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2022 Banneret Awards: Men’s Transfer of the Year

See the nominees for Men’s Transfer of the Year and cast your vote for who you think should win

Noah Goldberg

It’s time for the 2022 Black & Gold Banneret Awards!

Each year we pass out a bunch of awards honoring the best athletes, coaches, teams, and moments of the previous UCF Knights athletic year. Our staff votes, and so do you, the fans.

Here’s how it works: We, the staff, put together our nominees for each award. You can listen to our nominations podcast episode here. Over the next couple of weeks, we will open fan voting for each award. Each staff member gets one vote, and the winner of the fan vote will get one vote. If there is a tie, the fan vote will be the tiebreaker. We will announce the winners in two weeks.

Our 2022 Black & Gold Banneret Awards continue with Men’s Transfer of the Year. Here are your nominees:

Nick Taylor

Forward/Midfielder— Men’s Soccer

UCF Athletics

Previous School: SMU

2021 Stats: Played in 16 of 17 games (Started all 16) / 3 Goals / 9 Assists / 15 Points

Nick Taylor’s arrival at UCF, which has a rivalry with SMU in Men’s Soccer, was made possible by Associate Head Coach Paul Souders, who knew Taylor from when he recruited him to New Mexico out of high school. While Lucca Dourado and Gino Vivi accounted for the most of the goal-scoring, Taylor was the main goal facilitator, ranking in the Top 20 in the nation in assists. To learn more about Taylor’s collegiate journey and how he ended up in Orlando to cap off his collegiate career, check out Bryson Turner’s Know Your Knight article on him.


  • All-AAC Second Team
  • Tied for 18th in the nation in Assists (Lead AAC)
  • 10th in the nation in Assists Per Game (Lead AAC)
  • 7th in the AAC in Points (3rd on the team)
  • Drafted 74th overall in MLS SuperDraft

Cheikh Mbacke-Diong

Center — Men’s Basketball

UCF Athletics

Previous School: UNLV

2021-22 Stats: Started All 30 Games / 87/148 FGs / 34/54 FTs / 180 Rebounds / 44 Blocks

Cheikh Mbacke-Diong’s arrival to UCF filled a void left in the front court after the departure of fellow Senegal native Tacko Fall. Coming in as a super senior from UNLV, the man they call “Backe” was obviously a force in the paint for the Knights. However, that isn’t where his impact on the Knights ended. Diong’s personality and leadership ability were so evident that even as a 5th-year transfer player, he was voted a captain of the squad. In this role, he was not only a calming force for teammates in tough moments but one who also brought a swagger to help them find success as well.


  • 3rd in AAC in Offensive Rebounds
  • 4th in AAC in Blocks
  • 9th in AAC in Rebounds
  • Leads team in Field Goal Percentage (min. 60 attempts)

Connor Staine

Pitcher — Baseball

Noah Goldberg

Previous School: Maryland

2022 Stats: Started 12 games / 43.1 IP / 4-1 / 1.87 ERA / 51 Strikeouts

In the early part of the season, Connor Staine showcased why MLB scouts would regularly attend his games. Highlights include his seven inning, 10 strikeout start against the No. 2-ranked, and eventual College World Series Champion, Ole Miss and a six-inning, eight-strikeout win over USF. However, a back injury and blisters ended up derailing his season. Yet, despite limited innings later on, Staine ended the season as a team pitching leader and remains the object of MLB Draft attention.


  • Leads team in ERA (min. 30 Innings Pitched)
  • Lowest UCF single-season ERA since 2014.
  • Did not allow an earned run in 9 of his 12 starts
  • Did not allow an earned run until his 9th start
  • Has 4 single-game appearances with 7+ Strikeouts

Brandon Johnson

Wide Receiver — Football

Noah Goldberg

Previous School: Tennessee

2021 Stats: Played all 13 games / 38 receptions / 565 yards / 11 touchdowns

While Ryan O’Keefe accumulated more receiving yards, Tennessee transfer Brandon Johnson was the go-to receiver to finish off a drive in the end zone. Whether it was Dillon Gabriel or Mikey Keene at the helm, Johnson provided a reliable end zone target. He scored in 10 of the Knights’ 13 games in 2021.


  • 16th in the nation in receiving touchdowns (2nd in AAC)
  • 8th in the AAC in Average Yards Per Catch (14.90)
  • 12th in the AAC in Receiving Yards
  • 15th in the AAC in Average Yards Per Game (43.50)

Vote for who you think is the 2022 UCF Men’s Transfer Athlete of the Year below:


Who is the 2022 Men’s Transfer of the Year?

This poll is closed

  • 30%
    Nick Taylor
    (7 votes)
  • 8%
    Cheikh Mbacke-Diong
    (2 votes)
  • 17%
    Connor Staine
    (4 votes)
  • 43%
    Brandon Johnson
    (10 votes)
23 votes total Vote Now