Athlon Selects 13 Knights to Preseason All-AAC

ORLANDO ( – No team in The American received more all-conference accolades than UCF’s 13 in Athlon Sports’ 2019 Preseason All-Conference selections, announced this week.


The Knights placed nine student-athletes on the publication’s first team, two earned second team honors, while one each were selected to Athlon’s third and fourth teams for the American Athletic Conference.


On offense a pair of running backs and a trio of offensive linemen led the way with first team honors. Greg McCrae was selected as the first team running back, while Adrian Killins Jr. was selected to the first team as an all-purpose honoree.


McCrae became the first Knight to rush for over 1,000 yards last season, recording the fourth best single-season performance in program history, finishing with 1,182 yards and 10 scores. Killins, meanwhile, totaled 715 yards rushing and 377 yards receiving while scoring eight total touchdowns in 2018.


Center Jordan Johnson, tackle Jake Brown and guard Cole Schneider made up three of the five first team offensive line selections. The trio helped lead UCF the Knights rushing attack to program records of 3,448 rushing yards and 5.8 yards per carry.


Two Knights from the front seven and two from the secondary earned preseason first team all-conference honors from Athlon this week. Defensive End Brendon Hayes, linebacker Nate Evans, cornerback Nevelle Clarke and safety Richie Grant all receiving the distinction.


All four played pivotal roles in UCF’s success a year ago. Hayes had 11.0 tackles-for-loss, 3.0 sacks and six quarterback hurries, while Evans totaled 99 tackles, 10.0 TFLs and two fumble recoveries, including a 94-yard touchdown return at ECU.


Clarke led the Knights with 13 pass break-ups in 2018, adding 4.0 tackles-for-loss and two interceptions. Grant, meanwhile, was one of the top safeties in the nation, ranking third nationally. He also led the team with 109 tackles and forced three fumbles.


Gabriel Davis and Brandon Moore were selected as second team honorees at wide receiver and cornerback, respectively, while Otis Anderson earned third team honors as punt returner and Randy Charlton was a fourth team selection at defensive line.


These Knights look to continue to lead UCF to success following a 12-1 season in 2018. The Black and Gold get things start on Aug. 29, hosting Florida A&M at Spectrum Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on CBS Sports Network.

First Team
Running BackGreg McCrae
All-PurposeAdrian Killins Jr.
CenterJordan Johnson
Offensive LineJake Brown
Offensive LineCole Schneider
Defensive LineBrendon Hayes
LinebackerNate Evans
CornerbackNevelle Clarke
SafetyRichie Grant
Second Team
Wide ReceiverGabriel Davis
CornerbackBrandon Moore
Third Team
Punt ReturnerOtis Anderson
Fourth Team
Defensive LineRandy Charlton