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Top 100 Greatest UCF Male Athletes: #30-21

Several modern NFL figures find their way into the rankings

Beef ‘O’ Brady’s St Petersburg Bowl - Ball State v Central Florida Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images

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 #30-21:

T-#30 - Travis Fisher (Football)

Fisher spent the 1999-2001 seasons with the Knights racking up 130 tackles, including 61 during his senior campaign. He also ranks seventh in program history in career passes broken up (31).

Fisher was selected by the St. Louis Rams in the second round with the 64th overall pick of the 2002 NFL Draft. He was the highest-drafted defensive back in UCF history before Mike Hughes was selected in the first round with the 30th overall pick in 2018.

Fisher played nine seasons in the NFL - five seasons with the Rams, two with the Detroit Lions and one each with the Seattle Seahawks and Baltimore Ravens - and led the league with two pick-sixes and 205 interception return yards in 2003.

He got into coaching in 2013 and made a return to UCF, coaching cornerbacks and defensive backs. He was the defensive backs coach during the undefeated 2017 season before following Scott Frost to Nebraska. After five seasons with the Cornhuskers, Fisher is now the cornerbacks coach at Syracuse.

T-#30 - Atari Bigby (Football)

Super Bowl XLV
Atari Bigby #20 of the Green Bay Packers leads the Packers onto the field to take on the Pittsburgh Steelers before Super Bowl XLV at Cowboys Stadium on February 6, 2011 in Arlington, Texas.
Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Atari Bigby was a two-time All-MAC first-teamer (2002-2003), recording over 100 tackles in a season twice during his UCF Knights career, with 104 in the 2002 season and 112 tackles in 2003.

He played in the NFL from 2005-2012. After brief stints with the Miami Dolphins and New York Jets, Bigby ended up with the Green Bay Packers from 2005-2010, getting a Super Bowl ring for Super Bowl XLV. After the Packers, he played for Seattle Seahawks in 2011 and played his final season with the San Diego Chargers in 2012.

#29 - Shawn Jefferson (Football)

Super Bowl XXIX - San Diego Chargers v San Francico 49ers
Shawn Jefferson Played in Super Bowl with San Diego Chargers vs San Francisco 49ers

Shawn Jefferson played for the Knights from 1988-90 and was a part of the team that reached the Division I-AA semifinals in his senior season. Teaming with fellow UCF Hall of Fame inductee Sean Beckton, Jefferson was a dual threat, catching seven touchdowns that season and finishing in the school’s top ten in kickoff return yards.

Jefferson was drafted in the 9th round of the 1991 NFL Draft by the Houston Oilers, though he would be traded not long after to the San Diego Chargers.

As a pro, Jefferson caught 470 passes during his NFL career for 7,023 yards and 29 touchdowns and was the first UCF Knight to play in a Super Bowl, doing so as a member of the San Diego Chargers Super Bowl XXIX team, and then replicating that feat with the New England Patriots two years later in Super Bowl XXXI.

Cleveland Browns v New York Jets Photo by: 2019 Nick Cammett/Diamond Images via Getty Images

Jefferson was inducted into the UCF Athletics Hall of Fame in 2002. He would begin a coaching career a few years later in 2006, which would take him to the Detroit Lions, Tennessee Titans, Miami Dolphins, New York Jets and the Arizona Cardinals. He is currently the wide receivers coach for the Carolina Panthers. His son, Van Jefferson, plays wide receiver for the Los Angeles Rams.

#28 - Gabriel Decamps (Tennis)

Gabriel Decamps is the greatest UCF Tennis player of all time. He was a team leader from the moment he stepped on campus. He ranked as high as #6 in the nation with doubles partner Juan Pablo Grassi Mazzuchi, his 20 doubles-play wins in 2018-19 are the second-most in a single season in program history and he became the second player in program history to get selected for the NCAA Men’s Singles Championship in 2019. He was also selected as an ITA All-American in 2020.

However, he would cement his status in the 2021 season, in which he accomplished the following:

  • Selected AAC Player of the Year
  • Led the UCF Men’s Tennis team to 1st conference title since 2005
  • Went on the 2nd-longest singles-play winning streak in program history (13)
  • Won 17 doubles-play matches (Tied for fifth in program history with 2019-2020 Gabe Decamps and Juan Pablo Grassi Mazzuchi)
  • Ranked as high as #3 in the nation in singles play (highest in program history)
  • Led UCF to a #9 National Seed in the NCAA Tournament and the program’s first NCAA Tournament win
  • Advanced to the Quarterfinals in his second NCAA Men’s Singles Championships appearance (First in program history to get passed Round of 32 of that tournament)
  • Selected an ITA All-American for the second time (First two-time All-American in program history)

Despite a shortened 2020 season kneecapping his career totals, Decamps still leads the program in all-time combined singles and doubles wins (132), ranks sixth in program history in career singles-play victories (68) and second in program history in career doubles victories (64).

Post-UCF, Decamps has competed on the ITF Men’s World Tennis Tour and the ATP Challenger Tour, the second-highest tier of men’s tennis in the world behind the ATP Tour. He even won a doubles event in Kazakhstan paired up with Swiss Antoine Bellier.

#27 - Richie Grant (Football)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Atlanta Falcons Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images

One can make the argument that Richie Grant is the best UCF defensive back of all time.

Grant was a three-time first-team All-AAC (2018-2020) performer, even leading the conference with six interceptions in 2018, which is tied for third in program history for the most interceptions in a single season.

Grant was also a Jim Thorpe finalist in 2020, making him the second UCF Knights player to be a finalist for a major national college football award after Daunte Culpepper was a finalist for the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, given to the nation’s top quarterback, in 1998.

He currently ranks tied for fourth in program history in career forced fumbles (7) and tied for fifth in career interceptions (10).

Grant was selected in the second round with the 40th overall pick of the 2021 NFL Draft by the Atlanta Falcons. He became a starting free safety for the team in 2022, picking up his first NFL interception to help the Falcons secure a Week 3 win over the Seattle Seahawks.

#26 - Mike Gruttadauria (Football)

AMERICAN FOOTBALL: SUPERBOWL 2000 Photo by Lutz Bongarts/Bongarts/Getty Images

Mike Gruttadauria was a four-year starter at center for UCF from 1991-94 and is widely considered to be the best center to ever play for UCF. He was named to the Orlando Sentinel’s 25th Anniversary UCF Football Team.

After graduation, Gruttadauria signed with the Dallas Cowboys as a rookie free agent and later was picked up by the St. Louis Rams in 1996 after Dallas released him. He would play seven years in the NFL, including the first four seasons with the Rams and the final three through 2002 with the Arizona Cardinals, starting 66 games. His career was cut short due to injury.

Gruttadauria was best known as the starting center on the Rams’ “Greatest Show on Turf” offense that won Super Bowl XXXIV. He was the first UCF Knight to win a Super Bowl ring. He was inducted into the UCF Athletics Hall of Fame in 2004.

#25- Taylor Hendricks (Basketball)

Photo: Derek Warden

A 6-9 forward with a 7-1 wingspan out of Calvary Christian Academy in Ormond Beach, Hendricks played just one season at UCF, but led the Knights in multiple categories, including scoring (15.1 points per game), rebounds (7.0 rebounds per game), shooting (47.8% from the field), and blocks (1.7 per game). He also hit 39.4% from the 3-point line, which was second on the team.

He finished his time as a Knight with the ninth-most points in a single season in the program’s Division I era (515) and tied for the seventh-most blocks in a season (59),

Hendricks made history on June 22nd, 2023 as he was selected with the ninth overall pick in the 2023 NBA Draft by the Utah Jazz, becoming the first Knight to ever be selected in the first round of the NBA Draft and the third to get selected at all.

#24 - Rick Hamilton (Football)

Inverness native Rick Hamilton was an outstanding linebacker for the Knights from 1989-92 and is still the school’s all-time leader in tackles with 443.

He made more than 100 tackles in three of his four seasons, with his 1992 season ranking second in school history in single-season tackles with 149. He also has the second-longest interception return in school history, when he took back a pick 97 yards for a touchdown against Western Illinois in 1992. Hamilton had 8 career interceptions (tied for ninth in program history) and blocked three kicks (tied for seventh in program history).

Hamilton went in the third round of the 1993 NFL Draft to the Washington Redskins. After a four-year career where Hamilton played for the Redskins (1993-1994), Kansas City Chiefs (94-95) and New York Jets (1996), he moved back home to play for the Orlando Predators of the Arena Football League from 1998-2003. He is regarded as one of the greatest two-way players in Arena Football history, playing as a linebacker and running back.

Hamilton was the MVP of Arena Bowl XII in 1998 as an AFL rookie, scoring three touchdowns and leading the Predators to their first championship over the rival Tampa Bay Storm. In 2000, Hamilton was selected 2nd Team All-Arena and helped the Preds win their second Arena Bowl title in three seasons.

Hamilton was inducted into the UCF Athletics Hall of Fame in 2006.

#23- Ricardo Gouveia (Golf)

Originally from Portugal, Ricardo Gouveia played at UCF from 2011-2014 after transferring from Lynn University, and was an All-America honorable mention in 2012 and 3rd Team All-American in 2014. Gouveia won three tournaments during his time at UCF, which ranks 4th all-time, and ranks third at UCF in career scoring average with 71.80.

Gouveia was recognized as the CUSA Men’s Golf Newcomer of the Year in 2012 as he led UCF to the NCAA Championship appearances in 2012 and 2013, the latter of which came thanks to a second runner-up team finish at the NCAA Tempe Regional. Gouveia added a third NCAA Championship appearance to his resume by getting there as an individual in 2014 thanks to a tied-for-fifth finish in the NCAA San Antonio Regional.

He also has two of the top 10 single-season scoring averages in program history, with a 71.00 (4th) in 2013-2014 and a 71.51 (10th) in 2011-2012.

Gouveia turned professional in 2014 and plays on the DP World Tour and Challenge Tour in Europe. He won his first tournament in his seventh start at the EMC Golf Challenge Open in October 2014 and has since gone on to win six Challenge Tour events, tied for the third-most in Tour history. His most recent win as of this ranking came in the 2023 Abu Dhabi Challenge. He has also finished in the top 2 in the Challenge Tour rankings twice. He finished 1st after the 2015 season and 2nd after the 2021 season.

Gouveia, who has ranked as high as 77th on the Official World Golf Rankings in his career, has also represented Portugal in international golf competitions. He was on the winning European team in the 2014 Palmer Cup, competed in the 2016 World Cup of Golf, finishing 26th, and is one of five UCF athletes to have participated in the Summer Olympics, finishing 59th at the 2016 Rio Summer Games.

#22 - Dee Brown (Baseball/Football)

Son of the late Philadelphia Eagles star Jerome Brown, Dee Brown was the premier example of a two-sport star in UCF history. Until John Rhys Plumlee came along, he was the only Knight to hit a home run and score a touchdown in the same season.

While he made noise on the football field, earning 638 scrimmage yards and scoring six total touchdowns during his three seasons as a running back from 2001-2003, he was more dominant on the diamond.

From 2002-2005, Brown helped the UCF Baseball team to two ASUN titles and two NCAA Tournament appearances in 2002 and 2004.

He still reigns as the program’s all-time leader in hits (298), RBIs (229) and sacrifice flies (27). He also ranks fourth in program history in games played (239), third in at-bats (866), tied for third in runs (182), fifth in total bases (444) and sixth in hit by pitches (45).

Brown was named a 2002 Baseball America and Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American, the 2002 A-Sun Freshman of the Year and was a three-time member of the All-A-Sun First Team (2002, 2004 and 2005). He also was on the 2004 A-Sun All-Tournament Team and the 2004 NCAA Regional All-Tournament Team.

Brown was selected in the 10th Round of the 2005 MLB Draft by the Washington Nationals.

He entered the UCF Athletics Hall of Fame in 2015.

#21 - Latavius Murray (Football)

Los Angeles Chargers v Denver Broncos Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

A native of Syracuse, New York, was the MVP of the 2010 CUSA Championship Game and the 2010 Liberty Bowl victory over Georgia, where he scored the winning TD in UCF’s first-ever bowl win. He finished his UCF career as a First Team All-CUSA choice in 2012, after a 1,106-rushing yard season that ranks ninth in program history. He also scored 19 touchdowns that season, which is the second-most in a season in program history.

Murray also ranks second in program history in total touchdowns (44), eighth in career rushing yards (2,424), third in career rushing touchdowns (37), eighth in career carries (453), sixth in career average yards per carry (5.35) and sixth in career points scored (264).

Murray has played in the NFL since 2012 with the Oakland Raiders, Minnesota Vikings, the New Orleans Saints, Baltimore Ravens and the Denver Broncos. As of this ranking, he is currently under a one-year contract with the Buffalo Bills.

He was inducted into the UCF Athletics Hall of Fame in 2022.