The Black & Gold Banneret team has spoken and here are your 2018 UCF Knights Football Team Awards!
Kevin Smith Offensive Player of the Year
McKenzie Milton, QB
I think it’s clear how much of an impact KZ had on this UCF offense. In just 10 games played, the junior quarterback had 2,663 passing yards, 307 rushing yards and 34 total touchdowns. Over the last 3 seasons, Milton is 23-0 as the starting quarterback for UCF. While we’re not sure when we’ll see him on the field again after his injury against South Florida, there’s no doubt he was the most important part of UCF’s offensive success this season.
Joe Burnett Defensive Player of the Year
Richie Grant, S
Grant had an absolute monster year for UCF. After taking over the starting job from Tre Neal in the offseason, the redshirt sophomore safety lead the team in tackles (101) and interceptions (6). His 6 interceptions are tied for 3rd most in a single season at UCF. There’s no doubt he was the most impactful player on defense this season.
Great play by UCF FS Richie Grant getting to the sideline on a floater and staying in bounds for the INT pic.twitter.com/fehPDYXgrd— Fed Scivittaro (@MeshPointScout) November 23, 2018
Jeff Godfrey Rookie of the Year
Darriel Mack Jr., QB
Darriel Mack only started 3 games in 2018 but had the biggest shoes to fill out of anybody on that team. His 6 touchdown performance to help win the conference championship over Memphis earned him Most Outstanding Player of the Game. Even though the performance against LSU in the Fiesta Bowl was forgettable, he still was the main reason UCF brought home their 6th conference title which is why he wins our Rookie of the Year award.
Darriel Mack with a 54 yard TD pass to Otis Anderson! UCF only down 10 now! pic.twitter.com/TrKBWfTTJM— '03 Kliff Kingsbury (@ftbeard_17) December 1, 2018
Brandon Marshall Breakout Player of the Year
Greg McCrae, RB
A freshman walk-on who only ran the ball 26 times in 2017 turned into one of the best running backs in the nation. 1,182 yards, 8.9 yards per carry and 10 touchdowns are the highlights of the sophomore’s insane season. Even in a dismal offensive performance against LSU, McCrae still had 81 yards and a touchdown. He was a strong consideration for Offensive Player of the Year as well.
Quincy McDuffie Special Teams Player of the Year
Matthew Wright, K
Matt Wright was almost automatic for UCF this season. He was perfect on his 71 extra point attempts and made 11 of his 13 field goal attempts with 46 yards as his season long. He also became UCF’s all time scoring leader with 375 points. His leg is going to be missed as this was his last season suiting up for the Knights.
Shaquem Griffin Leader of the Year
Titus Davis, DE
Titus spent a lot of time with Shaquem last season before he converted from OLB to DE. With Shaquem moving on to the NFL, there was a need for a new vocal leader in the locker room. There’s no doubt that Titus Davis was that guy for UCF this season. Before every game, you could see him hyping the team up in the huddle and his energy translated to the field as well.