The top 10 players returning to the UCF Knights for the 2020 college football season.
Important to note that this list is based upon last year's data and film from on each specific team as well as judgment based upon the player's position both his skill and the level of talent around him at the said position and influential cohorts. Positional value also plays a large factor in these rankings as does the offensive or defensive scheme.
1. Dillon Gabriel OR McKenzie Milton, QB
2. Tay Gowan, CB
3. Parker Boudreaux, G
4. Aaron Robinson, CB
5. Tre Nixon, WR
6. Richie Grant, S
7. Antwan Collier, S
8. Otis Anderson, RB
9. Samuel Jackson, T
10. Eriq Gilyard/Eric Mitchell, LBs
Honorable Mention: Marlon Williams, WR; Cole Schneider, G
It doesn't matter which quarterback suits up for the Knights in 2020 but if Milton can go, he vaults into Heisman Trophy consideration. Gabriel played so incredibly well in his true freshman season that he also is the best returning player for any number of schools across the country. He hits go balls along the sidelines better than any quarterback in the country and his connection to Gabriel Davis was one of the best in the nation a year ago.
Gowan is squarely in the conversation for best cornerback in the AAC and among the best cornerbacks in the entire country. He's sticky in coverage, doesn't allow receptions easily and can run with any type of receiver. He doesn't get tested often but when he does, he makes quarterbacks pay.
Boudreaux is quite literally the next big thing. He's a man among smaller men and arguably the best offensive guard in the Group of 5 this year. He is a stalwart in pass protection, not having allowed a sack in his entire collegiate career.
Then there's Nixon and Williams outside, each who should see even more targets in 2020 after the departure of Davis. Anderson in the backfield should fill the void of Adrian Killians and he has perhaps the country's best jump cut opposite Trey Sermon.
Robinson, Grant, Collier and the rest of the secondary looked elite at times as Grant flies around to the football with ease and Robinson and Collier can go toe-to-toe with any receiver or tight end in coverage.
Depth pieces and keeping free from injuries will be pivotal but this UCF team is as talented as it has been, now imagine what they could be if Milton returns to pre-injury form.