UCF is not expecting a large group of high school prospects today at its annual spring football game. The Knights hosted close to 200 potential recruits for junior day last month, but today the focus will be more on the players on the current squad.
There will, however, be a couple of big-time players on the UCF wish list in attendance.
That starts with Orlando Jones defensive end Devin Washington, a 6-foot-3, 225-pound prospect whose family acutally lives in close proximity to the UCF campus. Washington used to attend nearby East River High before transferring to Jones for the schools academic options.
Washington, who's brother Nick Washington (DB, Jacksonville Trinity Christian) has already committed to the University of Florida, was inducted into the National Honor Society this week.
Devin is thought to have UCF among his top three schools, although he has yet to make public his list of favorites, saying this week he will do so just before spring practice begins in May. South Carolina is another speculated favorite from among the 24 offers Washington now has.
Also in the Bright House Networks Stadium today will be WR Zach Benjamin of Tampa Catholic. Benjamin is a 6-foot-5, 190-pound sleeper prospect who has good speed, tremendous hands and is a perfectionist in route running.
He caught just 13 balls in the run-first Tampa Catholic offense last year, but he's hoping his squad will air it out a bit more during his upcoming senior campaign.
Benjamin, who is affectionately known in Tampa circles as "Big Bird," has yet to receive an official offer, but that shouldn't last too far into spring practice. He is that good.
"We have a new offensive coordinator who is supposed to be a big spread guy, so hopefully we toss the ball around a lot this year," Benjamin said at a recent National Underclassmen Combine in Tampa, where he earned the overall MVP for the camp. "We had 500-yard running backs last year, but they both transferred."
Benjamin, who had 260 yards and five touchdowns out of those 13 catches, said the nickname reference to his height doesn't bother him.
"Yeah, they've called me that since my freshman year," Benjamin "I'm used to it. It's just kinda fun now. I'll have a teacher even call me Big Bird every now and hen, and it's like, 'Where'd that come from.' "
At the combine for which he won MVP, Benjamin posted a 9-feet, 10-inch broad jump, a 4.65-second 40-yard dash, a 4.45-second 5-10-5 shuttle run and a 34-inch verticalleap.
Also scheduled to attend today is Orlando Edgewater RB John Altman (5-8, 170), a 1,000-yard-plus rusher last season who is ranked No. 52 in the Sentinel's Central Florida Super60, but primed to move up.
The other prospects who have confirmed intent to attend today's game:
<li>Keith White, 5-9, 170, CB, Orlando Timber Creek, aggressive cover corner who had four interceptions last season, ranked No. 44 in the Sentinel's Central Florida Super60.
<li>Stafon McCray, 5-11, 185, RB, Kissimmee Osceola, rushed for 1,450 yards, 15 touchdowns and averaged almost nine yards per carry on 165 totes, ranked No. 15 in the Sentinel's Central Florida Super60 and ranked No. 68 in the Sentinel's Florida Top 100.
<li>Hassan Childs, 6-1, 170, S, Kissimmee Osceola, a talented tackler who can play well within or outside of the box. Speed typical of traditional Osceola athletes. Childs is ranked No. 47 in the Sentinel's Central Florida Super60.
<li>Winston Chastang, 6-3, 226, DE, Winter Garden West Orange, bookends the opposite side of the Warriors stellar defensive line with Tennessee commit Corey Vereen on the other side. Chastang is ranked No. 54 in the Sentinel's Central Florida Super60.
<li>Robert Jones, 6-1, 205, LB, Miami Monsignor Pace, says he's just waiting for a UCF offer and will commit on the spot, also said Miami is his dream school.
This is only a short list of players the Sentinel has confirmed as visiting. There will be numerous other recruits on hand at today's game.
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