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Top 100 Greatest UCF Male Athletes : #50-41

Rankings continue with some past and present Baseball legends

Ben McCabe Baseball Photo Courtesy: UCF Athletics

A lot has changed since the world emerged from the COVID-19 lockdowns, which was the last time we ranked the Top 100 Male Athletes in UCF history.

In just three years, many legends cemented their status in his final few seasons, while others were born, and for a few athletes, their stories have been rediscovered.

With UCF getting ready for its first year as a member of the Big 12 (and Men’s Soccer for its first season in the Sun Belt), it’s once again time to count down the Top 100 Male UCF Knights athletes of all time.

Criteria used to create this list include:

  • A player’s impact on their respective sport and on the school
  • What accomplishments have they had after their UCF career
  • What accolades have they received

We made sure to include at least one athlete from every current UCF sport.

Now let’s continue the countdown with #50-41:

#50 - Breshad Perriman (Football)

Tostitos Fiesta Bowl - Central Florida v Baylor
Breshad Perriman at Fiesta Bowl vs Baylor Getty

Breshad Perriman played from 2012-2014, racking up 115 receptions for 2,243 yards and 16 touchdowns. He broke out in 2014, becoming the first Knight wideout since Mike Sims-Walker in 2006 to reach 1,000 yards receiving in a season and ranked 6th in the nation with 20.88 yards per reception. He averaged 19.5 yards per reception, which is the best in program history, and his yards per reception totals in the 2013 and 2014 seasons rank in the Top 4 best for a single season in program history.

He was named to the All-CUSA freshman team in 2012 and to the All-AAC First Team in 2014.

In the 2014 regular-season finale at East Carolina, Perriman made one of the most memorable plays in UCF Football history with a 51-yard Hail Mary touchdown catch to give the Knights the win and a share of the AAC Championship. The play has since become known as “Hail Perriman.”

Perriman was selected with the 26th overall pick of the 2015 NFL Draft by the Baltimore Ravens. He spent the first three seasons of his NFL career with the team and has since played for the Cleveland Browns (2018), the New York Jets (2020) and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers twice (2019, 2021). He signed a contract with the Indianapolis Colts on June 5, 2023.

Perriman has also found the highlight reel in the NFL, as he was on the receiving end of Tom Brady’s 700th career touchdown pass that also lifted the Bucs over the Bills in overtime.

T-#49 - Tommy Novak (Baseball)

Tommy Novak was part of UCF Baseball’s first two seasons (1985-1986) as a D1 program
Kahley Novak

Tommy Novak was instrumental in the UCF Baseball program’s transition to Division I status in 1985. He was the ace for UCF in his two seasons (1985-1986), winning 20 games.

Novak ranks tied for 5th all-time in complete games with 13 and has two of UCF’s top ten single-season records in innings pitched with 115.2 innings (7th) in 1985 and 115.1 innings (8th) in 1986. His 231 innings rank in the top 20 all-time, despite only pitching two seasons.

Novak won 11 games in 1986 which is the 5th-most in UCF history. He was voted the team’s MVP in 1986 when UCF went 46-13, following a 52-34-1 record in 1985 where Novak led the way with nine wins.

Novak’s signature game at UCF came on April 10, 1986, in Gainesville, during the return of Head Coach Jay Bergman to UF for the first time since he left as the Gators’ Head Coach from 1976-1981 before taking over UCF in 1983. Novak threw a three-hit complete-game shutout as UCF defeated Florida 7-0. It was one of Novak’s 7 complete games that season, which ranks tied for 7th best all-time.

Tommy Novak throwing out the first pitch at his daughter’s Kahley Novak and UCF Softball senior weekend in 2015 with Kahley # 1 catching
Kahley Novak, Patti Novak

Novak was the first UCF pitcher and 7th player overall at the time to be selected in the MLB Draft, going to the Cincinnati Reds with the 254th pick in the 10th round in 1986. He played three seasons in the minors including two seasons in the Florida State League with the Tampa Tarpons (1987) and Osceola Astros (1988).

Novak’s daughter, Kahley, was a star at second base for UCF Softball from 2012-2015, and had a legendary career herself, becoming that program’s all-time leader in stolen bases.

T-#49 - Brian Ahern (Baseball)

From Left to Right : Rich Polak , David Goins , Anthony Lascaik , Brandon Turner , Brian Ahearn , Jimmy Still. Bobby Kiser in catching squat from 1989
Brandon Turner

Brian Ahern was the ace of a UCF pitching staff that led the Knights to their first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance in 1989. He led UCF in wins with eight in 1987 and another 10 in 1989, which is tied for 6th-most by a UCF pitcher.

Ahern started UCF’s first-ever NCAA Tournament win in 1989 when UCF defeated 3-seed Georgia Tech 6-4 in Gainesville. Ahern pitched a complete game, striking out three, and retired the Yellow Jackets in order in the last three innings to close it out. UCF went 2-2 in that regional.

Ahern ranks first all-time at UCF in complete games with 22 and tied for first in shutouts with five, tied for 4th in wins with 24, 3rd in strikeouts (270), tied for 5th in games started (45), and 2nd in innings pitched with 324.

Ahern was selected in the 5th round (125th pick) of the 1989 MLB Draft by the Kansas City Royals.

#48 - Clayton Geathers (Football)

Clayton Geathers was a two-time All-AAC performer during his time at UCF (2010-2014), finishing 3rd all-time at UCF in tackles with 383 and tied for most games played at UCF at the time with 53.

He was also named to the All-CUSA Freshman team in 2011 and finished his collegiate career with 30 passes broken up (tied for 8th in program history).

Houston Texans v Indianapolis Colts Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images

Geathers was selected in the 4th round of the 2015 NFL Draft by the Indianapolis Colts and spent five seasons with the team. In 2022, he returned to UCF by joining Gus Malzahn’s support staff as an Assistant Director of Personnel/Defensive Backs Assistant.

#47 - Dylan Moore (Baseball)

Miami Marlins v Seattle Mariners Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images

Moore played at UCF from 2014-2015 and was named to All-AAC twice: first-team in 2015 and second-team in 2014.

He led the team in 2015 in batting average (.333), on-base percentage (.417), runs scored (50), RBIs (45), hits (80), total bases (130) and stolen bases (14). Moore hit .322 during his Knights career.

Moore was drafted in the 7th round of the 2015 MLB Draft by the Texas Rangers. He made his MLB debut in 2019 with the Seattle Mariners and has remained with that organization since. He has signed an extension with them through 2025.

#46 - Mike Sims-Walker (Football)

St. Louis Rams v New York Giants Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Edgewater graduate Mike Sims-Walker played 46 career games with the Knights between 2003-2006.

In his final season with UCF in 2006, Sims-Walker not only followed up his 2005 All-CUSA Second Team selection with an All-CUSA First Team selection, but he also set a school record with 90 receptions as he helped the program reach its first bowl game. His 1,178 receiving yards that season rank fifth in program history.

Fun Fact: Sims-Walker recorded three interceptions during the 2004 season, leading the team.

For his career, his 184 receptions rank fourth in program history and his 2,561 yards rank fourth in program history.

Sims-Walker played in the NFL from 2007-2011 with Jacksonville Jaguars and the St Louis Rams and in the CFL with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in 2013.

#45 - Warren Creavalle (Soccer)

SOCCER: SEP 29 MLS - Philadelphia Union at Columbus Crew SC
COLUMBUS, OH - SEPTEMBER 29: Warren Creavalle #2 of Philadelphia Union reacts during action between the Philadelphia Union and the Columbus Crew SC on September 29, 2019, at Mapfre Stadium in Columbus, OH
Photo by Adam Lacy/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Creavalle was a two-time All-CUSA first-team member (2010, 2011), two-time All-South Region team member (2010, 2011) and third-team All-American in 2010 - the first UCF Men’s Soccer player to earn that honor since 2003. He was also part of UCF’s NCAA Tournament teams in 2010 and 2011.

Warren was taken in the second round of the 2011 MLS SuperDraft by the Houston Dynamo and spent nine years in the league, two with the Dynamo (2012-2014), one with Toronto FC (2014-2015) and five with the Philadelphia Union (2015-2020).

Between 2016-2019, Creavalle made four appearances for the Guyana men’s national team.

#44 - Ben McCabe (Baseball)

Noah Goldberg

Despite not entering his collegiate career a power hitter, Ben McCabe emerged from the COVID-19 pandemic to become UCF’s new all-time home run king with 49. Even taking away the shortened 2020 season, he would still have four more career homers than Chris Duffy.

His crowning achievements came in his senior season in 2023 when he was named an All-American, First-Team All-AAC and ranked as high as the #5 catcher in the nation by D1Baseball.

His 2023 season ranks tied for 2nd in home runs (19), tied for 5th in slugging percentage (.692), 5th in total bases (155) and tied for 9th in run scored (63). He also set a new program record with 14 total bases in a single game on Opening Knight 2023 against Siena and tied the program record for most RBIs in a single game when he hit eight against FAU in 2021.

For his career, McCabe ranks 4th in total bases (447), 5th in RBIs (184), 6th in career runs scored (171), tied for 6th in doubles (50) and 9th in hits (246).

#43- Josh Robinson (Football)

Central Florida v Kansas State
MANHATTAN, KS - SEPTEMBER 25: Defensive back Josh Robinson #20 is seen during a game against the Kansas State Wildcats on September 25, 2010 at Bill Snyder Family Stadium in Manhattan, Kansas.
Photo by Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images

Plantation High graduate Josh Robinson was a two-time first-team All-CUSA performer in 2010 and 2011, as well as 2nd team in his freshman season of 2009. He was a key part of UCF’s CUSA Championship team in 2010 and held then-Georgia WR and future NFL star A.J. Green to just 77 yards and no TDs to help the Knights beat the Bulldogs in the 2010 Liberty Bowl, UCF’s first-ever bowl win.

Robinson’s 10 career interceptions are tied for the fifth-most in program history, with more than half of them (6) coming in 2009, tied for the third-most interceptions in a season in program history. He also ranks second in program history in career passes broken up (36) and tied for second in single-season passes broken up (15).

Robinson was selected in the 3rd round of the 2012 NFL Draft by the Minnesota Vikings. He spent eight seasons in the NFL, also playing for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2016-2017), the New Orleans Saints (2018) and the Jacksonville Jaguars (2019).

#42 - Chris Duffy (Baseball)

Chris Duffy was one of five finalists for the Golden Spikes Award in 2010 thanks to putting together possibly the finest season in UCF history. He broke the UCF and CUSA single-season records with a .447 batting average and an .850 slugging percentage. He also set a UCF single-season record with 21 home runs. Duffy was also an All-American and a semifinalist for the NCBWA Dick Howser Trophy which is handed out to the best collegiate baseball player.

Duffy ranks first all-time in homers (43), sixth in runs batted in (182), total bases (416), and slugging (.585). He was drafted in tne 26th round of the 2010 MLB Draft by the Philadelphia Phillies.

T-#41 - David Rhodes (Football)

David Rhodes was an All-American in 1993 and 1994 and set the school record for career receiving yards (3,618), receptions (213), and TDs (29), all of which he still holds to this day. For comparison, Rhodes has 809 more career receiving yards and 15 more career receptions than second-place Mark Nonsant.

Rhodes also holds program records with 16 games with 100 receiving yards (Siaha Burley and Tre’Quan Smith are tied for 2nd with 11) and three 1,000-yard receiving seasons.

He signed with the Cincinnati Bengals after leaving UCF and spent one season in NFL Europe with the Rhein Fire in 1997.

Rhodes was inducted into the UCF Athletics Hall of Fame in 2003. A native of tiny Mulberry, Florida, Rhodes is now a lawyer in the Orlando area. He is on the ballot for the 2024 College Football Hall of Fame Class in the Divisional Player class.

T-#41 - Bernard Ford (Football)

Bernard Ford played for three seasons at UCF (1985-1987), set numerous offense records and was a weapon not only on offense but on special teams as a punt and kick returner.

Ford led the offense in a 1987 season in which he would be named an All-American, helping UCF reach the Division ll playoff semi-finals. His 1,180 receiving yards that season set a school record that would not be broken until 2002. His 13 receiving touchdowns that season also set a school record, with only 1992 Bret Cooper surpassing it since.

Ford also averaged 180.7 all-purpose yards in 1987, a mark that would only be surpassed by Kevin Smith in 2007.

Ford amassed 2,138 yards on 111 catches during his three seasons. Though, according to his UCF Athletics Hall of Fame biography, his career statistics could have gone even higher had playoff games counted toward them.

Despite this, Ford’s name can still be found throughout the record book. He is tied for fifth all-time with 21 touchdown receptions, tied for second in career average yards per reception (19.3) and tied for the most career blocked punts in program history (5).

Ford would get drafted by the Buffalo Bills in the third round of the 1988 NFL Draft. He spent the 1989 season with the Cowboys and the 1990 season with the Houston Oilers. He would play for both the London Monarchs of the former World League of American Football and the Green Bay Packers in 1992.

He was inducted into the UCF Athletics Hall of Fame in 2011 and is on the ballot for the 2024 College Football Hall of Fame class alongside David Rhodes.