Although the hire undeniably turned some heads in Orlando and Knoxville, no heads turned faster than the players Heupel left behind.
According to the university’s press release, Heupel let the football team know Wednesday morning he would be leaving for Tennessee.
However, the reactions from UCF players on Twitter tell a different story.
Defensive lineman Noah Hancock quote-tweeted ESPN’s announcement of Heupel’s hire and said, “Had to find out through social media…. Wow”
The tweet has since been deleted and replaced with: “I wish the best for Coach though, hope he’s successful in the SEC @ Ten.”
I wish the best for Coach though, hope he’s successful in the SEC @ Ten.— N. (@noahh43) January 27, 2021
Quarterback Dillon Gabriel also posted an Instagram story that said, “Lol...No goodbye? Not even a phone call? Crazyyyy”
The post, first tweeted by Knights247’s Jason Beede, has since been deleted.
While some players were reacting to the news, others were positive about the season to come. According to Spectrum Sports 360’s Patrick Welter, some players are happy to see him go, while the newer ones aren’t.
Talked with a current #UCF player who told me he is not considering transferring after finding out Josh #Heupel was going to #Tennessee. He said some players are happy to see Heupel go, but the newer ones are not.— Pat Welter (@PatrickWelter) January 27, 2021
Here’s what some players had to say:
Defensive lineman Noah Hancock
Former UCF wide receiver Marlon Williams
SMH thats why you have to make the best decision for yourself they’ll turn around and do what’s best for them!— Marlon Williams (@TheReall__6) January 27, 2021
Offensive tackle Marcus Tatum, who transferred to UCF prior to the 2020 season
Defensive lineman Chris Deloach
Imightjustcomebackonemoreyear..bddirbdjdidhdhduhahahah https://t.co/q2gkjBVkER— Christopher Deloach (@Chris_Deloach85) January 27, 2021
Former UCF offensive lineman Wyatt Miller
Former UCF tight end Michael Colubiale — another player advocating for the return of former UCF quarterbacks coach and current Mississippi OC Jeff Lebby
Linebacker Jeremiah Jean-Baptiste
Woah— Jeremiah (@jeremiahjean11) January 27, 2021
Offensive lineman Parker Boudreaux
Tennessee ?— Parker Boudreaux (@ParkerBoudreaux) January 27, 2021
Former UCF wide receiver Ja’Cyais Credle
There It Is— Ja’Cyais Credle ♂️ (@jaycredle13) January 27, 2021
Offensive lineman Matt Lee
Damn— Matt Lee (@matt_lee80) January 27, 2021
Defensive lineman Kalia Davis
we ready to work— KD (@KaliaDavis20) January 27, 2021
Former UCF cornerback Tay Gowan
Incoming freshman linebacker Kadeem Leonard
That’s cold... business is business— K9️⃣ (@kadeemsin) January 27, 2021
Former UCF running back Otis Anderson
Lol it’s a dirty game you hear me?— (@Gumby_football) January 27, 2021
Wide receiver Ryan O’Keefe
All i know is my brothers and I working regardless of the situation4️⃣ #shakeback— FOUR 4️⃣ (@RyanOKeefe23) January 27, 2021
Former UCF tight end Anthony Roberson
UCF went 1-0 today— Arob™ (@AntRoberson1) January 27, 2021
Daniella Medina is a contributing writer for Black & Gold Banneret. Follow her on Twitter @danimedinanews.