TE Darcy Johnson

2004 Statistics

Coach: George O'Leary
0-11, 1 year
2004 Record: 0-11
at Wisconsin LOST 6-34
at Penn State LOST 13-37
at Buffalo LOST 20-48
at Miami OH LOST 7-43
at Marshall LOST 3-20
OHIO LOST 16-17 (OT)
at Ball State LOST 17-21

2004 Final Rankings
AP-UR, Coaches-UR, BCS-UR

2005 Outlook

Last year could not have gotten any worse for first year head coach George O'Leary. Yes, losing all 11 games last year is about as low as it gets. But even more so is the fact that most of them were not close (average score 33-16). The running game was non-existent (ranked 107th nationally), even with the school's all-time leading rusher in the mix. The passing game could never find consistency, and the defense couldn’t stop anyone. Ugh! QB Steven Moffett appeared to be a bad fit in O'Leary's new schemes with his relaxed style. But after eight tough games under his belt, coaches are now confident that Moffett is the right man for the job. No seniors exist on the OL, but all five starters are back. Throw in a very talented receiving corps and this offense, at least on paper, has nowhere to go but up. Injuries riddled this team in 2004, forcing more green players into the lineup than normal. The bonus in such situations is that experience levels are much higher.

During spring drills, the Golden Knights had the look and feel of a team that was starting to understand O’Leary’s system on both sides of the ball. Looking at the roster, UCF still has one of the youngest teams in the nation, with just 18 juniors and 13 seniors on the roster, while 54 underclassmen make up 65 percent of the team.

UCF begins play in Conference USA after a three-year run in the Mid-American Conference (as a football-only member. All of the school’s sports will now participate in the same conference for the first time in school history.) UCF has been placed in the East Division of the newly-aligned league. The immediate problem is that UCF is in the tougher of the two halves. While the MAC was no slouch in terms of scheduling, the likes of Marshall, Memphis, Southern Miss and UAB on the same East side makes finding victories (just as) difficult. Still, talk this off-season down in Orlando surrounded getting back to bowl eligibility. With such a young group, it may be better for coaches to set more realistic goals, like getting to four wins. The Knights are genuinely capable of accomplishing, so don’t be surprised if/when this squad surpasses expectations.

Projected 2005 record: 4-7
DB Ron Ellis
QB - 2.5 DL - 3
RB - 2.5 LB - 2
WR - 3.5 DB - 3
OL - 2 ..

Passing: Steven Moffett, 229-147-10, 1721 yds., 9 TD

Rushing: Dontavius Wilcox, 61 att., 215 yds., 2 TD

Receiving: Darcy Johnson, 30 rec., 244 yds., 0 TD

Scoring: Matt Prater, 9-14 FG, 12-14 PAT, 39 pts.

Punting: Aaron Horne, 66 punts, 38.7 avg.

Kicking: Matt Prater, 9-14 FG, 12-14 PAT, 39 pts.

Tackles: Brandon Marshall, 51 tot., 30 solo

Sacks: Paul Carrington, 4 sacks

Interceptions: Mike Walker, 3 for 71 yds.

Kickoff returns: Curtis Francis, 9 ret., 18.6 avg., 0 TD

Punt returns: Brandon Marshall, 3 ret., 11.0 avg., 0 TD


OFFENSE: Alex Haynes-TB, Brandon Sumner-QB, Tavaris Capers-WR, Luther Huggins-WR
DEFENSE: Stanford Rhule-LB, Gerren Bray-MLB, Ty Kalandy-OLB, Lemec Bernard-OLB, Atari Bigby-SS

Inconsistency is what best describes this group from 2004. Steven Moffett started eight games, but with Brandon Sumner (two starts) having left the program, the competition is a two-man race between Moffett and Kyle Israel, whose 2004 freshman season ended early due to injury. Israel re-injured the same leg in the spring and Moffett took advantage of the situation by improving and coming out as the clear-cut starter, for now. Moffett was plagued by TOs, but QB play wasn't the team's main issue. Israel is bigger and has a stronger arm. Although not as mobile as his competitor, Israel is more of a pure pocket passer and excels at such. Expect both to see the field at some point, assuming health is not an issue.

Running Back
A new RB coach was hired this spring - James Bernhardt. Still, phenom Alex Haynes’ departure represents the most notable loss on this side of the ball. Our expectations are that a running back by committee will be par for the 2005 course. Dontavius Wilcox is a shifty runner and represents the most experience. Curtis Francis, a versatile athlete (and stellar special teams contributor) who was a (prep) track standout, has all the tools to push for equal playing time. JUCO-transfer Jason Peters is the wild card with great size. Peters was a 2004 preseason JC Player of the Year after leading the Golden State with 1,679 rushing yards his freshman campaign.

A pair of experienced receivers exists with Mike Walker and Brandon Marshall, but the Knights also have plenty of depth with several newcomers already making waves, like JUCO-transfer Javid James and incoming freshman Rocky Ross. Both Walker and Marshall moved to defense in 2004 – Walker at cornerback and Marshall at safety – due to injuries in the secondary. Walker is perhaps the team's best overall athlete - he led the Knights with three interceptions before moving over at season’s end, where he then led the team with 21.2 yards per. Marshall returns to WR after a stint at safety (fourth game of the season) where he unexpectedly led the team in tackles. Both defensive assignments can only help each WR’s (and the entire corps’) overall ability. Junior sprinter Brooks Turner should be used as the No. 3, and can keep up with these two in most areas.

Tight End
When noting depth and talent, no other unit is this secure. Senior Darcy Johnson is one of the tops in CUSA and is a dangerous receiver (leading returning snarler). The 6-6 Palatka-native has all the tools to become one of the nation’s best. Sophomore Mike Merritt and senior Antonio Eldemire, too, have a combination of size and athleticism so that all of UCF’s offensive formations are sound.

Offensive Line
So many young players were forced into action last season, and thus, the learning curve caused problems in both run blocking and pass protection. Ultimately for the 2005, the line/team now reaps the dividends as all six-letter winners return. Three players – Dominic Iglenzi, Sean Gilhuly and Dan Veenstra – started all 11 together. Two of those players, Ignelzi and Veenstra, will have a new position. Ignelzi, one of three true freshmen from the ’04 starters, moves from left guard to right tackle. Ignelzi shows the toughness and determination and really adjusted well to his move to tackle in spring practice. This unit’s improvements will be seen via more wins.


WR Mike Walker


Returning Starters in bold
QB Steven Moffett-Jr (6-3, 210) Kyle Israel-So (6-3, 225)
FB Jason Peters-Jr (6-1, 230) Goodson Ohaegbulam-Jr (6-0, 250)
TB Dontavius Wilcox-Jr (5-9, 220) Curtis Francis-So (6-0, 180)
WR Mike Walker-Jr (6-2, 195) Javid James-So (6-3, 190)
WR Brandon Marshall-Sr (6-4, 230) Brooks Turner-Jr (5-11, 190)
TE Darcy Johnson-Sr (6-5, 255) Antonio Eldemire-Sr (6-3, 250)
OT L.J. Anderson-Fr (6-4, 290) Josh Sitton-So (6-5, 310)
OG Kyle Smith-So (6-3, 280) Brad Williams-So (6-5, 290)
C Cedric Gagne-Marcoux-Jr (6-3, 280) Richard Clark-Fr (6-4, 285)
OG Sean Gilhuly-Jr (6-5, 310) Dan Veenstra-Jr (6-5, 300)
OT Dominic Ignelzi-So (6-4, 300) Kyle Storey-Fr (6-5, 285)
K Matt Prater-Sr (5-10, 180) John Brown-Sr (5-10, 190)



Defensive Line
The DL returns all the key players from a season ago, including team sack leader Paul Carrington. Carrington really came on strong at the end of the ’04 campaign and continued his stellar play into the spring. A pair of interior linemen – “huskie” Emeka Okammor and svelte Keith Shologan – both started in the middle as true freshmen. Both players adjusted well to the speed and strength of Division I after playing in all 11 games. Do not count out fifth year senior Frisner Nelson, one of three seniors on the two-deep who can consistently achieve. DE Kareem Reid sat out 2004 (as a transfer from the University of Kentucky). On the practice field, Reid showed the coaching staff (via the scout team) that he is a player to watch with both his size and athleticism.

Linebacker is an area of concern, which was evident as eight LBs were signed in last February's recruiting class. Each will have a chance in preseason camp to earn a spot in the line up. Senior James Cook is the veteran leader with the best knowledge of the Knight’s schemes. Chris Welsh moves here from his starting DE position, but a broken hand cut his much-needed spring practice short. Welsh has a motor that never quits, which will make up for the short amount of time now available to learn his new position. The middle seems wide-open for a newcomer to lock down the starting nod.

Defensive Back
In 2004, the secondary had the worst luck with injuries, but the unit was able to make it through spring virtually injury-free. Whereas the lineup seemed to change with each and every week, it now appears solid. Sha'reff Rashad made his first career start at Penn State and broke his hand on the initial play of the game. He missed the rest of the season, but now finds himself back atop at strong safety. The Jacksonville product is versatile enough to also play the free safety position. Also at strong safety, sophomore Renford Parkes returns after starting five games. Parkes had to adjust to the real-game speed, and continues to improve in the new defensive scheme O’Leary installed. Senior Anthony Willis tops the depth chart at free safety and has the most experience of any UCF safety. Now in his third year, Ron Ellis returns as one starter on the corner while redshirt freshmen Johnell Neal parlayed a strong spring into the top spot at the other corner. Neal has really worked in the weight room and is a player to watch.


DE Paul Carrington


Returning Starters in bold
DE Kareem Reid-Jr (6-5, 270) Glenroy Watkins-Sr (6-2, 240)
DT Keith Shologan-So (6-2, 280) Frisner Nelson-Sr (6-2, 290)
DT Emeka Okammor-So (6-1, 270) Leger Douzable-So (6-5, 300)
DE Paul Carrington-Sr (6-7, 250) Dennis King-So (6-2, 260)
SLB Chris Welsh-Jr (6-4, 235) Randy Dozier-So (6-2, 210)
MLB Ronnell Sandy-Jr (6-0, 235) Clarence Howard-Fr (6-4, 260)
WLB James Cook-Sr (6-3, 220) Jordan Richards-Fr (6-2, 215)
CB Travonti Johnson-Jr (6-2, 175) Johnell Neal-Fr (5-10, 180)
CB Ron Ellis-Jr (5-11, 190) Marlon Williams-Jr (5-11, 200)
SS Sha'reff Rashad-Fr (6-1, 200) Renford Parkes-So (5-11, 210)
FS Anthony Willis-Sr (6-0, 200) Jason Venson-Fr (5-10, 210)
P Aaron Horne-Sr (6-3, 195) Matt Prater-Sr (5-10, 180)




Senior place-kicker Matt Prater, who is fourth all-time in school annals with 33 field goals, battled injury in 2004 and missed two games for the first time in his playing career. Prater's strong leg is evident with his 50-yard range. Maybe even more impressive was his 47.9 yards per punt stat from 2003.

Senior Aaron Horne returns after averaging just over 38 yards per punt. He did manage to place 18 punts inside the 20-yard line and forced 13 to be fair-caught. Coach O'Leary was impressed with the job Horne did after playing football for the first time since high school. Horne spent two years as a student at Florida International before returning to the gridiron in 2004.

Return Game
UCF lost the services of kick returner Luther Huggins and punt returner Tavaris Capers to graduation. Several players will have an opportunity to replace the two, including the RB-trio of Peters, Francis and Wilcox on kick returns. On punt returns, Venson should lock down the spot after a standout prep career as a kick/punt returner.