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2022 UCF Football Position Preview: Wide Receivers

What should we expect from this unit in year two of Gus’ offense?

Photo: Derek Warden

Our 2022 UCF Knights Position Previews continue with arguably the most explosive unit on the field: the wide receivers.

Consistency from the Quarterback position will determine the success of this unit. We know the O-Line and Running Backs will be strong, and if it forces opposing defenses to play with eight men in the box, the Knights’ wideouts should feast in one-on-one coverage.

Who’s back?

Last year’s leading receiver, Ryan O’Keefe, is back for his senior year. Named to this year’s Biletnikoff Award watch list, he paced the Knights with 84 receptions for 817 yards and 7 touchdowns (plus 16 rushes for 274 yards and one touchdown, leading the team in yards-per-rush at 17.1).

Amari Johnson is also back. The senior caught 23 passes for 138 yards and one TD. He also saw time as a punt returner.

The other returning wideouts are Jaylon Griffin (r-Jr), Jordan Johnson (Jr), and Dionte Marks (r-Jr).

Who’s gone?

Hoo-boy! UCF lost a lot of production in the offseason. Second-leading receiver Brandon Johnson graduated and is now on the Denver Broncos’ roster. He accounted for 11 TD receptions last year, almost half of all TD receptions by receivers.

Jaylon Robinson and Titus Mokiao-Atimalala opted to transfer elsewhere. Robinson only played in six games due to injury, but he was expected to be WR 1A/1B with O’Keefe this season. Combined, Jaylon and Titus accounted for 30 receptions for 424 yards and three touchdowns. The 424 yards counted for 21% of the 2021 WR production.

Who’s new?

UCF welcomes five new names to the team.

Kobe Hudson (Auburn) and Javon Baker (Alabama) transferred in, and Tyler Griffin, Quan Lee, and Xavier Townsend are true freshmen.

Hudson, a junior in 2022, left Auburn as their leading receiver last year, hauling in 44 catches for 580 yards and 4 touchdowns. He went for five catches, 112 yards, and two TDs in the Spring Game.

What should we expect for 2022?

It would seem logical that this unit takes a step back in 2022. The Knights’ WR corps lost over 50% of its receiving yards and TDs. Most of the returning production is from O’Keefe, who was responsible for 40% of the yards (and 82% of the returning WR yards), and 30% of the TDs.

Jaylon Robinson’s departure may appear most significant to anyone who watched him the last couple of years. However, UCF did just fine without him in the seven games he didn’t play, and the two transfers coming in will more than make up for his loss.

UCF Wide Receivers

No. Name Ht Wt Year 2021 School 2021 Stats
No. Name Ht Wt Year 2021 School 2021 Stats
1 Javon Baker 6-1 208 Jr. Alabama 7 rec, 101 yds, 1 TD
2 Kobe Hudson 6-1 200 Jr. Auburn 44 rec, 580 yards, 4 TDs
3 Xavier Townsend 5-11 180 Fr. Berkeley Prep 3-star recruit as RB, 107 rush, 1188 yds, 20 TD; 18 rec, 417 yards
4 Ryan O'Keefe 5-10 175 Sr. UCF 2nd Team All-AAC, 84 rec, 812 yds, 7 TDs; 16 rush, 274 yds, 1 TD
7 Joey Gatewood 6-5 220 R-Sr. UCF Backup QB, 28 rush, 142 yds, 1 TD
14 Drew Dickson 5-10 165 R-Fr. UCF Redshirted
15 Jordan Johnson 6-2 185 R-So. UCF 5 GP (2021 Xfer from Notre Dame)
17 Amari Johnson 5-10 160 Sr. UCF 23 rec, 138 yds, 1 TD
18 Jaylon Griffin 6-3 185 R-Jr. UCF 1 rec, 14 yds
31 JaJuan Forte' 6-1 195 R-Sr. UCF Scout teamer
38 Dionte Marks 6-2 190 R-Jr. UCF 2 rec, 20 yds (2021 Xfer from FLorida)
47 Stephen Martin 6-5 210 R-So. UCF 1 rec, 14 yds
81 Tyler Griffin 6-5 205 Fr. New SE Brooklet HS (GA) #42 player in Georgia (MaxPreps)
87 Dwartney Wortham 6-0 169 Fr. Troup Co. HS (GA) Preferred walk-on
89 Cullen Smith 6-2 180 R-Fr. UCF Scout teamer
99 Quan Lee 6-0 175 Fr. Buchholz HS 4- star recruit (247), Alachua County all-time leader in rec. yds