Jim Panagos Named All-Star Assistant By Rivals.com

March 2, 2011

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By Leigh Torbin

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - UCF defensive line coach Jim Panagos was recognized by Rivals.com on Wednesday as an all-star assistant coach on a team which represents a deep pool of schools from all non-automatically qualifying BCS conferences.

UCF's defense has ranked amongst the nation's best for several years now and it starts up front with stout Knight defensive lines. Panagos was recognized in 2009 as the national Defensive Line Coach of the Year by FootballScoop.com and this Rivals accolade further cements the position group's reputation for strong play. UCF has led Conference USA in rushing defense in each of the past three years.

UCF ranked in the top 10 nationally this past fall in both rushing and scoring defense to help the Knights win a school record 11 games, including the Conference USA championship and an AutoZone Liberty Bowl victory over Georgia. The Knights finished the season ranked No. 20 in the USA Today Coaches Poll and No. 21 in the AP Poll, both school records.

Leading this position group in 2010 was Bruce Miller who was named both the 2009 and 2010 C-USA Defensive Player of the Year, joining former Southern Miss star Adalius Thomas as the only C-USA player to win this honor twice. An invitee to the NFL Scouting Combine last week in Indianapolis, Miller graduated as the nation's active leader with 35.5 career sacks and ranking third with 57.5 career tackles for loss.

Darius Nall was named to the All-Conference USA second team in 2010 despite not starting a single game. He ended the season with 8.5 sacks and 9.5 TFLs along with 14 pass pressures, all either tied for the team lead or ranking second only to Miller. David Williams also earned honorable mention all-conference recognition at end, making six TFLs on the year, while Troy Davis proved versatile, playing both inside and outside to accumulate 5.5 sacks and eight TFLs.

Meanwhile, in the middle, Victor Gray was named to C-USA's all-freshman team and was a candidate for Freshman All-American honors after a 33-tackle, seven-TFL rookie campaign for the Knights.

The 2009 line also featured Torell Troup at defensive tackle who would be taken high in the second round of the 2010 NFL Draft (41st overall) by the Buffalo Bills. That fall UCF was sixth nationally in sacks and fourth in rushing defense, helping the team go 8-5 and earn a berth in the St. Petersburg Bowl. Only BCS bowl game participants Texas, Alabama and TCU allowed fewer rushing yards per game in 2009 than UCF.

Panagos is entering his fifth season at UCF with the historic first four years seeing the Knights win a pair of Conference USA championships and appear in three bowl games. The 1993 Maryland graduate served as an assistant with the Minnesota Vikings from 2002-05 where he first connected with current UCF head coach George O'Leary.

UCF Football season ticket packages can be purchased or renewed online at UCFAthletics.com or by calling the UCF Athletics Ticket Office at (407) 823-1000. Home games include Charleston Southern [Champions UKNIGHT (Sept. 3)], Boston College [Hall of Fame Weekend (Sept. 10)], Marshall (Oct. 8), Memphis [Alumni UKNIGHT - Homecoming 2011 (Oct. 29)], Tulsa (Nov. 5) and UTEP [Senior Day (Nov. 26)]. Should UCF host the C-USA Championship Game for the fourth time in seven years, it would be played on Saturday, Dec. 3 and season ticket holders will receive the first shot at the best seats.