The running back position at UCF may be something of a crucible. As the Orlando Sentinel reports, Micah Reed (a rising junior) will transfer. George O'Leary's quote from the Sentinel article is pretty candid:
"I told him competition is what we build the program on and you’re fourth because of where you were put by the position coaches on the offense [. . . ] But I said ‘you played last year,’ so . . . I never try to talk kids out from leaving or staying because . . . that’s the second time he’s tried to do this, not the first. Once they start doing that stuff it’s not worthwhile because they’ll end up just quitting sometime during the season which I’d rather see kids that are fully committed here right now working."
I tend to think that's a bit more candid than other coaches' comments on transferring players. But it's consistent with how O'Leary has historically commented on these issues. I'm reminded of his candid comments back in 2013 when promising defensive end Blake Keller left the football program (though not UCF altogether):
"I guess [Blake Keller] had some issues at home -- personal issues [. . .] He was gone Monday and Tuesday [of last week] and came in Wednesday with his parents. They sat down and said, 'Coach I'm quitting. I don't love football anymore . . . My own personal opinion is that there are other reasons going on and I think he need to resolve those issues . . . I was surprised, I had no idea anything was going on and none of the coaches did either."
While having more quality depth would be a good thing, the on-field consequences of Reed's transfer are slight. Reed would have been a junior next year stuck on a depth chart that had two other juniors ahead of him (presumptive starter Will Stanback and Dontravious Wilson) as well as freshman Taj McGowan (who had started coming on strong in spring).
Reed's opportunities to date had been limited. While he played in 12 games as a freshman in 2013, that was mostly on special teams -- apart from special teams, Reed registered a total of seven times for 13 yards. But with Stanback hobbled at times, Reed's involvement last season was a bit more meaningful. In UCF's thorough beating of SMU, Reed was the team leader in rushing with 26 carries for 113 yards and a trio of catches for 39 yards. It was the capstone of his UCF career.
As with any player leaving the program, we at Underdog wish Reed the best wherever he ultimately lands.