Jan. 22, 2006
ORLANDO - The UCF football team closed out one of the best turnaround seasons in NCAA history with the 2005 UCF football banquet held Sunday night at the Radisson Hotel in Orlando. The Golden Knights finished the 2005 season 8-5, including a 7-1 record in Conference USA en route to the Eastern Division Championship. The Golden Knights made their first-ever bowl appearance in the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl and finished tied for the fourth-best single-season turnaround in NCAA history.
Junior quarterback Steven Moffett was awarded team MVP honors by head coach George O'Leary at the banquet. Moffett finished the season with 2,925 yards passing and 22 touchdowns. He completed 59.5 percent of his passes and threw just nine interceptions. The Winter Park native ended the year seventh in UCF single-season history in passing yardage and was seventh in school history with 22 touchdown passes in 2005.
Freshman cornerback/punt returner Joe Burnett had a big night, winning three team awards. The Eustis native was named the team's outstanding defensive player, outstanding special team's performer and the team's most outstanding defensive skill player.
Burnett was named a first-team Freshman All-American according to the Football Writers Association of America, Rivals.com, CollegeFootballNews.com and a third-team Freshman All-American selection by The Sporting News. He was a first-team all-Conference USA on both defense and as a punt returner and was also named to the C-USA All-Freshman Team at both positions. Burnett was the only freshman in C-USA to be named to either the first-team offense or defense. He ended the season ranked sixth in the nation and first in C-USA in punt return average (16.5). Burnett was also second in C-USA and second in school history with five interceptions. He set new UCF single-season records for punt return yardage and yards per punt return.
Senior wide receiver Brandon Marshall was named the team's most outstanding offensive skill player. Marshall, who was in route back from Hawaii after last night's 101-yard performance in the Hula Bowl, finished the year with one of the best season's in school history.
Marshall was named a second-team all-Conference USA on offense after he led the team with 74 receptions for 1,195 yards and 11 touchdowns. He finished second in UCF single-season history in receiving yards, tied for eighth in UCF history in receptions and tied for sixth in touchdown receptions. He was named UCF's MVP in the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl after 11 receptions for 210 yards and three touchdowns. The 210 yards receiving were the fourth-highest total in single-game history at UCF as he also set Hawaii Bowl records for most receptions and receiving yards in a game.
Freshman left tackle Patrick Brown was named the team's most improved offensive player. Brown was named to Conference USA's All-Freshman Team and was the youngest starting left tackle in Division I-A football. He finished with the most starts of any true freshman left tackle in the nation (12).
Junior center Cedric Gagne-Marcoux garnered the team's top offensive lineman award. Marcoux was a first-team all-Conference USA on offense and started all 13 games at center. He graded out as UCF's top lineman and has started all 33 games in his career he has played in. Marcoux has taken every snap at center for UCF during those 33 games.
Freshman tailback Kevin Smith was named the team's most outstanding offensive player. Smith was the Conference USA Freshman of the Year and a second-team all-Conference USA offensive selection. Smith was named to the C-USA All-Freshman Team and was a honorable mention Freshman All-American according to The Sporting News
Smith finished the season as the second-leading rusher among all true freshmen running backs in the nation. He ended the year with 1,178 yards and nine touchdowns, which placed him third in UCF single-season history in rushing yards. Smith tied for eighth in school history in single-season touchdowns and rushed for a Hawaii Bowl record 202 yards vs. Nevada, including the longest run in bowl history with a 78-yard touchdown.
On defense, senior defensive end Paul Carrington was named the team's most outstanding defensive lineman. Carrington was a first-team all-Conference USA on defense and led UCF with 12.5 tackles for loss and nine sacks. He tied for the conference lead in sacks and was named C-USA Defensive Player of the Week after three tackles for loss and two sacks in the victory over Marshall.
Freshman cornerback Johnell Neal collected the most improved player award on defense. Neal started all 13 games at cornerback and was second on the team with 69 tackles, including 60 solo stops. He broke up seven passes and forced one fumble. Neal ranked second on the team in pass breakups.
Senior outside linebacker James Cook garnered the "UCF Way" award. The award was given to the player who best exemplified what it takes to be a Golden Knight, both on and off the field. Cook was one of three tri-captains for the Golden Knights. He started all 13 games at linebacker and finished fourth on the team with 55 tackles.
Junior offensive tackle Dan Veenstra collected the team's academic excellence award. Veenstra has a grade point average of 3.7 and has collected a perfect 4.0 GPA in four semesters during his career at UCF.
2005 FOOTBALL AWARDSOutstanding Offensive Skill Player - Brandon MarshallOutstanding Offensive Lineman - Cedric Gagne-MarcouxMost Improved Offensive Player - Patrick BrownOutstanding Offensive Player - Kevin SmithOutstanding Defensive Lineman - Paul CarringtonOutstanding Defensive Skill Player - Joe BurnettMost Improved Defensive Player - Johnell NealOutstanding Defensive Player - Joe BurnettOutstanding Special Teams Player - Joe BurnettThe "UCF Way" Award - James CookMVP - Steven MoffettAcademic Excellence - Dan VeenstraCaptains Awards - Paul Carrington, James Cook, Brandon Marshall="https://ucfknights.com/http:%3E%3C/ahref="http:>="https://ucfknights.com/http:%3E%3C/ahref="http:>="https://ucfknights.com/http:%3E%3C/ahref="http:>="https://ucfknights.com/http:%3E%3C/ahref="http:>="https://ucfknights.com/http:%3E%3C/ahref="http:>="https://ucfknights.com/http:%3E%3C/ahref="http:>="http:>