UCF QB Darriel Mack Jr., two key defensive players among Knights retiring from the 2020 season

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Ten UCF players, including two planned defensive starters and alternate quarterback Darriel Mack Jr., have opted out of the 2020 season. Knights coach Josh Heupel revealed the players a few hours Tuesday. only after the AAC published a media poll showing UCF as the favorite to win the league title.

The loss of Mack opens the door for senior red-shirted McKenzie Milton to become UCF’s alternate quarterback as he continues to rehabilitate a horrific leg injury he sustained at the end of the season. 2018 season. Milton was the team’s starting quarterback in 2017 when the Knights were 13-0 to win a national championship. He led the UCF to a 10-0 start in 2018 before sustaining the injury against South Florida. Heupel said Tuesday that Milton would not be ready for the team’s opener against Georgia Tech on September 19, but added that the veteran quarterback is set to play “at an elite level.” Second-year Redshirt Quadry Jones is set to start the season as a backup quarterback.

Sophomore Dillon Gabriel is now the team’s undisputed starter in the 2020 season quarterback, but Mack was in line to give the position depth after appearing in 17 games during the 2018 and 2019 seasons.

On the defensive end, senior cornerback Tay Gowan and junior defensive tackle Kalia Davis are the two starters scheduled to retire. Gowan had 31 tackles and intercepted two assists last season, while Davis recorded 27 tackles, including eight tackles for a loss and three sacks. Losing Gowan and Davis will test the Knights’ depth, but it shouldn’t be devastating. The UCF defense will continue to be led by senior defensive backs Richie Grant and Aaron Robinson, as well as senior defensive tackle Kenny Turnier.

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