little slower. The knock on Weatherford has been his decision making, but that has seemingly improved.

With an improved arm and a good grasp of the new offense, Weatherford might get his chance to run with the first-team offense if he can consistently deliver. During the spring game, Weatherford was destroyed by UCF's first-team defense, as he never got a shot to work behind a capable offensive line. Calabrese did, and he was solid during the scrimmage.

It is ultimately Calabrese's job to lose and Weatherford will have to be near flawless to unseat him, as the coaching staff is trying to muster up some consistency and the position after there were three players who were given a chance to be starters last year. While Weatherford might have shown off the better arm this spring (and arguably, he had the better spring), the Knights are content to let Calabrese stay at the helm, as he was accurate and efficient throughout most of the spring.

If there wasn't enough competition at the position already, a new name will enter the race; that name is Brett Hodges. Hodges officially transferred from Wake Forest to UCF yesterday and can play immediately. The Winter Spring H.S. (Fla.) product received an offer from the Knights, USF and ECU before he committed to Wake Forest.

Hodges was a versatile athlete for the Seminole County school, as he finished as the basketball program's all-time leading scorer. With 4.6 speed, Hodges is a little undersized but he offers the flexibility that Charlie Taaffe loves. Think of Hodges as a poor-man's Jeff Garcia.

Not having to sit out a year, Hodges can vie for a starting job right away. There is no certainty yet that he will be able to win the job, but he will add even more intrigue to a battle for the starting quarterback spot.

Last season, the Knights struggled to find one quarterback capable of handling the load and UCF's sputtered through the year. Now with a little more experience and a good transfer situation, the Knights have several options to chose from; that means this year a quarterback position will not be won by default, but by performance.


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