Chemistry Key For Incoming Recruits

Developing chemistry is one of the most important parts of a job for any coach. Without a unified team, your squad will have a difficult achieving greatness, but how does a coach create continuity? There's no obvious answer, but with five commits from the South Florida area already on board for the 2010 class, UCF might have gotten a jump start to creating a bond down the road.

UCF has created some strong recruiting pipelines in the George O'Leary era. Aside from the obvious local talent in Central Florida, the Knights have targeted Georgia, New Jersey and New York, and especially South Florida as recruiting hotbeds swarming with former Knights.

Although no stone is left unturned in all of these respective areas, UCF has hit South Florida particularly hard early on and the impact it has on chemistry might pay huge dividends for UCF down the road.

Out of nine commits for the 2010 class, five hail from the South Florida area. Just because players come from the same area doesn't guarantee success, but there's a good chance that this common bond amongst the five commits could translate into on-field success.

Safety Woodley Cadet (Seminole Ridge H.S.) and offensive linemen Zach Soto (Monsignor Pace H.S.), Perry Meiklejohn (Westminster Christian H.S.) and Jordan and Justin McCray (Miami Southridge H.S.) all reside south of Lake Okeechobee. The fact that they all play a similar brand of football and know the areas each other hail from is something that excites them.

"I feel it's pretty good that we're all down from South Florida," said Cadet. "There's a level of competition here and I think that helps that we know where we come from."

The benefits of bringing in a core group of players from the same area might be the most beneficial amongst UCF's offensive line, where the Knights have four commits already, all from the Miami area. The offensive line is one of few units in football that require players to work as a cohesive group, so chemistry amongst the hogs is absolutely essential.

Soto, a 6'6", 265 lb. lineman has already met current commit and former UCF lineman Perry Meiklejohn. The two hit it off and are looking forward to joining up and paving the way for UCF running backs over the next four or five years.

"I've met Perry at a combine and he's a really nice guy, we're excited to play together," said Soto.

Soto also sees the perks in recruiting players from similar backgrounds, especially when they play the same position.

"It helps relationship wise," added Soto. "We're all from the same area so we have something in common and that should help us get along easier and progress as a group."

UCF's quest to develop continuity certainly doesn't stop in South Florida or amongst the offensive line. The Knights currently have two commits from the state of Georgia and both are slated to play linebacker. Cody Ralston and Tommy Sanders are both speedy outside backers and they have already begun to get familiar with one another.

"I text with Cody quite a bit," said Sanders. "We go back and forth; he told me he's going to the Miami game, so we'll both probably go to that game."

Obviously UCF has also made it a point to continually go after top talent in their own back yard and have already had success early this recruiting season, getting verbals from Cornelius Whitehead (Mount Dora H.S) and Andrew Rice (Lake Mary H.S.).

With some room still available for perspective commits, the Knights are still hitting up their pipelines in hopes of adding more quality players with a common background.

Knights Daily Top Stories