The return of the tight end as a prominent part of UCF Knights’ passing attack could soon be nigh.
Since the departure of Michael Colubiale after the 2018 season, no Knights tight end has eclipsed 200 receiving yards in 2021.
This season, a pair of tight ends that have been described as a “one-two punch” by tight-end coach Brian Blackmon have a chance at ending the now three-season drought.
Kemore Gamble (Fifth-Year Senior)
As the old saying goes: If you can’t beat them, join them.
This is what Kemore Gamble did back in January. After losing to the Knights in the Gasparilla Bowl with the Florida Gators, he elected to spend his final year of eligibility in Orlando.
Gamble was one of the Gators’ top receivers last season, finishing with 31 receptions, 414 receiving yards, and four touchdowns.
He said during UCF Football Media Day that he chose UCF because head coach Gus Malzahn showed him the ways that he would utilize his specialties.
“He’s a guy that’s going to make some plays for us this year,” Blackmon said.
Both Holler and Blackmon also said that another one of Gamble’s assets is his many years of experience.
Given the production he has already had on an SEC team’s roster, Gamble has already been selected for the John Mackey Award preseason watch list. which honors the best tight end in college football.
Alec Holler (Redshirt Senior)
Fresh off receiving his degree from UCF last weekend, Holler returns this season after coming eight yards short of 200 receiving yards in 2021.
The Winter Park native serves as a leader in the tight end room, working with its new arrivals such as Gamble.
“If I need help with something, he’ll help me out,” Gamble said. “He’s very technical with everything he does.”
Just like Gamble, Holler enters the season with many years of college football experience under his belt.
“When you’re able to play with two guys that have the experience that Alec and Kemore have, have the talent that those guys have, that obviously gives you some different things that you can do offensively to take advantage of maybe how a defense is playing,” Blackmon said.
The tight end may not have had as integral a role as a receiver recently, but these two players have a combined nine years of college football experience that say that is about to change.
Blackmon said that he does not have starters, but rather standards. Get to the standard, and that’s who plays.
So, while Gamble and Holler’s prior playing experience indicates they are the top two tight ends, here are other Knights that could take the field if they reach the standard:
- Zach Marsh Wojan (Redshirt Senior): He joins Gamble and Holler as the third college graduate in the room. He appeared in four games last season.
- Jordan Davis (Redshirt Sophomore): Holler said Sunday after the team’s first fall scrimmage that Davis, brother of Buffalo Bills WR (and UCF alum) Gabriel Davis, has been improving over the offseason.
- Garrett French and Max Holler (Redshirt Sophomores): Both Holler, Alec’s younger brother, and French have spent the past two seasons with the scout team.
- Grant Stevens and Thomas Wadsworth (True Freshmen): The two youngest members of the tight end room. Stevens is a three-star recruit while Wadsworth is a preferred walk-on.
UCF Tight Ends
|31 rec., 414 yds., 4 TDs
|Worked with the Scout Team
|19 rec., 192 yds., 3 TDs
|Worked with the Scout Team
|No. 63-ranked in Florida (MaxPreps)
|Zach Marsh Wojan
|0 rec., Appeared in 4 Games
|Appeared in 6 games on Special Teams
|3-star recruit (247)