Knights to Watch in 2012 - Jordan Rae

July 5, 2012

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By John Denton, Knights Insider

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - The start of preseason drills is less than four away, so football season at UCF is right around the corner. And for many here in the football-crazed Sunshine State, that moment can't get here soon enough.

From now until drills begin in August, we here at UCFAthletics.com will be highlighting a UCF player to watch for the coming season and the expectations for that player.

The Knights open the season Aug. 30 at Akron. A week later the Knights travel to Columbus, Ohio, to face Ohio State and new coach Urban Meyer. The home-opener at Bright House Networks Stadium is Sept. 15 against FIU. And the Knights will close the non-conference portion of the schedule on Sept. 29 with a marquee home game against Missouri.

UCF football season tickets are currently available for as low as $140, while single-game tickets are also on sale. For more information and to place an order, call the UCF Ticket Office at (407) 823-1000 or visit UCFAthletics.com.

Here is a closer look at one of the key Knights expected to make a big impact this season:

NAME: Jordan Rae
HOMETOWN: Weston, Fla.
HEIGHT, WEIGHT, CLASS: 6-2, 275, redshirt senior

2011 STATS: Rae started all 12 games last season at center and morphed into being a leader along the offensive line for the Knights. He was an honorable mention All-Conference USA pick. He's started 25 games at center over the past two seasons. With Rae leading the way last season, the Knights averaged 27 points, 168.8 rush yards and 406.8 total yards a game. The offensive line yielded just 17 sacks all season.

BEST MOMENT: Rae and the UCF offensive line demolished UTEP in the final regular season game of the year. His work allowed Latavius Murray to run 21 times for 233 yards, the fourth-best rushing performance in school history.

WHAT LIES AHEAD: Rae is one of head coach George O'Leary's favorite players because of his smarts, humble persona and tireless work ethic on the field. He has become an anchor for the offensive line from his center position and he's often responsible for making the blocking calls for the entire group. Rae is also one of the team's strongest players and his leg drive is critical in helping the Knights be able to run the ball between the tackles. Rae also has a chance to become a team captain this season because of his work ethic and the respect that he commands among his teammates. If he can have a solid season it will likely mean the Knights will get back to their dominant ways running the ball this season.

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