This story has been updated.
UCF Knights head coach Gus Malzahn said he wanted to bring in at least ten players from the transfer portal. He might have hit the jackpot as he brings in a former five-star recruit, linebacker Terrence Lewis, from Maryland. Lewis becomes the highest-rated transfer in UCF history.
Lewis, who hails from Opa Locka, Florida, was one of the top-rated players in the class of 2021 according to Rivals and 247. He committed to the Terrapins over offers from Auburn, Florida, Tennessee, and Alabama. He announced he was entering the transfer portal back on November 29th.
5⭐️ LB Terrance Lewis, the former No. 1 overall LB recruit in the class of 2021, will apparently transfer from Maryland to UCF. This is a MASSIVE get and he’ll be the school’s highest rated recruit in program history, and due to the new overall 247 rankings he’ll count for 2022 pic.twitter.com/kFhvAL4u2d— CFBKnights (@CFBKnights) January 3, 2022
He didn’t play this past year due to a torn ACL, but should be healed up for the 2022 season and has four years of eligibility remaining.
Lewis and Malzahn have a relationship from recruiting in 2020. While Malzahn was still at Auburn, he recruited Lewis, and the Tigers were viewed as the front-runners for his services before Malzahn was fired. After the coaching change, the Tigers were eliminated. The assistant who helped recruit him for Auburn is none other than defensive coordinator Travis Williams. This prior relationship played a material role in Lewis’s move from Maryland to UCF.
Lewis comes in at a crucial time for the Knights, as three of their top four linebackers are no longer with the program:
- Bryson Armstrong, who transferred in last year, had only one year of eligibility left.
- Eriq Gilyard left the program during the season and has since transferred to Kansas.
- Leading tackler Tatum Bethune entered the transfer portal after UCF’s season ended, but no destination has been announced.
KD McDaniel Transfers from Kentucky
Minutes after Lewis announced his transfer, KD McDaniel, another linebacker originally from Tifton, Georgia, announced he was joining the Knights:
McDaniel comes from Kentucky, where in nine games last year, he recorded 13 tackles and three QB hurries.
McDaniel is huge at 6-2 and 250 pounds, out-sizing both outgoing linebackers Tatum Bethune (6-1, 225) and Eriq Gilyard (5-11, 228). He was a 3-star recruit out of Tift County High School and was recruited by three other SEC schools before choosing Kentucky. He has three years of eligibility remaining.
OVC Defensive Player of the Year Koby Perry joins UCF
Late last week, as defensive back Koby Perry joined the Knights by way of Austin Peay.
Perry is coming off a season that won him the Ohio Valley Conference Defensive Player of the Year and like Bryson Armstrong, is an FCS All-American. Perry comes to UCF with one year of eligibility left.
The three joining the Knights pushes the transfer-in count to four, joining Jacksonville State offensive lineman Tylan Grable.