UCF Football Team Continues to Shine in the Classroom

Aug. 23, 2010

="" alt="Knight Head" border="0" class="imported"> Read John Denton's Knights Insider | ="" alt="Twitter Logo" border="0" class="imported">Follow us on Twitter | ="" alt="Facebook Logo" border="0" class="imported">Get social with the Knights on Facebook

By Leigh Torbin

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - For the fourth consecutive year, the UCF football team will enter the season with a team cumulative grade point average of at least 2.9. The 2010 summer session grades are in and the Knights currently boast a combined 2.936 GPA.

UCF had 11 football student-athletes earn a perfect 4.0 GPA during this past summer and 69 Knights earn at least a 3.0 GPA.

Eight current members of the football team (Chance Henderson, Cliff McCray, Bruce Miller, Jamar Newsome, Jah Reid, Wes Tunuufi Sauvao, Brian Watters and David Williams) have all ready earned their bachelor's degrees and will be working on either a second bachelor's or a master's degree this fall while playing for the Knights. While some universities are still finishing their summer sessions, UCF's eight active graduates unofficially tie for third in the nation behind just Boston College (14) and Kansas State (13). Virginia Tech and East Carolina also have eight active graduates apiece.

High academic success has become routine under head coach George O'Leary's watch. The UCF football team's Academic Progress Rate (APR) of 972 ranks seventh nationally amongst public schools, exempting service academies, within the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS). Amongst Florida's 10 Division I football programs, UCF's 972 APR ranks second behind only Miami's 978 and it trails only Rice's 987 amongst Conference USA's 12 members.

The American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) recognized UCF this past fall with an Academic Achievement Award for being one of 39 schools which graduated at least 75-percent of its student-athletes. UCF was one of 23 schools to be so honored last fall and also advance to a bowl game.

Individually, UCF football has had an ESPN The Magazine Academic All-American in two of the past three years with Keith Shologan (2007) and Rocky Ross (2009) each earning that prestigious award. This past spring, T.J. Harnden became the first football player, and just the second active student-athlete for any sport, to earn UCF's Order of the Pegasus, the highest academic award which the University bestows upon its students.

The Knights have been no slouches outside of the classroom as well. UCF returns 17 starters from a team that went 8-5 last fall and advanced to the St. Petersburg Bowl. Many pundits have picked the Knights to win the East Division of C-USA this fall. The Knights are particularly strong on defense where UCF returns the core of C-USA's top defense of a year ago. This includes preseason All-American Bruce Miller who leads the nation in both sacks (27) and TFLs (44) along with three starting linebackers who have combined for 84 career starts and 537 career tackles.

UCF opens its 2010 slate two weeks from tonight, Sept. 4, when the Knights play host to South Dakota at Bright House Networks Stadium.

To UKNIGHT behind your team and receive your free Knights Rewards Card's valuable discounts, reserve your 2010 football tickets today. Call the UCF Athletic Ticket office at (407) 823-1000 or log onto UCFAthletics.com.