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Communication is Key
April 09, 2018
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ORLANDO (UCFKnights.com) - Head coach Josh Heupel felt he had a pretty good grasp of the level of talent he inherited on the offensive side of the ball before spring practice started.

"There's a lot of things we understood," Heupel said about the offensive coaches' knowledge of the team prior to spring ball. "McKenzie (Milton), when he's got the ball in his hands, has got an opportunity to extend and make plays with his feet, throwing the ball down the field as well. I think we've got playmakers in all areas. You look at wideout, the guys that are returning (and the) running backs certainly have that ability."

But there's no substitute for actually being on the field with your team. Two-thirds of the way through his team's spring camp, Heupel has even more clarity about the offensive group now that he's been through 10 workouts with them.

"The unknown a little bit was at tight end, with a couple high-level players that graduated and have a chance to go in the draft," Heupel continued. "What guys were going to step forward? We've seen that a little bit. We still have a lot of growth. Continuing to build depth up front is critical."

While Heupel mentioned needing the offensive line to grow its depth, he said one obvious carry-over in that position group from last season is its communication. Heupel is leaning on senior Wyatt Miller, among others, to help continue that trend. The head coach made a point to stop for a few minutes before doing his weekly session with the media to have a conversation with the Georgia native, who was waiting for his turn to do an interview.

"I thought they did a really good job in pass protection, scheme-wise with what they were doing, they got a hat on a hat," Heupel said of last year's front five. "I thought they were good in their communication. If I was to pick out one thing right now, the strongest attribute we have is that they do communicate really well. They play five guys together, because of that communication. If we continue to build depth at that position, it's got a really good chance to be a strong unit for us."

While the guys with the ball in their hands get much of the credit when an offense is firing on all cylinders, Heupel was quick to point out that the offensive line has a great deal to do with the success of any offense.

"If you're playing well offensively, the five guys up front and the tight ends ... are playing physical, they're playing assignment-sound, they're communicating at a really high level and creating space for your quarterback in the pocket, creating space for your running back in the run game," Heupel said. "It's going to be critical for those guys to play at a really high level to have a chance to be successful."

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WHAT'S NEXT
The Knights are scheduled, weather permitting, to have a scrimmage inside Spectrum Stadium Wednesday. All 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 (http://ucfknights.com/news/2018/3/6/football-spring-game-ticket-information.aspx) for more details on obtaining UCF Football Spring Game presented by DEX Imaging tickets.

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