John Denton's Knights Insider: Knights to Watch in 2011

June 23, 2011

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By John Denton

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFathletics.com) - Anticipation for the 2011 football season at UCF is higher than ever following the finest season in school history in 2010.

The Knights are coming off an 11-3 season in which they won both the Liberty Bowl and the Conference USA championship. UCF defeated Georgia 10-6 in Memphis on Dec. 31 for the school's first-ever bowl victory.

UCF also entered the national rankings for the first time ever last season and finished ranked No. 20 in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches Poll. Also, the Knights were No. 21 in the Associated Press poll and hope to begin next season in both national polls.

With the opening of training camp just two months away and the Sept. 3 opener at Bright House Networks Stadium against Charleston Southern approaching, UCFAthletics.com's John Denton will take a look at various players to watch this season leading up to the start of camp on Aug. 4.

PLAYER: Victor Gray

POSITION: Defensive tackle

HEIGHT, WEIGHT, CLASS: 6-4, 263, Redshirt Sophomore


BEST ON-FIELD TRAITS: An extremely athletic and smart player, Gray turned a position with several questions into a strength last season for the Knights. He was an All-Freshman pick last season in his first year at tackle and he'll likely be a staple on the all-conference team for years to come.

2010 STATISTICS: A converted defensive end, Gray played well at tackle with 33 tackles and seven stops for losses. He's also extremely good at using his height and getting his arms up to bother quarterbacks, breaking up five passes.

WHAT TO WATCH FOR: There were more than a few questions as to whether or not Gray could hold up at tackle because of his relatively thin frame, but he was a standout there last season for the Knights. He used his quickness and smarts to make his presence known early on, recording five tackles and two stops for losses against N.C. State. And he was at his best by the end of the season, dominating play along the defensive line against Georgia. He had six tackles, a stop for a loss and a forced fumble against the Bulldogs in UCF's 10-6 Liberty Bowl victory.

WHERE HE'S BETTER: Once a 230-pound defensive end, Gray was worked hard the last couple of years to add weight and strength so that he could play tackle in college. He is significantly stronger now and he's been able to keep his quickness and explosiveness off the ball. UCF's depth and explosiveness at the end positions should also help free him up for more single coverage inside. Gray's best game of the season was in the Liberty Bowl, so expect his sophomore season to be an even better one that his solid freshman season. He is a very bright, mature player who oozes charisma and is a future team captain for the Knights.


UCF 2011 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.


John Denton's Knights Insider appears on UCFathletics.com several times a week. E-mail John at jdenton@athletics.ucf.edu.