Former UCF Kicker Wins AFC Special Teams Player of the Month

Oct. 1, 2009

By Carlyn Topkin

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - Former UCF kicker and current Denver Bronco Matt Prater was named AFC Special Teams Player of the Month for September, the National Football League informed the Broncos on Wednesday.

It marked the first time in four seasons that a Bronco has won the award (P Todd Sauerbrun, October 2005) and only the fourth time a Denver player received the honor since it was initiated by the NFL in 1993.

Prater helped the Broncos to a 3-0 record and a first-place standing in the AFC West in September by converting 7-of-9 field-goal attempts, including all three tries from beyond 40 yards. He posted AFC bests in touchbacks (7), touchback percentage (46.7) and kickoffs reaching the end zone (13) to help Denver lead the conference in lowest opponent average starting position after kickoffs (20.6-yd. line) for the month.

The Estero High School grad finished the month with the third-most points (26) in the AFC among kickers (4th most among all players). He improved to 6-of-7 for his career on 50-yard field-goal attempts with a 50-yarder in the season opener at Cincinnati (9/13) and made all three field-goal attempts, including a 48-yarder, last week at Oakland (9/27).

In 2008, Prater was named AFC Special Teams Player of the Week once.

In his time at UCF, Prater played in 46 career contests from 2002-05. He is tied for first in program history with 50 field goals and as a senior connected on 17-of-26 (.654) field-goal attempts.

Prater is not the only UCF alum to find success in the NFL or for Denver. Wide receiver Brandon Marshall (2002-05), also of the Broncos, has scored one touchdown and totaled 128 receiving yards in the first three games of the season.

Tailback Kevin Smith (2005-07) rushed 101 yards for the Detroit Lions in their first win of the season against Washington last week. In 2008, Smith played in all 16 games while making 12 starts. The former UCF star led the Lions in rushing attempts (238), rushing yards (976), rushing average (4.2) and rushing scores (8). These records helped rank him fourth in the league among rookie rushers.

Wide receiver Mike Sims-Walker (2003-06) is the leading receiver for the Jacksonville Jaguars and helped carry the team to its first win of the season on Sunday at Houston with 81 receiving yards.

Offensive lineman Josh Sitton (2004-07) is the starting guard for the Green Bay Packers (2-1).

Overall, UCF has 17 former players on NFL active rosters or practice squads, the most of any school in Conference USA.

For the latest news on the Knights, log on to UCFAthletics.com - the official site for UCF varsity sports. The site, which also contains ticket and Golden Knights Club donor information, is also the home of UCF's new online apparel store. Also visit UCFPhotos.com, the exclusive fan source for UCF action sports pictures.