March 24, 2012
UCF Athletics Social Media Directory
By John Denton, Knights Insider
ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - With more than 80 prospective recruits and their families lining the practice field for UCF's ``Junior Day'' on Saturday, the Knights put on a show with a two-hour scrimmage filled with highlights.
Senior tailback Latavius Murray took a swing pass out of the backfield and outran the defense for a 40-yard touchdown, steadily improving linebacker Ray Shipman continued to make plays and freshman wide receiver Breshad Perriman caught the coaches' eye again with his play-making skills. Also, Cam Henderson seems to have pulled ahead in the battle to win the defensive end position opposite standout end Troy Davis.
On the other end of the spectrum, head coach George O'Leary said he wants to see more of a sense of urgency from the offensive line and wants more consistency from sophomore quarterback Blake Bortles, who had the TD pass to Murray, but also struggled with some over throws.
``They did some good things, but they were a little lethargic in some areas,'' O'Leary said after the segmented scrimmage. ``I think the offensive line has to perform better. Especially with the (second string) there needs to be more of a sense of urgency there.''
The Knights are six practices into the spring with eight workouts remaining until the Spring Game at Bright House Networks Stadium on April 14. O'Leary said he is still in the evaluation stage with the talent and said the two-deep roster won't be officially set until April 7.
O'Leary and his coaching staff spent much of Saturday morning and time after practice meeting with high school students interested in playing for the Knights. O'Leary said UCF's dazzling campus and state-of-the-art facilities are big selling points for prospective players.
``There are bunch of good kids and good parents here and it's nice to talk recruiting with them and explain how recruiting works,'' O'Leary said. ``There's a lot of wow factor here when they come in and see the facilities and how the time efficiency of how everything has been planned out. Everything is so close with where they live, where they go to class and where they play. I think it's a real eye-opener to the ones who haven't been here before. The second time by, a lot of the kids bring their parents back and we get the same reaction from them.''
O'Leary has been wowed so far by Perriman, a 6-foot-2, 203-pound freshman wide receiver who grayshirted last season. Perriman is the son of former NFL standout receiver Bret Perriman and he's impressed the coaches his ability to use his size to go up and catch the ball in traffic.
``I'm really impressed with him for a freshman. I think he's going to be a good player,'' O'Leary said. ``Everybody forgets that he's a big, 6-2-and-change kid. And he's just very fluid out there.''
Henderson, a senior from Birmingham, Ala., seems to finally be fulfilling the vast potential that he brought to UCF last season as a JUCO transfer. The 6-foot-5, 245-pound defensive end has shown good speed off the edge and has a leg up in the battle with close friend Toby Jackson for the starting job. Henderson said a year in the program has made a world of difference in his comfort level and he thinks it will translate to a successful senior year for him.
``I know the plays better now and last year it was like I was out there playing with my eyes closed because I didn't know the playbook that good,'' Henderson said. ``It's night and day for me. Last year, I had to ask everybody, `What is this? What is that?' Now, I pretty much know what I'm doing before the snap and I can just react out there and make plays.''
John Denton's Knights Insider appears on UCFAthletics.com several times a week. E-mail John at firstname.lastname@example.org.