Not every player is thrown into the fire. Some are allowed to come along at their own pace, and that's a luxury UCF is able to afford more and more as George O'Leary stockpiles talent. Even when expectations are low for some players though, they are able to make tremendous impacts when they fly under the radar. Here are some players Inside Knights thinks can potentially turn some heads this summer.
1.) Jarvis Geathers, DE- This might be a bit of a reach after the JUCO transfer burst onto the scene last season. Looking way too skinny to be a contributor in the spring, Geathers worked hard and got bigger as the season went on and eventually finished with an impressive 5.5 sacks, as he was near dominant at times. All of his sacks came from October on, when he began to catch on to FBS speed. Expectations are definitely high for this stud with NFL bloodlines, but most don't know what they're in for this upcoming season. Geathers has gained almost an additional 20 lbs. after going out of state to train with his family and the scary part is, he apparently hasn't lost his speed. With stars like Torrell Troup and Bruce Miller around him, Geathers should see plenty of one-on-one matchups. This lack of attention means that the senior end will undoubtedly show up regularly in the stat section of the box score.
2.) Marquee Williams, WR- The freshman was grey-shirted last year and as a former quarterback, he might need some time to adjust to the new position. Just a few glimpses of him in the spring though indicated that he had the makings of a potentially explosive receiver. Williams obviously needs some work, but he has exceptional athleticism and can only be denied from the field for so long. If he picks up the playbook quickly, he could push for some playing time. Jamar Newsome is another receiver who may not be too far behind Williams.
3.) Ronnie Weaver, RB- After losing his starting position last year, Weaver looked quicker and much more confident this spring. While he may never be a starter again, Weaver has the work ethic to always stick around and if he continues to improve this summer, he might get a shot to be Brynn Harvey's top backup.
4.) Kemal Ishmael, CB- When the Knights landed three-star quarterback Nico Flores on National Signing Day, many thought that his teammate was an exceptional throw in. Ishmael can play receiver or corner, but for a team that needs depth in the defensive backfield, it's looking like cornerback is where Ishmael will line up. He has impressive quickness and straight-line speed. The early word is that he's been impressive in workouts and he could possibly contribute as a true freshman.
There are several others that might be on the verge of breaking out this summer. Josh Linam had a nice spring as a backup linebacker, but depth might prohibit him from contributing this year. Quincy McDuffie might have too much speed to ignore as well. Overall, the Knights have solid depth all over the field, but there are some guys here that could vastly improve the team from top to bottom if they progress ahead of schedule.
Summer Cheat Sheet: Potential Surprises
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