Start of Spring

ORLANDO (UCFKnights.com) - Josh Heupel has been waiting for this for a while.

Tuesday, Heupel finally had the opportunity to put his squad through their paces in a football practice. After 3 ˝ months of hiring a new staff, preparing and getting to know his team, it was finally time.

"Excitement and a bunch of energy, just like our players," Heupel said, describing his feeling running practice for the first time as a head coach.

Heupel said the off-season work his team put in will start to pay off and show now that the team is into practice mode for 15 workouts during the spring.

"They've put in a bunch of work over the last two months," Heupel said. "They've done a really good job in the weight room, changing their bodies and transitioning into what we're asking them to do inside the confines of our building. You build toward something for months and now it's just really about getting out on the field. I think the kids and coaches alike were ready to get out there."

While they earned National Championship recognition coming off their 13-0 2017 campaign that included an American Athletic Conference title and a victory in the Peach Bowl, the Knights say they have turned their attention to the 2018 season.

"We're 0-0 now," junior quarterback McKenzie Milton said. "2017 is in the past. We're focused on 2018 and we've got a long ways to go. (We're) learning a new offense. The defense is learning a new defense. We've got to be locked in day in and day out, getting better every day. We're 0-0 right now and by the time that first game rolls around, we want to be 1-0."

Sophomore defensive back Brandon Moore echoed Milton's thoughts.

"We definitely want to move past it," Moore said. "This team believes we can do it again. Nobody around this building really cares about that anymore."

Hear From Heupel

Play Of The Day
The Knights practiced outside prior to the rainstorms and even some hail that hit campus later in the afternoon. In near perfect weather at the Donald D. Dizney Practice Complex, wide receiver Tristan Payton went high into the sunny sky to turn in one of the top plays of the day.

Payton was working a route on the right sideline against a pair of defenders when quarterback Hayden Kingston lofted one his way. Payton, who was bracketed between the two defensive backs, high-pointed the ball with an acrobatic, athletic leap. He then held on to it as all three tumbled to the turf.

Practice Pics - Click For More

What's Next
The Knights are back on the practice field again Wednesday morning. UCF Football practices are closed to the public.

UCF Spring Game Tickets
The UCF Football Spring Game presented by DEX Imaging is set for April 21 at 6 p.m. inside Spectrum Stadium. General admission tickets are free. There are premium seats available for the Spring Game at the following prices: Tower Club - $20; Stadium Club - $10; Carl Black & Gold Cabana - $5. Students are always admitted free to UCF Football, with a valid UCF Student ID. Click here for more details on obtaining UCF Football Spring Game presented by DEX Imaging tickets.