A lot has changed since I announced my 2017 Team Awards at the end of last season. Actually, not much as changed at all when you think about it. UCF is still undefeated but the cast is just a little different. After 7 games of a potential 13 game season, here are the players who have had the biggest impact on the field.
McKenzie Milton - QB
Did you expect someone other than KZ to win this one? Sure, UCF beat East Carolina pretty convincingly, but you could see what a huge difference it is not having him on the field. The junior quarterback’s numbers may be slightly down from last year, but he’s the X factor that’s going to take UCF all the way as long as he stays healthy.
Runner Up: Gabriel Davis - WR
Davis, to me, seems to be filling in Tre’Quan’s role from last season. Every time the ball is in the air, you know #13 is going to come down with it. He’s been the most reliable deep threat for KZ and he’s just a sophomore. With 493 receiving yards and 5 touchdowns, he is the leading receiver for this explosive UCF offense.
Titus Davis - DE
Not only is Titus the MVP of this defense because of his production, he’s also the MVP because of his leadership. He really stepped up in the absence of Shaquem Griffin who is now in the NFL. Switching from linebacker to defensive end seems to have been no problem for the senior as he leads the team with 9.5 tackles for a loss, not to mention his 2.0 sacks.
Runner Up: Richie Grant - S
From early in the summer, folks around the program new Richie Grant was going to be an impact player. Tre Neal transferred to Nebraska leaving the other safety spot alongside Kyle Gibson wide open for Grant to take. The sophomore safety hasn’t looked back, leading the team with 58 tackles and 3 interceptions. His success on the field landed him as one of the 14 semifinalists for the 2018 Paycom Jim Thorpe Award, awarded to the best defensive back in college football.
Eriq Gilyard - LB
Gilyard was UCF’s highest rated recruit from the 2018 class. With injuries coming at the linebacker position early in the season, Gilyard got a chance to step up and become an important part of this defense. He has 23 tackles, 4.0 for a loss, thus far in 2018. He’s going to be a special player for UCF over the next 3.5 years.
Runner Up: Randy Charlton - DE
Charlton was another one of the highest rated recruits in UCF’s 2018 class. He previously committed to Indiana and FIU but eventually found himself at UCF. It seems to have been a good decision as he’s been getting steady playing time on Randy Shannon’s defensive line.
Taj McGowan - RB
Taj McGowan has seen a lot throughout his time at UCF. From winless seasons to landing everywhere on the depth chart, he stuck it out and never wavered. After not getting any touches in the final 3 games of 2017, McGowan has earned an important role in Josh Heupel’s offense. Through 7 games, he’s already surpassed his single season high in total rushing yards. Plus, he was the hero of the Memphis game, breaking free for that late 71 yard touchdown run.
This will go down as one of the iconic plays of the season. Taj McGowan, thanks to a monster block from "fullback" Trysten Hill, springs a 4th and 1 for a touchdown (Photo from https://t.co/WBnJOTyC4r). pic.twitter.com/6JTisXnMRq— Brandon Helwig (@UCFSports) October 14, 2018
Runner Up: Michael Colubiale - TE
The 6th year senior was supposed to be gone after last year, but a medical waiver gave him the opportunity to play one more season for the Knights. He’s the last player still on the team who was on the Fiesta Bowl winning roster. It may have took him a while, but he’s finally at the top of the depth chart for the Knights. Not only does he have a great story but he’s also a great player and an important part of this offense.
Who’s your overall team MVP?
This poll is closed