Three McCray's Here to Stay

Whenever your staring lineman from a conference championship team returns to the program after a one-year hiatus, you know it's a good day. And anytime you add two offensive linemen to your program that stand at 6'4", 300 lbs., you know it is a good day as well. Well when all that happens within the same week of each other and the three players are related, you know things are going your way.

Late last week, UCF received some of its best news in the past year when Cliff McCray came back to the team after taking a one-year hiatus.

McCray was a highly-touted lineman out of Southridge H.S. in Miami but his collegiate career was put on hold when an issue with his heart arose. As a redshirt sophomore, he rejoined the team and started six games in-route to helping the Knights win their first C-USA championship.

After the season, McCray's teammate and roommate Ereck Plancher passed away during an offseason workout, and the tragedy seemed to strike a chord with McCray, who left the team. After sitting out for a year, the 6'2", 290 lb. guard will be back on the field.

Slated to be a redshirt senior, McCray will instantly upgrade UCF's offensive line. McCray helped open holes for Kevin Smith during his record-breaking season and was part of one of the best offensive lines in UCF history. Now McCray will likely replace freshman Theo Goins at left guard and will add some leadership to a line that was fielding just one senior.

For a program that has really had more bad than in good in the past year, McCray's presence perhaps offers a turning of the corner for the Knights. They get a leader, a good person and a player that was associated with the Plancher tragedy. A Knight again, McCray represents all things good with UCF and should help the team on and off the field.

McCray coming back to the team doesn't just help the Knights overcome last year's dismal season and bad memories; he also has helped UCF add his two younger brother, Jordan and Justin. The twins just committed to UCF on Monday.

The 6'4", 300 lb. linemen have the potential to become a dominant duo at the next level and their older brother had a lot to do with their decision to become Knights.

"It did, I've always been five years apart from Cliff and we've always wanted to play together," Justin McCray told "He loves UCF and he knows us as people and he said that he thought we'd like it a lot."

While there is no guarantee that Cliff McCray is a savior and will turn the offense around, his presence has already helped land two solid commitments in just a week long period. If McCray can be granted a medical redshirt for missing last season, then the Knights would have a very high caliber guard for two more years and would have three McCray's on the roster at one time. It might be foolish to say that McCray can be good luck for the Knights, but the last time he played for them, they were conference champions.

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