UCF Football Practice Report For March 29

March 29, 2010

By Leigh Torbin

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - It's presently in the 70s and sunny making for another beautiful afternoon in Orlando but it was a gray and rainy morning with sometimes heavy downpours. Only one college football team in the state of Florida, UCF, is immune from those harsh conditions and can still hold a productive spring practice despite the weather.

Inside the confines of the Nicholson Fieldhouse, Florida's only hard-shelled full-length indoor football practice facility it was business as usual for UCF on Monday morning as the Knights went through the paces of spring practice session number six. None of the state's other college football teams have an indoor practice facility and neither do the NFL's Tampa Bay Buccaneers or Jacksonville Jaguars while the Miami Dolphins just have an indoor "bubble."

Without disruption to the team's spring schedule, the distraction of rains or the inconvenience of practicing on a gym floor like some do, UCF was able to hold another good session as scheduled as the Knights continue their quest to recapture the Conference USA championship in 2010. Fans hoping to join that quest can buy season tickets starting at just $99 by calling (407) 823-1000 or logging onto UCFAthletics.com.

The Knights also had a special visitor during practice today. Don Jonas, the original head coach of the Knights stopped by to watch some practice. Current head coach George O'Leary stopped practice to allow his predecessor to address the team. Jonas remarkably started the program from scratch for the 1979 season and recorded a 6-2 record, including a 21-0 win over St. Leo's on the road in Tampa in the school's first ever collegiate football game.

The Knights practiced in shells and not full pads but that did not mean that the action was any less spirited. The offensive and defensive lines had a particularly intense day as head coach George O'Leary personally supervised many of their positional drills. A defensive line coach for much of his career as an assistant coach in both college and the NFL, O'Leary played in active role in encouraging on those areas today.

The team went through its usual battery of team drills, positional work, installation and pass skeleton periods over the two hours of the session. The Knights also got some special teams time in with work for the field goal unit and an installation session for punt protection.

Amongst the offensive highlights of the day was J.T. McArthur, making the most of some extra reps this spring, catching a long touchdown pass from Rob Calabrese.

After the practice coach O'Leary addressed the media. He had high praise for how the defensive line is coming together for a package Bright House Sports Net's Dave Baumann is working on for later this week. He talked glowingly about the development of tight end Adam Nissley, the return of Emery Allen and what he has meant to the secondary and other subjects.

He was unable at the time to discuss the condition of Brynn Harvey but, late this afternoon, UCF learned that the injury Harvey suffered to his knee on the very first play of Saturday's scrimmage will require surgery. He will miss the remainder of spring practice but, if all goes well, is expected to return over the summer in time of preseason camp.

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.