Grant Headlines UCF All-AAC Lineup

UCF senior safety Richie Grant (Fort Walton Beach, Fla.) claimed unanimous first-team honors on the American Athletic Conference all-league football team, joining four of his Knight teammates on the first team.
Grant in 2020 becomes the 12th unanimous first-team pick in league history and is the fourth player to claim first-team honors three times. The teams were announced today by the AAC.
Also winning first-team recognition were UCF senior wide receiver Marlon Williams (Mobile, Ala.), sophomore wide receiver Jaylon Robinson (Fort Worth, Texas), junior offensive guard Cole Schneider (Fort Myers, Fla.) and sophomore center Matt Lee (Oviedo, Fla.).
Grant, a semifinalist for both the Jim Thorpe Award that goes to the best defensive back and the Bednarik Award as the nation's top defensive player, leads the Knights with 72 tackles, 49 solo, and 3.5 tackles for loss, three interceptions, six pass break-ups, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.
A Biletnikoff Award semifinalist for the top receiver in the country, Williams caught 71 passes for 1,039 yards and 10 touchdowns in 2020. He averaged 129.9 yards per game and had an average of 14.6 yards per catch. Williams is ranked third nationally in receptions per game and fifth in receiving yards per game and receiving touchdowns. Robinson added 51 receptions for 935 yards and five TDs—and ranks second in the AAC in receiving yards per game (103.9).
Schneider and Lee headline a UCF offensive line that helps the Knights average 212.6 rushing yards per game, the third year in a row the Knights have been over 200 yards a game (the first time in history UCF has done that).
Second-team all-conference honors went to sophomore quarterback Dillon Gabriel (Mililani, Hawaii), senior running back Otis Anderson (Jacksonville, Fla.) and senior cornerback Aaron Robinson (Deerfield Beach, Fla.).
Gabriel--a semifinalist for both the Davey O'Brien and Maxwell awards--ranks first nationally in total offense (387.9 yards per game) and passing yards per game (372.6) and stands second in TD passes (30) and passing yards (3,353).
Gabriel became the first UCF quarterback to throw for 400-plus yards on consecutive Saturdays (417 vs. Georgia Tech, 408 vs. ECU) and set the UCF single-game record for passing yards with 601 vs. Memphis in 2020. With five TD passes on back-to-back weeks vs. Memphis and Tulane, he became the first UCF quarterback to do that in 33 years.
Only three FBS players in the past 15 years have had at least 400 passing yards, five passing TDs and zero interceptions in consecutive games. That list includes Gabriel (vs. Memphis and Tulane), Jared Goff at Cal in 2015 and Joe Burrow at LSU in 2019. Gabriel's midseason string of 228 straight passes without an interception came to an end vs. Cincinnati.
Anderson contributed 614 rushing yards and four rushing TDs in 2020, and his career average of 6.2 yards per carry ranks seventh among all active players in the country in that category. Robinson made 42 tackles in 2020 and led the team in pass breakups with seven.
Sophomore offensive guard Lokahi Pauole (Kapolei, Hawaii) won honorable mention all-conference recognition. He has been the Knights' starter at right guard all season.
In previous years of all-AAC recognition for the Knights' 2020 selections, Grant won first-team honors in both 2019 and 2018, Schneider claimed first-team honors in 2018 and second-team recognition in 2019, Robinson was a second-team member in 2019 and Anderson won honorable mention notice in 2019.
UCF heads into the 2020 postseason boasting not only one of the most prolific offenses in the nation but also potentially the most productive in Knights history. UCF ranks on the short list of teams that have combined for at least 40 wins over the last four seasons combined—joining Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Georgia and Notre Dame (the Knights have 41).
Third-year head coach Josh Heupel brings a team that currently ranks second in the nation in both total offense (585.6 yards per game) and passing (373.0 yards) while scoring at a 44.3-point-per-game pace (sixth nationally). Both the total offense and passing yard figures are on track to be all-time UCF highs.
UCF (6-3) meets 14th-ranked BYU (10-1) Tuesday (7 p.m. ET on ESPN) in the Boca Raton Bowl at FAU Stadium on the campus of Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Florida.
The program-record fifth consecutive postseason bowl appearance for the Knights is also the eighth in nine seasons and the 12th in 16 years. UCF previously played in the NCAA Division II playoffs in 1987 and in the NCAA FCS Playoffs in 1990 and 1993. It's the third straight season under Josh Heupel the Knights have played in the postseason—following appearances two years ago in the Fiesta Bowl and last year in the Gasparilla Bowl.