Welcome to the start of the early signing period, otherwise now known as Early Signing Day. Sure, this period lasts through Friday, and there is still that signing day in February, but most of the UCF Knights’ 2020 class will make it official today.
We’re expecting 15 or so players to become Knights, so follow along throughout the day as this post will be updated with information on each player as those signatures roll in. We’ll also mention a few players who turned down or decommitted from UCF despite the coaches’ best efforts to make them a part of this class.
Head coach Josh Heupel will meet with the media this afternoon. Whatever he says about one of his new players, you’ll see it here.
7:01 a.m: Offensive Lineman Paul Rubelt
The 6-foot-10 (!!!) product out of Germany had been committed to Arizona State up until a few days ago, when he flipped to UCF. He also received offers from Florida State and Minnesota, among others.
Who's hungry?? @PRubelt pic.twitter.com/PUyunMct14— UCF Football (@UCF_Football) December 18, 2019
Yesss baby lets goooo— Paul Rubelt (@PRubelt) December 18, 2019
yessir!!!— Paul Rubelt (@PRubelt) December 18, 2019
Heupel talks about the "unique" recruitment #UCF had in order to get 6-foot-10 O-lineman Paul Rubelt to sign with the Knights.— Brian Murphy (@Spokes_Murphy) December 18, 2019
Good thing someone knew how to speak German. pic.twitter.com/VtOQDGm3W8
7:20 a.m: Tight End Tony Forrest Jr.
Forrest becomes the latest Jacksonville native to join the Knights — there are eight players from J-Ville on this year’s roster. And he may not be the only recruit from Jacksonville to sign with UCF today.
He measures in at 6-foot-4, 240 pounds.
DUUUVAL‼️ Welcome home, @CorneliusForre2 #2020KnightVision ⚔️ #Go1and0 pic.twitter.com/900ivGLAzw— UCF Football (@UCF_Football) December 18, 2019
TE from the 904!! Let’s #Go1and0 Tony!! #2020KnighyVision pic.twitter.com/j8HKqgpse8— Josh Heupel (@coachjoshheupel) December 18, 2019
7:37 a.m: Tight End Jordan Davis
Another tight end signs, but there is something a little extra special about this signature. It comes from Jordan Davis, the younger brother of Gabriel Davis. The 6-foot-4, 225-pound TE had offers from programs such as Kentucky, Kansas State, Pittsburgh and South Florida.
But was there ever any doubt where he’d end up?
The Davis family tradition at UCF continues‼️ Welcome home to Sanford's own, TE @JordanDaviss123 #2020KnightVision ⚔️ #Go1and0 pic.twitter.com/hyTcQQ3rlS— UCF Football (@UCF_Football) December 18, 2019
NSD Jordan Davis UCF Special thanks to the Davis Family, Coaches, and supporters. Congrats Jordan and we cannot wait to see what the future hold @UCF_Football @DavisGB1 @NolesFootball_ @orlandosports @JRod3510 @MySanfordHerald pic.twitter.com/0SWKnF4BnX— SHS Athletics (@SanSemAthletics) December 18, 2019
Having Gabriel Davis around certainly made it easier for #UCF to convince his brother, Jordan, to become a Knight. But Heupel admitted the obvious: The younger Davis has some big shoes to fill. pic.twitter.com/bbnl4HpeCa— Brian Murphy (@Spokes_Murphy) December 18, 2019
7:47 a.m: Running Back Johnny Richardson
UCF signs yet another undersized, do-it-all back. But Richardson showed tremendous cutting ability in high school, and as you see in the post below, his 5-foot-7 frame didn’t stop him from putting up crazy numbers last season.
He ran for 2,491 yards & 34 TDs in his senior season— UCF Football (@UCF_Football) December 18, 2019
Welcome home, RB @Humble_Johnny‼️#2020KnightVision ⚔️ #Go1and0 pic.twitter.com/jS0V6dluvi
Feels good to be Home. https://t.co/oBazsnzr5F— Johnny richardson (@Humble_Johnny) December 18, 2019
RB Johnny Richardson may be only 5-foot-7, but Heupel described him as a "pitbull." #UCF pic.twitter.com/n5eAEOqZOS— Brian Murphy (@Spokes_Murphy) December 18, 2019
7:52 a.m: Linebacker Keenan Cupit
At 6-foot-2, 225 pounds, Cupit gives the Knights their fourth defensive player in the front seven who is from Virginia or D.C., joining Tre’Mon Morris-Brash, Cam Goode and Landon Woodson.
A T H L E T E @kcupit35 pic.twitter.com/TGAxsnX33g— UCF Football (@UCF_Football) December 18, 2019
Congrats to @JFHSsports Keenan Cupit on officially signing his NLI to play football at @UCF_Football @WFXRsports pic.twitter.com/SbA4tFvdiR— David DeGuzman (@ddeguzmanTV) December 18, 2019
8:02 a.m: Offensive Lineman Mike Lofton
UCF hopes this 6-foot-2 and near-300-pounder can open up a lot of running lanes for the next four years. Lofton is listed as a guard, but as you can see in the tape below, he was a bulldozer at times when he lined up at tackle in high school.
@ykmike_ pic.twitter.com/hhVWMnHOdM— UCF Football (@UCF_Football) December 18, 2019
"I can hear you smiling through the phone" @ShaneBurnham52 ⚔️ @ykmike_ pic.twitter.com/oBZyVUxq0S— UCF Football (@UCF_Football) December 18, 2019
New beginnings... proud to be a knight #GoKnights ⚔️#ChargeOn ⚡️ pic.twitter.com/jZAdZCissW— Mike Lofton (@ykmike_) December 18, 2019
8:13 a.m: Offensive Lineman Patrick Barnett
Barnett turned down the likes of Florida State and West Virginia to become a Knight. He is 6-foot-6 and a little more than 300 pounds. Between him, Lofton and Rubelt, UCF has already brought in a serious amount of beef along the O-line.
This man will block you all the way down the dang field— UCF Football (@UCF_Football) December 18, 2019
Feel so good to officially be a Knight⚔️⚔️ https://t.co/dRHNdSN4Hj— Patrick Barnett ㊿ (@PBarnett_50) December 18, 2019
Future #UCF OL Patrick Barnett with his family decked out in @UCF_Football gear: pic.twitter.com/qXQL0OIdcQ— Jason Beede (@therealBeede) December 18, 2019
9:17 a.m: Defensive Lineman Kendrick Wilson
UCF picks up another Miami native in this 6-foot-5 defensive end.
@humbledken pic.twitter.com/gRRDOpZF8u— UCF Football (@UCF_Football) December 18, 2019
It’s OFFICIAL!!! Let’s go! https://t.co/vRIta7ujYP— Kendrick Wilson (@humbledken) December 18, 2019
#ViolentDisruptiveRelentless #UCFast https://t.co/UxBspCC5ur— Coach Shane Burnham (@ShaneBurnham52) December 18, 2019
9:17 a.m: Defensive Back Davonte Brown
The first real surprise of the day came when Brown, whose father played football for Miami, chose UCF over the Hurricanes as well as the Pitt Panthers. He made his announcement over Instagram
Huge get for UCF - American Heritage DB Davonte Brown picks UCF over Miami and Pittsburgh. pic.twitter.com/oqtNjMqfD6— Brandon Helwig (@UCFSports) December 18, 2019
A 6-foot-2 safety from South Florida, Brown received offers from a bunch more Power Five programs, including Iowa State, Nebraska, North Carolina, Kentucky, Louisville, etc.
American Heritage UCF @DBrown__7 pic.twitter.com/sZWacEKCTy— UCF Football (@UCF_Football) December 18, 2019
It’s Official..✍ #ChargeOn ⚔️ pic.twitter.com/4E7fGn1tHS— Davonte Brown ™️ (@DBrown__7) December 18, 2019
One of the top highlights of #UCF's signing class was getting a couple of DBs from South Florida -- Justin Hodges and Davonte Brown -- that "had offers from another university down there, too."— Brian Murphy (@Spokes_Murphy) December 18, 2019
Heupel talks about with those two bring to the field. pic.twitter.com/qJSO6L4fSE
9:47 a.m: Defensive Back Justin Hodges
Another Instagram annoucement, and another get for UCF. Hodges, a 6-foot-2 cornerback out of Fort Lauderdale and a former Miami commit, chose the Knights over Washington State. Miami, Minnesota and Indiana were among Hodges’ final five choices.
Former Miami commit DB Justin Hodges signs with #UCF. pic.twitter.com/wePF76LrC5— Brian Murphy (@Spokes_Murphy) December 18, 2019
About an hour before Hodges made his destination public, the UCF Football Twitter account sent out a clip of Josh Heupel and DBs coach Willie Martinez high-fiving about ... something.
Now we know why they were so excited.
Yuuuuuuuup https://t.co/QNOwXN34I8— UCF Football (@UCF_Football) December 18, 2019
6 INTs in his senior season Welcome home, DB @Jhodges_02‼️ #UCFierce pic.twitter.com/RUEtgbi0zm— UCF Football (@UCF_Football) December 18, 2019
Five DBs signed with #UCF today. Heupel talked about filling the need at that position. pic.twitter.com/Szk9VwUDzW— Brian Murphy (@Spokes_Murphy) December 18, 2019
10:31 a.m: Defensive Lineman Kervins Choute
Choute had offers from a host of big-name programs, headlined by the University of Florida. But the 6-foot-4, 250-pound defensive end verbally committed to UCF back in July and never swayed.
Terrorized QBs all the way to the 8A semifinals @bigchoute0 #UCFierce pic.twitter.com/FsPDnHpnHK— UCF Football (@UCF_Football) December 18, 2019
Always on the Attack!! Let's #Go1and0 Kervins!! #2020KnightVision pic.twitter.com/deRw63HFN9— Josh Heupel (@coachjoshheupel) December 18, 2019
11:03 a.m: Defensive Back Quadric Bullard
Another DB from down south. Bullard is another private school product (Chaminade-Madonna in Hollywood) who had some interest from Louisville and Utah State.
hawk @BullardQuadric #UCFierce pic.twitter.com/Ahv6oSCeqQ— UCF Football (@UCF_Football) December 18, 2019
Where does this #UCF recruiting class rank nationally? Suffice it to say Heupel does not care: "At the end of the day, who you're bringing in is as important as the tape." pic.twitter.com/vanxDuMhwV— Brian Murphy (@Spokes_Murphy) December 18, 2019
11:14 a.m: Defensive Back Devunte Dawson
Dawson is a JUCO product from Coffeyville Community College in Kansas, and originally from Hurst, Texas, near Fort Worth, so he should have an immediate impact in the secondary. He announced his intentions to come to UCF earlier this morning.
#COMMITTED pic.twitter.com/QPAN7v2DV2— DD⛓ (@Devunte_) December 18, 2019
Let's get it DD @Devunte_ #UCFierce pic.twitter.com/H1s06mC3GH— UCF Football (@UCF_Football) December 18, 2019
11:26 a.m: Wide Receiver Ja’Cyais Credle
The highest-rated UCF signee according to 24/7 Sports, Credle has the look of the next great Knights wideout. He is a rangy 6-foot-4 receiver who goes by “Stretch.”
Stretch @jaycredle13 #UCFast pic.twitter.com/PfVkqC0vlO— UCF Football (@UCF_Football) December 18, 2019
KNIGHTNATION ITS UP ⚔️ https://t.co/0riVLMGQFZ— 13 (@jaycredle13) December 18, 2019
Heupel on 6-foot-4 WR Ja'Cyais "Stretch" Credle: "High, high ceiling, man." pic.twitter.com/RkJqYsG5G2— Brian Murphy (@Spokes_Murphy) December 18, 2019
11:53 a.m: Defensive Back Corey Thornton
Yet another DB in this 2020 class, and he’s from Miami to boot. The 6-foot-1 Thornton will slide into a defensive backfield that will have four other Miami natives next season — Antwan Collier, Derek Gainous, Bryon Brown, and fellow Booker T. Washington high alum, Jermaine McMillian
From the crib to the 407 @F5_Corey #UCFierce pic.twitter.com/jUMO5CG8fs— UCF Football (@UCF_Football) December 18, 2019
1:38 p.m: Linebacker Quade Mosier
UCF went to Arkansas to get Mosier. The Fayetteville native is a 6-foot-2, 225-pound LB.
Nearly 200 tackles his last two seasons @MosierQuade #UCFierce pic.twitter.com/791koXKUnD— UCF Football (@UCF_Football) December 18, 2019
Quade Mosier, a three-star linebacker out of Fayetteville, officially signs with UCF: pic.twitter.com/XkINt2Zdbj— Clara Goodwin (@5NEWSClara) December 18, 2019
3:23 p.m. Defensive Lineman Josh Celiscar
Possibly the final UCF signee to make it official today is this defensive end from Winter Haven. Celiscar picked the Knights over the likes of Virginia Tech. He was committed to Western Michigan up until a few days ago.
Zoe Pound!!! Let’s Work Brother!! https://t.co/Vb1dR3w8fM— Kenny Turnier (@KayLowStayLow) December 18, 2019
3:30 p.m: Offensive Lineman Marcus Tatum
Just as I thought UCF was finished, the Knights have picked up a grad transfer this afternoon. Tatum spent the past four years at the University of Tennessee and started 11 games over the past two seasons. Tatum entered the transfer portal earlier this month. At 6-foot-6, 316 pounds, the Ormand Beach native will look to help out at tackle.
Appreciate all the support and love. Excited to say The University of Central Florida is where I’ll be calling home for my final year of eligibility. #2020KnightVision ⚔️ pic.twitter.com/izehVDTa2T— Marcus Tatum (@AsapTatum) December 18, 2019
Close, but not Knight
Here are a few players who, at one time, looked like they would sign with UCF but have decided to to take their talents elsewhere:
— QB Mike Wright
He committed to UCF this past summer over Instagram, but he signed with Vanderbilt today. Why? It’s pretty simple: Back in the summer, no one knew that true freshman QB Dillon Gabriel was going to become an immediate star for UCF.
Breaking: #UCF had Mike Wright on their commitment list for 7 months, but on Signing Day, he’s flipped and inked with #Vanderbilt. #AnchorDown #RivalsNSD Wright details his decision: https://t.co/Z0qHT2e1dZ pic.twitter.com/v2n3bNbLKP— Chad Simmons (@ChadSimmons_) December 18, 2019
— WR Sam Brown
Brown would have been UCF’s highest-rated signee, per 24/7 Sports ... if he had signed with UCF. But he decommitted last week and chose to attend West Virginia today.
Breaking: Savannah, Ga. WR Sam Brown had many thinking #Gators, but he has committed to West Virginia, and this decision has been made. Could be a steal for #WVU. #RivalsNSD Full Story: https://t.co/cYkjwmOMd5 pic.twitter.com/wsX9D9KXYS— Chad Simmons (@ChadSimmons_) December 18, 2019
— ATH Dominick Hill
Hill took an official visit to UCF this month, and the Jones High standout made it seem as if he would be joining the Knights at his signing day press conference — until he switched hats. Hill has been committed to South Carolina since June.
#Jones CB Dominick Hill teases crowd with #UCF hat before signing with South Carolina #USC https://t.co/6urNlLQHa7 pic.twitter.com/WN7nR6yyuk— Chris Hays, Orlando Sentinel (@OS_ChrisHays) December 18, 2019
— OL Mark Pitts
Pitts, a 6-foot-6 offensive tackle, decommitted from UCF on Dec. 8. The next day, he made it known that he has decided to stay in his hometown of Gainesville and join the University of Florida.
I’m going to be a GATOR #GoGators #GatorGangXX @GatorsFB @CoachDanMullen @CoachHevesy— Mark Pitts (@Mark__Pitts) December 9, 2019