There is something about Randy Shannon’s UCF defense. In the first half, they have a tendency to go through the motions and appear flat.
Then halftime hits.
I’m not sure if there is something in the locker room refreshments, but the second-half adjustments Shannon creates often transform UCF’s talented defense into a smothering blanket. It’s like those old DirecTV commercials with Rob Lowe; first-half Randy Shannon definitely uses cable.
This week, Shannon’s second-half wizardry has shown up on the recruiting front as well.
On Thursday, the UCF Knights secured the transfer of four-star, redshirt sophomore cornerback Divaad Wilson. Wilson was a highly touted prospect out of Miami. UCF offered him a scholarship in 2017, and Shannon, who was the defensive coordinator at Florida at the time, recruited Wilson to join the Gators. Wilson took one of his official visits to UCF, so the school was well known to him. He verbally committed to Florida, but flipped to Georgia and signed with the 2018 Bulldogs class after Shannon was hired by the Knights.
It’s no secret that Randy Shannon is well connected within South Florida. From 1985 to 1988, he played for the University of Miami. From 1991-2010, he called the Miami area home as a coach for either the Hurricanes or the Miami Dolphins, including a stint as the head coach of the Hurricanes from 2007-2010. Those deep connections were a major reason why he was brought on board to be Josh Heupel’s defensive coordinator.
With COVID-19 causing a massive upheaval in America’s way of life, Wilson decided he wanted to be closer to home, so he entered the transfer portal and found a new home at UCF. Wilson has already enrolled in classes and is filing a waiver to gain immediate eligibility. If approved, he will have three years of eligibility.
But wait, there’s more!
The very next day — that’s Friday if you’re keeping track — cornerback Jaiden Francois announced his transfer from Nebraska to UCF. Francois wasn’t in Lincoln long; he put his name into the portal on July 17, only about six months after enrolling. The South Dade High product received offers from in-state schools such as UCF, Florida State, Miami, and Florida Atlantic before ultimately signing with the Cornhuskers during the 2019 early signing period. Like Wilson, Francois has already enrolled at UCF. As a true freshman, Francois will have four years of eligibility to work with.
As highlighted in the Black and Gold Banneret’s announcement of Wilson’s transfer, Francois will also have many opportunities to contribute as the Knights’ defensive secondary is packed with seniors.
But as UCF continues piecing its 2020 schedule together, we keep our fingers crossed that both will be able to make an impact this year as the Knights aim for their third consecutive season with double-digit wins.