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NCAA Football American Athletic ConferenceUCF Knights

5 UCF Knights With the Biggest Shoes to Fill in 2014

5 UCF Knights With the Biggest Shoes to Fill in 2014

UCF Knights
Casey Sapio - USA Today Sports

While the 2013 season was successful for the UCF Knights, most of their fans are not satisfied with being a one-year wonder, and are hoping for sustained success for years to come. In order for that to happen, they must keep the wins coming in 2014, and these five players have the biggest shoes to fill.

5. Tarik Cook, RG

UCF Knights
Brad Barr - USA Today Sports

5. Tarik Cook, RG

UCF Knights
Brad Barr - USA Today Sports

The quarterback and running back get all the glory, but the success of any offense starts up front with great line play. Junior Tarik Cook is being called on to lead a retooled offensive line that saw three of last year's starters move on because of graduation. Being joined by two returning players at LG and center should make the transition of becoming a starter easier.

4. Justin McDonald OLB

UCF Knights
David Manning - USA Today Sports

4. Justin McDonald OLB

UCF Knights
David Manning - USA Today Sports

McDonald, a sophomore from Lauderhill Fla., saw action in 2013 but is being called on to do more. If his eight-tackle, one-sack performance in the Fiesta Bowl is any indication of what is to come, the Knights are good hands. The linebacker position is already one of strength for the defense with the return of All-AAC performer Terrance Plummer. and having McDonald step in and play well gives defensive coordinator Tyson Summers more flexibility.

3. William Stanback RB

William Stanback
Brad Barr - USA Today Sports

3. William Stanback RB

William Stanback
Brad Barr - USA Today Sports

Many only acknowledge Blake Bortles when they talk of the UCF offense, but Storm Johnson gave the team a nice run option and will be missed. He won't be missed for long, though, as the talented Stanback looks for a more expanded role in the offense. In a limited role last year, the sophomore rushed for 443 yards and six touchdowns. With a new quarterback under center, many expect those numbers to double, if not triple.

2. Michael Campbell OT

UCF Knights
David Manning - USA Today Sports

2. Michael Campbell OT

UCF Knights
David Manning - USA Today Sports

The left tackle protects the most important player in the offense, the quarterback, and the Knights will have to hope that sophomore Michael Campbell is ready to step up to the challenge. At 6-foot-6, 280 pounds Campbell has the size needed to be the prototypical NFL tackle, but how will he respond once those defenses start attacking him?

1. Justin Holman QB

Justin Holman
Matthew Oharen - USA Today Sports

1. Justin Holman QB

Justin Holman
Matthew O'Haren - USA Today Sports

A lot of hope is being placed on an arm that has only 14 pass attempts, but Holman is talented enough to not only take on that pressure, but thrive in it. While Bortles showed some run ability when needed, Holman provides another element to the Knights' offense by being more elusive. That could serve as a great advantage for the QB if things break down sooner than expected offensively. But if he falters, the Knights have other options waiting.

 

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