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Clean Slate
March 21, 2018
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ORLANDO (UCFKnights.com) - UCF defensive coordinator Randy Shannon says he's a "clean slate type of guy."

Shannon spoke with the media after Wednesday's second spring practice for the Knights. When discussing how much film he watched of his new charges coming into spring ball, he obviously spent some time evaluating the returning players. But he said he did not want to enter the 15 workouts this spring with any preconceived notions.

"I always tell everybody that every year somebody gets better. Every spring, every fall, every summer somebody's getting better. You give everybody a clean slate, you go in, talk and communicate. You go through drills and the offseason program, you have the meeting time that you're allowed. You see what they've learned and what they know. You have to adapt as coaches. Sometimes you want players to adapt, but you have to adapt to teaching them ... so that's been fun."

Safety Tre Neal, who is one of the returning starters on the defensive side of the ball said Coach Heupel, Coach Shannon and the staff are doing a good job of communicating with their new team. Neal said he enjoys playing for his new staff, which is the third staff he's played under at UCF.

"They're real cool people at the end of the day," Neal said. "You can always relate to guys that you have a good relationship with, that know how to talk to you, know how to communicate with people really well. It's really good right now."

Much has been made of what formation the Knights will line up in on defense. The last two seasons saw UCF in a 3-4, while the Knights were primarily a 4-3 scheme in years prior. Coach Shannon said that discussion is just good fodder for conversation outside the program.

"Football is football," Shannon said. "You can line up in a 3-4 and rush four guys. You can line up in a 4-3 and drop a guy. Is it a 3-4 or a 4-3. It's a story, which is good. It will get publicity, so that's good. You've got to see what you have and then you adapt to what they can do and what you see fits. The next thing you know, you've got something to work with." Neal, who has played in both schemes says no matter what scheme they are asked to line up in, it's good for the student-athletes.

"I'm scheme-versatile," Neal said. "Now, we're more of a hybrid. We do a little bit of both with Coach Shannon. I feel like it's building my toolbox for if I get an opportunity to play at the next level. We know a lot of football."

Pics From Practice - Click For More

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What's Next
The Knights will hold their lone evening practice of the spring Friday under the lights. UCF Football practices are closed to the public.

UCF Spring Game Tickets
The UCF Football Spring Game presented by DEX Imaging is set for April 21 at 6 p.m. inside Spectrum Stadium. General admission tickets are free. There are premium seats available for the Spring Game at the following prices: Tower Club - $20; Stadium Club - $10; Carl Black & Gold Cabana - $5. Students are always admitted free to UCF Football, with a valid UCF Student ID. Click here for more details on obtaining UCF Football Spring Game presented by DEX Imaging tickets.

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