The Prospector: Local prospects, like Ocoee trio, impressed by UCF junior day tour

Ocoee High School's top returning players for 2010 season.

Ocoee High School's top returning players for 2010 season. (Top 2 photos by Chris Hays/Orlando Sentinel; Bottom photo courtesy Under Armour / March 28, 2010)

The UCF coaches may not come right out and say it. In fact, they may not think anything has really changed with their recruiting philosophy during George O'Leary's UCF tenure.

But appearances see to paint the picture that the Knights are going after more and more Central Florida kids of late.

Saturday, the Knights hosted their second junior day of the spring and upwards of 30 local players were invited to tour the campus, facilities and take in practice. Ocoee High was represented by three players -- DB Trenier Orr, OT Colin Johnson and WR Robenson Roche -- the first three Ocoee players ever invited to a UCF junior day, according to coach Clint Moles.

That fact right there is telling.

And if the reaction from Ocoee's three representatives is any indication, the local players on tour were quite impressed. The visit had Roche, a 6-foot, 170-pound receiver, all fired up.

"When I went through the tour it made me want to get on the field," Roche said. "It was exciting to me and showed me what to expect. I wanted to get out there and put on some pads."

The Nicholson Fieldhouse indoor practice facility seemed to draw the most raves. Other schools around the state do not have such a facility.

"We went into the indoor facility and everybody was amazed at how big it was … it was huge," said Johnson, a 6-2, 270-pound offensive lineman. "So the indoor stadium was cool. What shocked me was that it was a real nice campus. I really liked it a lot."

Orr, a 5-11, 175-pound cornerback was equally impressed with the facilities.

"It was pretty nice. I saw a lot of stuff I ddin't know the school had," Orr said. "They showed the facilities and how they grade the athletes -- the grading scale, and we watched UCF scrimmage, which was nice … I had a chance to speak to all the coaches. …Oh, and the food was good."

One coach that stood out to Roche was the head man himself. O'Leary addressed the group for a short visit, joking around with players and showing his humorous side. He even pulled Freedom TE Aaron Nielsen aside to have him demonstrate a recruiting phone call.

"I like that man. He's a funny man," Roche said. "But I think he also takes everything serious. UCF definitely caught my attention. I thought it was going to be like an old boring speech … But they were straight up and to the point and told us how they do it and everything they expect."

There was only one thing missing for most players on Saturday's tour.

"They didn't offer me yet, I got the head coach's number and he said to contact him," Orr said. "They can only call us once in May but we can call them.

"I can see myself playing there. I like it a lot. I'm just waiting my first offer."

And all three would welcome that offer.

"My parents would be able to come watch me, so yeah, that's somewhere I would want to go," said Johnson. 

Chris Hays is the Sentinel's recruiting coordinator and can be reached at chays@orlandosentinel.com.
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