ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - Saturday served as a day UCF running back Latavius Murray and safety Kemal Ishmael will remember for the rest of their lives, as Murray was selected in the sixth round of the 2013 NFL Draft by the Oakland Raiders and Ishmael was taken in the seventh by the Atlanta Falcons.
A native of Nedrow, N.Y., Murray served as the 181st overall pick of this year's draft, and was the first Knight taken by the Raiders since Doug Gabriel was tagged in the fifth round in 2003. For Ishmael, the Miami product was the 243rd pick of the draft, and the first Knight to be taken by the Atlanta Falcons in school history.
The Knights first began play in Conference USA in the 2005 season, and just wrapped up their final campaign in the league this past year. During that time, UCF was the only school in the conference to have at least one player taken in every NFL Draft from 2006-13, marking eight-consecutive NFL Drafts in which a Knight heard his name called.
Through this year's draft, the Knights lead C-USA with 12 draftees dating back to UCF's first NFL Draft as a member of the league in 2005-06.
Most NFL Draft Picks from C-USA Schools from 2006-13 1. UCF - 12 2. SMU - 9 3. East Carolina - 8 4. UTEP - 6 5. Rice - 6
Since 1987 when Ted Wilson and Elgin Davis became the first Knights to be selected in school history, a total of 31 UCF student-athletes have heard their name called by NFL organizations.
Murray began making a name for himself as a redshirt sophomore in 2010. That season, he was the C-USA Championship Game MVP and the AutoZone Liberty Bowl MVP when he rushed for 104 yards and a touchdown in the victory over Georgia.
He was then named the team's MVP in 2011 before dominating defenses as a senior in 2012, where he garnered All-C-USA First Team honors by the league's head coaches. A Doak Walker Award Watch List member, Murray was the first player in school history to have a rushing touchdown in nine-straight games, and did not lose a fumble in his final 407 carries as a Knight. Overall, he fumbled the ball just three times out of 453-collegiate carries.
Murray wrapped up his senior season with 1,106 rushing yards on 198 carries, posting 15 rushing touchdowns in the process. All-time in Black and Gold, Murray was second in UCF history in overall touchdowns (44), eighth in attempts (453), sixth in yards (2,424) and third in rushing touchdowns (37).
As a receiver, Murray hauled in 50 passes for 524 yards and six touchdowns in his career. That included 27 receptions in 2012. He also had a 69-yard kickoff return for a touchdown at Southern Miss during his junior campaign.
Ishmael wasted little time breaking into the UCF defensive back, starting nine games as a true freshman in 2009. That began a stretch where he started 49-straight games at free safety for the Knights to end his career.
A 2010 All-C-USA First Team honoree, he stepped it up even further as a senior when he was voted as the C-USA Defensive Player of the Year. The Jim Thorpe Award Watch List member finished his time in Orlando as UCF's all-time top tackler among defensive backs, and ranked third overall with 368 tackles.
In 2012 alone, Ishmael had 124 tackles, which was good for ninth in single-season history. One of his biggest moments was his overtime interception to seal the win over Southern Miss, while he notched his first sack as a Knight on his final play at Bright House Networks Stadium.
In all, Ishmael played in 53 games with six forced fumbles, six recoveries, 13 passes defended and six interceptions.
Plan your game days with the Knights in 2013, and experience one of the best schedules in program history in the best available seat locations at Bright House Networks Stadium. 2013 season tickets start at $99. To secure your UCF football season tickets, visit UCFAthletics.com or call 407-UCF-1000.
UCF Football in the NFL Draft Player - Pos. - Team - Year - Round - Pick Ted Wilson - WR - Washington Redskins - 1987 - 10 - 274 Elgin Davis - DB - New England Patriots - 1987 - 12 - 330 Bernard Ford - WR - Buffalo Bills - 1988 - 3 - 65 Corris Ervin - DB - Denver Broncos - 1988 - 5 - 136 Raymond Irvin - DB - Cleveland Browns - 1991 - 9 - 225 Shawn Jefferson - WR - Houston Oilers - 1991 - 9 - 240 Bob Spitulski - LB - Seattle Seahawks - 1992 - 3 - 66 Rick Hamilton - LB - Washington Redskins - 1993 - 3 - 71 Greg Jefferson - DE - Philadelphia Eagles - 1995 - 3 - 72 Marquette Smith - RB - Carolina Panthers - 1996 - 5 - 142 Daunte Culpepper - QB - Minnesota Vikings - 1999 - 1 - 11 Paul Miranda - DB - Indianapolis Colts - 1999 - 4 - 96 Charles Lee - WR - Green Bay Packers - 2000 - 7 - 242 Travis Fisher - DB - St. Louis Rams - 2002 - 2 - 64 Asante Samuel - DB - New England Patriots - 2003 - 4 - 120 Doug Gabriel - WR - Oakland Raiders - 2003 - 5 - 167 Mike Mabry - OL - Baltimore Ravens - 2003 - 7 - 250 Elton Patterson - DE - Cincinnati Bengals - 2003 - 7 - 259 Michael Gaines - TE - Carolina Panthers - 2004 - 7 - 234 Brandon Marshall - WR - Denver Broncos - 2006 - 4 - 119 Mike Sims-Walker - WR - Jacksonville Jaguars - 2007 - 3 - 79 Kevin Smith - TB - Detroit Lions - 2008 - 3 - 64 Josh Sitton - OL - Green Bay Packers - 2008 - 4 - 135 Mike Merritt - TE - Kansas City Chiefs - 2008 - 7 - 239 Joe Burnett - CB - Pittsburgh Steelers - 2009 - 5 - 168 Torell Troup - DT - Buffalo Bills - 2010 - 2 - 41 Jah Reid - OT - Baltimore Ravens - 2011 - 3 - 85 Bruce Miller - DE/FB - San Francisco 49ers - 2011 - 7 - 211 Josh Robinson - DB - Minnesota Vikings - 2012 - 3 - 66 Latavius Murray - RB - Oakland Raiders - 2013 - 6 - 181 Kemal Ishmael - DB - Atlanta Falcons - 2013 - 7 - 243