Marc Daniels' From the Press Box: Spring Forward to a Fantastic Fall

April 19, 2010

By Marc Daniels

The most common question asked before and even after Saturday's spring football game was, "how do they look?" Well, everyone looks great in March and April. But there are signs from UCF's spring practice sessions that the 2010 Knights could be very good. But like everyone else in college football, there are always questions that need to be answered before kickoff Sept. 4.

So with that, time for some questions and answers coming out of the spring game:

Is Rob Calabrese ready to perform when the lights go on for real in games?
That's to be determined. There is no question Calabrese showed signs of improvement and had command of the huddle throughout spring. Jeffrey Godfrey pushed Calabrese and Godfrey showed signs of what he can bring to the position. But let us not forget, Godfrey should be going to his prom. The guess is Calabrese will start the season and George O'Leary and offensive coordinator Charlie Taffe will find a package to get Godfrey on the field.

How will the running game be until Brynn Harvey returns?
Harvey was set for a huge season. His 14 touchdowns and over 1,100 yards is not easily replaced. If Harvey is not back until the fifth game and perhaps later, the burden is on Brendan Kelly and Jonathan Davis to carry the load. Kelly is a bruising back and Davis has the flashy moves. But this is a valid question when the season begins because Harvey was really good last season.

What is the deepest position on the team?
Wide receiver. If you watched the spring game, UCF's pass catchers who ran with the third team could start and you wouldn't have to worry. A.J. Guyton, Quincy McDuffie and Kamar Aiken would be your three-wide package. But if you sent out Brian Watters, Jamar Newsome and Khymest Williams there would be minimal drop off. And I could even offer Marquee Williams, Dontravious Floyd, J.T. McArthur and Nico Flores and I could still move the ball.

Is the offensive line set for the fall?
This is one of the position UCF's incoming freshmen may get a chance to play early. George O'Leary went after quality linemen during the recruiting process and he brings in the most decorated group ever. Can they make the transition to the college quickly is the big question.

Can Bruce Miller be cloned?
That would be cool. But Miller practically plays like there's two of him on the field. He saw time at end and tackle last season and will do so in 2010. Darius Nall seems primed for a big season. Nall was a beast in the spring game and he appears to have that end speed Dave Huxtable loves. Defensive tackle is area where freshmen will an impact. E.J. Dunston and Victor Gray appear to have skills to develop into a nice duo.

Is the secondary as good as it appears to be?
I think so. Josh Robinson had an all-American season with six picks last year. But the return of Emery Allen on the opposite side gives UCF one of the best cornerback combinations in the country. Yes, I said in the country. There is depth and there is speed all over.

Is there anything Derrick Hallman does not hit on the field?

Knights notes and more: Former UCF quarterback Ryan Schneider was among the many former players on hand Saturday and I said it again on our radio broadcast, Daunte Culpepper is the greatest UCF athlete I have ever seen. Schneider is the best quarterback I have seen... He is battling back from a knee injury that cost him last season, but don't forget how talented Khymest Williams was two years ago. The SMU kickoff team from 2007 is still trying to catch him as he took the opening kick back 99 yards for a score...New basketball coach Donnie Jones told me at halftime of the spring game he understands a successful football program is good for basketball but there is no reason basketball cannot help the football program. Jones added the final touches are being made for the new schedule and he expects at least one big-named opponent to visit the UCF Arena...There were great crowds for the baseball series with Rice. It was an example of why UCF's plans to expand the baseball complex is on the priority list. Saturday's thrilling win was witnessed by an overflow crowd that included fans sneaking a peek through the outfield fence. Not because they didn't want a seat. It's just that there were no seats for them...Chris Duffy's mom stopped by the broadcast booth after Sunday's game. She thanked me for all my work and high praise of her son. No Mrs. Duffy, thank you for raising a solid young man who is a joy to watch... Final thought: Why does anyone buy pre-popped Popcorn in a bag? Is "take plastic wrap off bag and place on microwave tray and press start" that difficult?

Marc Daniels' From the Press Box runs several times per month on UCFAthletics.com. Listen to Marc during UCF football, men's basketball and baseball radio broadcasts on the UCF-ISP Sports Network. Each weekday, Marc hosts "The Beat of Sports" on ESPN 1080 in Orlando from 9-11 a.m.