With the season opening game less than three weeks away, the University of Central Florida's football team is starting to take shape in practice.
Speed will be the Knights' greatest ally this season on offense, as the Knights have nearly a dozen potential receivers lined up to go long. The only question is, who will be passing the ball to them?
Quarterbacks have been an issue with the Knights in recent seasons, as they've struggled to find a consistent passer to match consistently-talented receivers. Over the course of a season, the Knights haven't out-thrown their opponents since 2003. But last season they saw their passing yards nearly double to 2,734 thanks to senior transfer Brett Hodges, but he's since graduated.
In Hodges' place, Rob Calabrese could pass for the Knights for the third year in a row. In 2008, he started the majority of the Knights' games, but only averaged a 39.4 percent completion rate. In 2009, as Hodges' backup, he threw in seven games, was more accurate with a 54.3 percent completion rate, but only threw for 260 yards.
He'll be fighting for the starting job with freshman Jeffrey Godfrey, who threw for 2,758 yards and 36 touchdowns as a senior at Miami Central High School. Godfrey arrives at UCF alongside Miami Central teammates Joshua Reese and Jammal McClain.
Reese was Godfrey's top target downfield on his team's run through the state championship series. Behind such depth at wide receiver, Reese isn't expected to get much playing time this season.
The Knights have excelled in the ground game in recent years, and Brynn Harvey grabbed the spotlight last year as running back with 1,109 yards. He's been on the mend since a spring knee injury took him out of the game, but he's expected back in September. How many games he'll miss remains to be seen.
Though questions remain about key positions, the Knights are closer than ever to resembling the team that will take the field against South Dakota on Sept. 4.