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What We Learned after Josh Heupel’s First Press Conference as UCF HC

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It doesn’t look like #UCFast will be slowing down anytime soon

Tostitos Fiesta Bowl - Connecticut v Oklahoma Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Danny White and Josh Heupel were all smiles as they took the stage to officially announce Heupel as the new head man for the Knights. With all the rumblings about Sumlin and Candle, nobody saw this coming which is a testament to how Danny White conducts business. If there’s one thing that’s certain, Josh Heupel wants to win and he wants to score a lot of points in the process.

“We’re a no huddle, fast-paced offense as well,” Heupel said about his time as Offensive Coordinator for Missouri. “That’s the style that’s true to me, that’s how I want to play.” He went on to mention that he was responsible for the game planning and play calling for the offense at Missouri that lead the SEC in yards per game in 2017.

There’s no secret that Heupel is an offensive mind which is why he was looking for a strong leader to take control of the defense. He definitely found the right candidate in new Defensive Coordinator Randy Shannon. Heupel mentioned that Shannon will continue with the 3-4 scheme that UCF has been running the past two seasons, noting that there will be flexibility to switch to a 4 man front. It’s being reported that Shannon is bringing Corey Bell as Defensive Backs coach from UF as well.

Many players have been calling for the new staff to retain Troy Walters and Sean Beckton, the only two coaches who didn’t leave with Frost to Nebraska. When asked, Heupel said he still has to meet with the current staff. He didn’t have any more to add besides that.

As the week goes on, we’ll learn more about who the rest of the staff will be. Heupel did say he was going to start the recruiting process as soon as he was done with the interview. Hopefully with a new coach in place, the Knights can retain the majority of their commits as well as any players who were thinking about transferring.

Here are some player reactions:

GRADES

Josh Heupel - C+

Although Heupel has the offensive mind the Knights need to continue their dominance, this will be his first time as a head coach. There is definitely a personality difference between Heupel and Frost as well. Just because there’s not enough of a resume and the remainder of the staff hasn’t been announced, I’m going to give this hire a C+.

Randy Shannon - A

I think this is a home run hit for Danny White. The Knights struggled on defense this season and Shannon has a track record of being one of the best defensive minds in the game. He also has head coaching experience which will help the new young head coach. I think the biggest benefit out of the Shannon hire is his ability to recruit in South Florida. I’m excited to see who he brings in for this upcoming class.