A lot has changed since the world emerged from the COVID-19 lockdowns, which was the last time we ranked the Top 100 Male Athletes in UCF history.
In just three years, many legends cemented their status in his final few seasons, while others were born, and for a few athletes, their stories have been rediscovered.
With UCF getting ready for its first year as a member of the Big 12 (and Men’s Soccer for its first season in the Sun Belt), it’s once again time to count down the Top 100 Male UCF Knights athletes of all time.
Criteria used to create this list include:
- A player’s impact on their respective sport and on the school
- What accomplishments have they had after their UCF career
- What accolades have they received
We made sure to include at least one athlete from every current UCF sport.
Now, let’s continue the countdown:
#80 - Eric Vasquez (Soccer)
A midfielder from Miami, Eric Vasquez helped the UCF Men’s Soccer team earn its first two ASUN titles in 2002 and 2003 and, subsequently, earn its first D1 NCAA Tournament appearances.
He started out his career with an All-ASUN Freshman team selection in 2001 and was selected First-Team All-ASUN and All-South Region in 2002, but it was his 2003 season that got him into the program’s record books.
Vasquez repeated his First-Team All-ASUN and All-South Region from the year prior, but he also notched 12 assists to tie 1975 Farid Guediri for the most assists in a single season in program history. It rocketed his career assist total to 18, tying him for the 9th-most career assists in program history. Plus, he also got named Second-Team All-American. He was ultimately named to the ASUN 2000-2009 All-Decade Team in 2020.
Vasquez would follow up his collegiate career with a two-season stint with the Central Florida Kraze of the Premier Development League that saw him win the league’s Rookie of the Year award in 2003 and get selected to the All-League team in 2003 and 2004. His 2004 season, where he shared the pitch once more with former UCF teammate Ryan McIntosh, culminated in a PDL National Championship Game hosted at the UCF Soccer Complex which the Kraze won.
This got the attention of the MLS’ Columbus Crew, who selected Vasquez with the 8th pick of the 2nd round in the 2005 MLS Supplemental Draft. He spent two seasons with the Crew. From 2007-2008, he played for Miami FC (the eventual Fort Lauderdale Strikers) and also played indoor soccer with the MISL’s Orlando Sharks. Vasquez retired from professional soccer following the 2008 season and is now a Director and Coach for Miami Breakers FC, a youth soccer organization.
T-79- Leger Douzable (Football)
Leger Douzable had 102 tackles and 14 sacks during his time as a Knight spanning 2004-2007. Douzable was awarded first-team All-Conference USA in 2007 and third-team All-Conference USA after leading the team with seven sacks and 10.5 tackles for a loss in 2006.
Douzable played in the NFL from 2008-2017 with various teams including New York Giants (2008-2009), Los Angeles Rams (2009), Jacksonville Jaguars (2010-2011), Tennessee Titans (2012), New York Jets (2013-2015), Buffalo Bills (2016) and San Francisco 49ers (2017).
Post-playing career, Douzable got involved in media. Nowadays, he hosts “I Am Athlete Tonight” on SiriusXM, appears on NFL on CBS, and serves as an analyst for both CBS and ESPN. One such game Douzable worked was UCF’s 2023 season opener against South Carolina State.
T-#79 - Sylvester Bembery (Football)
Manning the defensive line, Sylvester Bembery made 243 tackles in his UCF career spanning 1984-1987. It culminated in a 1987 season in which the Knights made their first postseason appearance in program history, finishing as semifinalists in the NCAA D2 Tournament.
Fun Fact: Bembery is credited with the 2nd blocked field goal in program history on Sept. 6, 1986.
Bembery went on to play 11 seasons in the Arena Football League from 1988-2001. He was part of back-to-back ArenaBowl Championships with the Tampa Bay Storm in 1995 and 1996. He was also named an All-Arena selection six times: three First Teams (1990, 1991, 1992) and three Second Teams (1988, 1995, and 1996).
Bembery was named to the AFL’s 15th-anniversary team in 2001, ranked #7 among the 20 Greatest AFL Players in 2006 and ranked #11 among the 25 Greatest AFL Players in 2012. The Storm would also go on to retire Bembery’s #78.
He was inducted into the UCF Athletics Hall of Fame in 2009, followed by the Arena Football Hall of Fame in 2011, in the same class as legendary QB Kurt Warner.
#78 - Cornell Green (Football)
Green Played at UCF from 1995-1998, and started all 33 games in his final three years at UCF, including being part of UCF’s 9-2 team in 1998.
Green enjoyed a solid NFL career, starting in 51 games (playing 94 total) from 1999-2010 with the New York Jets, Miami Dolphins, Denver Broncos, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Buffalo Bills and Oakland Raiders. Green earned a Super Bowl ring in Super Bowl XXXVII and was reunited with college teammate Daunte Culpepper in 2007 when the two of them played for the Oakland Raiders.
#77 - Chris Taladay (Baseball)
While he did help the UCF Baseball team get to back-to-back NCAA Tournaments in 2011 and 2012, Chris Taladay’s standout season came in his 2013 senior season.
He became the first player in program history to win CUSA Player of the Year in 2013 thanks to ranking 2nd in the conference in batting average (.361) and hits (78) and 4th in total bases (103) and RBIs (43). He was also selected First-Team All-CUSA.
Taladay was also selected as CUSA Freshman of the Year in 2010, making him the fourth player in conference history to win both Freshman of the Year and Player of the Year honors. He was selected to the Freshman All-America team in 2010 as well.
Today, Taladay ranks 6th in program history in career hits (273), tied for 6th in career doubles (50), tied for 8th in career total bases (381) and 9th in career RBIs (159). He is also tied for the 4th-longest hitting streak in program history at 20 games. He last played professionally with the Detroit Tigers organization in 2015.
#76 - Kevan George (Men’s Soccer)
Kevan George was a key part of the UCF Men’s Soccer team’s back-to-back NCAA Tournament teams in 2010 and 2011, helping him earn All-South Region team selections in both seasons. He was a three-time All-CUSA First Teamer (2008, 2010, 2011) and was also an All-CUSA Second Teamer in 2010.
George went on to become the 3rd player in program history to get drafted in the MLS SuperDraft when the Columbus Crew took him with the 29th pick of the 2nd round in 2011. He would stay with the Crew from 2012-2015.
Following his time in the MLS, he signed with the NASL’s Jacksonville Armada FC in April 2016 and played two seasons there. He would then sign on with the Charlotte Independence in 2018. His last professional soccer match was with the Independence on March 8th, 2020.
Throughout his career, George would get called up to play for the Trinidad and Tobago national team. He played for the “Soca Warriors” in the 2015 and 2019 CONCACAF Gold Cup and the 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifying Cycle, which included the fateful 2-1 victory over Team USA that knocked them out of the World Cup for the first time since 1986.
T-#75 - Otis Anderson Jr. (Football)
The Banneret’s Brian Murphy wrote an ode to the late Otis Anderson Jr., whose death at 23 years old in November 2021 sent shockwaves through the UCF community. In it, he wrote “While all we have left are memories, I would argue that beyond McKenzie Milton, no player has created more indelible moments on the field during this recent gilded age of UCF football than Otis Anderson Jr.” Anything not covered in this entry, Murphy wrote about in his ode.
“Juice” was a multi-tool player, labeled on the roster as both a running back and receiver and was involved in some of the biggest moments in UCF’s 2017 and 2018 seasons as an underclassman.
His 3,708 career all-purpose yards and 27 career touchdowns are both the 8th-most in program history. He ran for 2,182 career rushing yards, the 9th-most in program history, and he slots behind his teammate Greg McCrae with the 2nd-highest career average yards per carry in program history at 6.1 yards per carry.
Anderson also returned punts, which he was given Honorable Mention All-American honors by Phil Steele for in 2019. His 478 career punt return yards rank 5th in program history and his 13.2 yards per punt return average ranks the 4th-best in program history.
He would get honored by the AAC with an Honorable Mention All-AAC selection in 2019 and an All-AAC Second Team selection in his senior season, 2020.
Anderson signed with the LA Rams as an undrafted free agent after the 2021 NFL Draft and while he was cut from the team after training camp, he was on its practice squad from Sept. 1-20.
In the words of Brian Murphy, “It is terrible that all we have are memories. But we do have a lot to remember.”
T-#75 - Adrian Killins (Football)
Adrian Killins was Scott Frost’s first recruit, coming out of Mainland High School in Daytona Beach. Playing from 2016-2019, he ranks 6th in program history in career rushing yards with 2,459. He also averaged 6.06 yards per carry (3rd in program history), scored 25 career touchdowns (6th in program history) and amassed 4,361 career all-purpose yards (4th in program history).
Killins received First-Team All-AAC honors in 2017 and Second-Team All-AAC honors in 2018 and 2019.
T-#74 - Josh Peppers (Basketball)
Peppers scored 1,376 points at UCF, which ranks 11th all-time in the program’s history. He was a two-time All-Conference selection (2005, 2007) and led the Knights to back-to-back ASUN titles and NCAA Tournament appearances in 2004 and 2005.
He was a workhorse in his time, ranking fourth all-time at UCF with 123 games played. He also ranks tied for 6th in program history with 180 career three-point field goals.
Since his UCF career, Peppers has carved out a professional career for himself in Japan, even winning its B.2 League Finals MVP honor in 2018.
T-#74 - Dexter Lyons (Basketball)
Lyons came to UCF (2002-2004) from Daytona State (then Daytona Beach Community College) and immediately made an impact on both ends of the floor helping UCF to two consecutive ASUN Championship Game appearances, including the conference title and an NCAA Tournament appearance in 2004.
While Lyons got the first triple-double in program history when he got 14 points, 13 rebounds, and 10 assists in a Jan. 11, 2003 game against Troy, it would be the 2003-2004 season that got him into program history in a different capacity.
Lyons averaged 18.3 points, 4.4 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.8 steals per game as a senior, all while shooting 54% from the field and 44% from three-point range, the 10th-best in program history. His 567 points rank as the 4th-highest scoring season in the program’s Division I era. He was also a First-Team All-ASUN selection, ASUN Defensive Player of the Year, and the ASUN Tournament MVP.
After a professional career overseas, he’s now a middle school teacher and basketball coach in Atlanta.
#73 - Bob Spitulski (Football)
Spitulski still ranks among the top tacklers in UCF Knights history. His 46 career tackles for a loss are 6th-most in program history and his 22 career sacks are tied for the 6th-most in program history. He led the team in sacks in three of his four seasons.
In 1990, he put together the third-most sacks in a single season (13), helping the Knights reach the NCAA FCS Tournament semifinals in their first season at the FCS level.
In his senior season in 1991, he was named a third-team All-American by the Associated Press and team captain. His 7 tackles for a loss vs. Savannah State that season remains tied for the most in a single game in program history.
A diamond in the rough, Spitulski was the highest-rated linebacker at the 1992 NFL Combine. He was drafted by the Seattle Seahawks in the third round (#66 overall) of the 1992 NFL Draft and would spend three years there from 1992-94.
He was inducted into the UCF Athletics Hall of Fame in 2009.
T-#72 - Yoni Sorokin (Soccer)
Getting first-team all-conference at all is quite the achievement. It’s a whole other thing to do it four times, but that’s what Israeli midfielder Yoni Sorokin did as he was selected First-Team All-AAC from 2017-2021. He was also the AAC’s Midfielder of the Year in 2019 and 2020-21, both seasons in which the Knights made appearances in the Sweet 16.
Overall, Sorokin would appear in the NCAA Tournament three times as a Knight (2018-2021 Spring). He would also help the Knights to their first AAC Tournament Title in 2020-21.
Sorokin would be selected to the All-East Region team three times: a Third Team as a freshman in 2017 and a pair of First Teams in 2018 and 2019. He was also on the MAC Hermann Trophy Watch List in 2020-21, the Heisman Trophy of college soccer.
T-#72 - Gino Vivi (Soccer)
Also on the Men’s Soccer team for both 2019 and 2020-21 Sweet 16 appearances was an underclassman forward from San Jose, Costa Rica named Gino Vivi.
Vivi made a splash in his 2019 freshman season, getting selected as the AAC’s Rookie of the Year with eight assists, which is tied for the 11th-most in a single season in program history, and five goals.
Vivi would get selected to the All-AAC Second Team twice (2021 and 2022), the All-AAC First Team once (2020-21) and the All-East Region team twice (2020-21, 2021). Like Sorokin, he was named to the Mac Hermann Trophy watch list as well, just for the 2021 fall season.
Overall, his 23 career assists are tied for the 5th-most in program history and the most any Knight has gotten since the turn of the century. His 61 career points are tied for the 10th-most in program history. He also had 19 career goals.
Despite injury hindering his 2022 season, Vivi would get selected with the 23rd overall pick in the 2023 MLS SuperDraft by the LA Galaxy. He would make his MLS debut for the Galaxy just after midnight on May 7th, 2023 as a late substitute in a match against the Colorado Rapids.
T-#71 - Willie English (Football)
A standout from 1989-1993 (he missed 1992 due to a knee injury in the 1st quarter of the season-opener), English finished his career as UCF’s all-time leading rusher with 3,131 yards and set the school record for rushing yards in a game with 242. He set the school record for career rushing touchdowns with 38 and also set the school record for career 100-yard rushing games with 15. In the decades since his collegiate career, only one or two Knights have matched or surpassed him.
He helped the Knights advance to the I-AA (FCS) semifinals in 1990 and led them in rushing in 1993. His most productive year came in 1991 when he rushed for more than 100 yards in nine games and set school records with 1,338 yards and 13 touchdowns.
English was inducted into the UCF Athletics Hall of Fame in 2003.
T-#71- Alex Haynes (Football)
One of the few Knights to surpass English in the record books is Alex Haynes, who finished his career as UCF’s all-time leading rusher with 3,359 yards (currently 2nd all-time behind Kevin Smith). He was also the first Knight to have four rushing touchdowns in a game when he did so against Tulane in 2001.
Today, he ranks 5th in program history in rushing touchdowns (27), tied for 2nd in 100-yard rushing games (15), 6th in program history in career all-purpose yards (4,021) and 7th in program history in career average all-purpose yards (98.1).