Two Knights Named to Order of Pegasus

AAC Team Academic Award

Feb. 16, 2016
ORLANDO ( - Current men's tennis player Arjun Watane and former football player Joey Grant have been honored with the most prestigious award a UCF student can receive. Grant and Watane were both named to the Order of Pegasus Tuesday.

Undergraduate students are chosen for Order of Pegasus each year based on their outstanding achievement in the areas of academic achievement, university involvement, leadership and community service. Graduate students are selected based on the same merits as well as publication or research experiences. Because of the breadth of accomplishments required for this award, the Order of Pegasus is the highest student award that can be attained at the university.

The winners will be honored at a ceremony this spring. Grant and Watane become the eighth and ninth student-athletes to be honored with the Order of Pegasus. Of more than 63,000 students, only 20 were honored this year.

Joey Grant, Football
Joey Grant" style="width: 100%; height: auto;" class="imported_image" legacy-link=""> Joey Grant A native of Lake Brantley, Grant was the first active student-athlete to earn acceptance into the UCF DeVos Sports Management Graduate School program. He held a 3.8 grade-point average and earned a pair of master's degrees in December 2015.

In 2015, Grant was a semifinalist for the William V. Campbell Trophy which recognizes an individual as the absolute best football scholar-athlete in the nation. To be considered, he had to meet the highest standards based on his performance in the classroom, on the field and as an outstanding leader and citizen in the community.

Grant also was selected as a nominee for the 2014 American Football Coaches Association Good Works Team, an honor that goes to those with outstanding charitable involvement and community service. He was also nominated for the Wuerrfel Trophy, an award that combines exemplary community service with athletic and academic achievement.

A two-time member of the American Athletic Conference All-Academic Team, Grant made several speaking engagements at local schools and football camps throughout his playing career. He enjoyed spending time as a volunteer coach with Special Olympics, an ambassador of Pack to Attack Hunger and fundraiser for Base Camp which raised over $2,000 for terminally ill children. Grant also traveled to New Orleans on a Mission Trip called the St. Bernard Project and Hope for Stanley, which was a five-day trip where he helped build two different houses.

Grant was a staple at the center position on the Knights' offensive line in 2013 and 2014, helping lead UCF to back-to-back American Athletic Conference titles both seasons. He was the center for NFL First-Round Draft Pick Blake Bortles in 2013 when the Black and Gold finished the season ranked No. 10 and won the Fiesta Bowl. He played for the Knights in 2015 before having to halt his career due to injuries.

Arjun Watane, Men's Tennis
Arjun Watane" style="width: 100%; height: auto;" class="imported_image" legacy-link=""> Arjun Watane Watane is a computer science major minoring in bioengineering in the Burnett Medical Scholars program. He applied to a research program right out of high school and began working with PhD students on a project studying Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder shortly thereafter.

Watane is currently working on a project analyzing the body to quantify fat and separate it into different components. He's also assisting with software that will scan the body and detect the organs. The Orlando native has already received two grants toward his research, made three presentations and submitted two papers for publication.

He made his official visit to UCF because of tennis, and he has 12 singles wins to his credit. Once he arrived on campus, he became actively involved in everything else. He serves on the undergraduate research council. Watane is also a member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC).

An offhand conversation with the team's academic advisor led to an additional role as the UCF Piano Man. An accomplished pianist, he has performed at athletic, alumni and university events, and has worked with Orlando Regional Medical Center to perform for patients and their families.

Through LEAD Scholars and the Student-Athlete Advisory Council he helps organized trick or treat events for Boys & Girls Clubs as well as helping with Relay for Life and a Special Olympics Winter Formal. His efforts are not limited to the United States. Watane joined Knights Without Borders on a trip to Costa Rica where he constructed a multipurpose sports court for children.

Story by Andy Seeley