Here is my list of the top 30 athletes in UCFAthletics during CUSA ERA based on accomplishments in the conference, impact they made on respective sport, program and success. I covered every UCF Sport since 2005 in person except for Track and Field, and Golf. Let the debate begin. Also check out my Top 25 CUSA Moments for UCF Athletics and podcast with Brandon Helwig of UCFSports.com right here.
1- Kevin Smith -Football Running Back : Kevin Smith led the nation in both rushing and scoring in 2007 , holds the all the all-time rushing records for UCF, Conference USA, State of Florida, NCAA (single-season and all-time) … the school launched a website, KevinSmith24k.com, to help celebrate the featured player’s impressive 2007 season … was tapped 2007 Conference USA Co-Offensive Player of the Year, in addition to his third straight postseason honor from the league … earned game MVP honors in the Bright House Networks Conference USA Football Championship Game after toppling Tulsa with his 39 carries for 284 yards and four touchdowns, all of which was a league championship game record … Smith ended up with 2,566 which was only 62 short of Barry Sanders (Oklahoma State) all-time single-season rushing record of 2,628 yards . Is the very first running back from a State of Florida school to crack the 2,000-yard rushing mark in a seaon. One of the most prolific running backs in the history of Florida schools as his statistics passed the likes of Emmitt Smith (UF), Willis McGahee (UM) and Warrick Dunn (FSU). He is the all-time leading rusher at UCF with 4,864 yards rushing along with 45 Tds. Was part of UCF first two bowl teams, 2005 as a freshman and led the Knights to the first ever CUSA Championship and trip to the Liberty Bowl. First team All-American in 2007which was first player to be a consensus all-american from UCF.
2- Jermaine Taylor -Basketball Guard : All-time leading scorer at UCF D-1 Basketball history. Won CUSA player of the Year in 2009 .Averaged 26.2 points in his senior year, good for third in the nation… set a C-USA single-season record by scoring 466 points and averaging 29.1 points against league foes in 2009. scored a school-record 812 points during the season. Was 2nd team CUSA in his junior year in 2008. Holds many numerous UCF Basketball records including most points scored in a single game by any Knight with 45 points against Rice. Check out Jermaine Taylor interview as a member of the Sacramento Kings in 2011 talking about UCF, NBA and more.
3-Bruce Miller– Football DE : Two-Time CUSA Defensive Player of the Year Winner (2009-2010), all-time school leader in Sacks with 35.5 which is second most by any football player in the sunshine state behind only Daniel Stubbs of Miami (39.5). Was part of 2 CUSA Championship teams (07,10) as well as 3 UCF Bowl teams (07,09,10).
4- Aurieyall Scott– Track and Field Sprinter : First ever UCF National Champion as Scott won 60 meters indoor race at CUSA and in NCAA Championships. CUSA Indoor Track Athlete of the year in 2013. Advance to 200 meter outdoor USA Outdoor Final at US Olympic Trials.
5- Allison Kime – Softball Pitcher : Kime was a 2-time 1st team- All CUSA Pitcher who led UCF to CUSA Championship in 2008 in Houston going 3-0 in CUSA Tournament including a win over 8th rank and defending CUSA Champion Houston. Kime would have been easily a 2-tme CUSA Pitcher of the Year any other era but finished 2nd each time to her rival Angel Shamblin of Houston who the honor 3-time. Kime got the last laugh of her rival in beating Shamblin in biggest game both went head to head in the title game in 08. Kime led UCF back to NCAA Tournament and to Gainesville Regional Championship Final. Kime also became first Knight to beat Florida, Florida State, and USF in her career beating USF twice including in NCAA tournament with her bat with a game winning two out 2 rbi triple against the Bulls. Also in that same regional Kime shutout the number 1 ranked Florida Gators 1-0 in 8 innings. Kime set numerous pitching records at UCF from 2006-08, including the individual season and career records for wins and strikeouts to go along with four no-hitters. She would be a two-time All-Conference first team selection (2007, 2008) as well as a two-time Louisville Slugger/NFCA All-Southeast Region first team pick (2007, 2008) before her time was done as a Knight. Kime would play in pro league for two seasons winning the NPF Championship with Cat Osterman and Rockford Thunder in 2009.
6- Aline Reis – Soccer Goalie : Reis was a 2-time CUSA All-First Team member ( 09,10), was first UCF player since 1995 to be named to an All-American team as Reis as a Freshman in 2008 made NSCAA All-America Second Team. Reis also was 2-time CUSA All-Second team (08,11). Led UCF to CUSA Championships in 2009, 2010. Made NCAA Tournament all 4 years of her career (08-11) including leading the Knights to elite 8 of the NCAA Tournament in 2011 as Reis knock off North Carolina in Sweet 16 on penalty kicks.
7- Joe Burnett – Football DB : Burnett was a record setting cornerback and returner for the Knights who was named a first-team All-American as a senior in 2008, helped UCF to its first two bowl berths (2005 Sheraton Hawaii Bowl, 2007 AutoZone Liberty Bowl) and the school’s first ever conference championship in 2007…Earned a total of eight career All-Conference USA honors, including a four-year sweep of the first-team punt returner award…Named Conference USA Special Teams Player of the Year as a senior in 2008.
8- Shane Brown – Baseball OF : Shane Brown finished his career with a .363 batting average, the sixth-highest in UCF history. In 2010 Brown hit.428 average which ranked as the fourth-best in a single-season at UCF…Amassed 89 hits, 25 doubles, 10 homers, 58 runs, 43 RBI, 144 total bases, a .692 slugging percentage, a .541 on-base percentage, a 1.233 OPS and 34 walks compared to 19 strikeouts…Placed 18th in the nation in batting average, while also ranking 12th in doubles per game and fourth in OBP.. Was a 1st team CUSA in 2010, 2nd team in 2009. In 2008 Brown led the Knights in numerous offensive categories, including batting average (.367), homers (nine), RBI (49), total bases (103), slugging (.609), on-base percentage (.447), OPS (1.056).
9- Chris Duffy – Baseball DH : Chris Duffy was one of five Finalist of Golden Spikes Award that goes to Best college baseball player in the country in 2010. Duffy put together possibly the finest season in UCF and C-USA history in 2010…Broke the UCF and C-USA single-season records with a .447 batting average and an .850 slugging percentage…Also shattered the school mark with 21 home runs and 81 RBI…Totaled 18 doubles, 54 runs, a triple, 175 total bases, a .539 on-base percentage. Duffy was .Also a semifinalist for the NCBWA Dick Howser Trophy which is handed out to the best collegiate baseball player…Received a spot on the Baseball America, NCBWA and the ABCA/Rawlings All-America First Teams…Selected as a Yahoo! Sports First Team All-American, a Louisville Slugger/Collegiate Baseball All-American, being named to the Second Team, and also earned a spot on the Ping!Baseball All-America First Team. Duffy Ranked in the nation’s top 10 in: average (fourth), RBI per game (fifth), slugging (third) and OBP (sixth)…Went .385 at the dish in C-USA games, leading UCF with seven homers and 31 RBI in league tilts..Of his 81 RBI, 40 came when there were two outs…Set the UCF single-season and tied the UCF career home run record (43) by the time his career was over. Duffy hit his first career grand slam in his final at-bat as a Knight at Tulane on May 22,2010. In 2009, Duffy had a 20 game hitting streak, 3rd longest in program history at the time.
10- Natalie Land – Softball 2b/ss : Only UCF Softball player in program history to be 3-time first team All-CUSA member (2010-2012). Louisville Slugger/NFCA Mideast 1st team member. In her senior season led the Knights Knights in batting average (.346), slugging percentage (.560), on-base percentage (.413), runs (51), hits (66), triples (5), home runs (8) and stolen bases (42) • Ranked in C-USA’s top-10 in 11 different categories. Ranks 4th all-time in hitting (.316) , 6th in hits (206), and 1st all-time in stolen bases (102), also holds season record in steals with 42 in 2012. Was part of UCF two NCAA Tournament appearances (2010,2012). Also help lead the Knights to CUSA Championship game in 2010. Part of UCF NCAA Tournament teams in 2010, 2012. Ranks as all-time leader in Stolen Bases (102) and top 5 all-time in CUSA in Steals. Ranks in top 10 in hits (6th), Home Runs (10th) total base (5th)s, batting avg (4th at .316), stolen bases, runs scored (4th) all time at UCF.
11- Tishia Jewell – Soccer- F : Tishia Jewell goes down as one of the greatest scorers in program history is the all-time leader at UCF in Assts and shots on goal. Won CUSA Offensive player of the Year award in 2010, was a two time CUSA 1st team all-CUSA (2010,2011) Made 2nd team in 2012. Was part of UCF CUSA Tournament Championship in 2012, as well as UCF Regular season Championship in 2009,2010. Jewell was part of UCF Four NCAA Tournament appearances (2009-2012). First UCF Athlete ever to win Lowe Senior Class Award in 2012.
12- Becca Thomas – Soccer MF : 2-time CUSA 1st team member, 2009 CUSA Midfielder of the Year Winner. Part of CUSA Championship teams in 2007,2009. 3 NCAA tournament appearances (07-09). NSCAA All-American in 2009.
13- Keith Clanton – UCF Basketball F : Keith Clanton started all four years at UCF, Finished career as UCF’s all-time leader in rebounds (1,000), blocks (227), games played (129) and starts (121) and sixth in points (1,718). Led UCF to two Postseason appearances with the CBI, and NIT. Concluded career third in C-USA history in rebounds and ninth in blocks and was only the second player in league history to record 1,000 points and 1,000 rebounds. Totaled 23 points, including the game-winning 3-point play with four seconds remaining, in the victory over Memphis in 2012 the most memorable win for UCF Basketball in CUSA. Was CUSA all- First Team in 2012, 2nd team in 2013, 3rd in 2011.
14- Octavious Freeman– Track Field Sprinter : All- American in Outdoor 100 meter and 200 meter, All-American in Indoor 60 meter and 200 meter. Just a Sophomore currently part of 2-CUSA Championship teams at UCF in Outdoor (2012,2013), and indoor championship (2012). CUSA Champion in Outdoor 100 meters (2012,2013)
15- Kemal Ishmael – Football S : CUSA Defensive Player of the Year in 2012, Ishmael was a two-time First team All-CUSA (2010,2012), led Knights in tackles three straight years (2010-2012) becoming the 3rd player in UCF history to do that. Finished his career as UCF’s all-time top tackler among defensive backs and ranked third overall with 368 tackles.
16- D.J Hicks – Hicks made Baseball America All-American 2nd team in 2012, becoming first Knight player to make All-American honors twice in a career. Hicks made third team NCBWA Third Team All-American in 2011. Hicks was a two-time NCAA Regional All-Tournament Team honoree and finished second all-time at UCF in sacrifice flies, fifth in home runs, sixth in RBI and seventh in walks. Hicks was part of UCF two NCAA Tournament Appearances (2011,2012)
17- Josh Robinson – Football CB : Robinson was a two-time first team All-CUSA (2010,2011) as well as 2nd team in his freshman season (2009). Was part of UCF CUSA Championship team (2010) and first ever bowl win in program history as he covered future NFL WR star A.J. Green holding Green to 77 yards and 0 td to help the Knights beat Georgia in Liberty Bowl.
18- Marissa Diggs-Women Soccer D- CUSA Defensive Player of the Year (2012), 2-time All-CUSA first team member (2011,2012), NSCAA Second Team All-American (2012). Named C-USA Tournament’s Defensive MVP and a member of the All-Tournament team after leading UCF to three-straight shutouts in the tournament to deliver the team’s first conference tournament title in 2012. First team All-Central Region Team in 2011. Part of three UCF NCAA Tournament appearances (2010-2012), including the 2011 team that made the run to the elite 8.
19- Breanne Javier – Softball 1b – Javier was a two time first team All-CUSA (2007,2008), 2nd team All-CUSA (2009), Louisville Slugger/NFCA All-Southeast Region First Team in 2009. Javier ranks in UCF’s top-five in 15 career categories including ranking third in hits, RBIs and total bases, 3rd in batting average (.322) and fifth in doubles. In 2008, Javier set two UCF single-season records after tallying 85 hits and registering a 15-game hitting streak from April 5th to May 4th, while also ranking in the top-10 in 20 additional categories. Javier was part of UCF 2008 CUSA Championship team. Javier played in NPF with USSSA Pride in 2009 which went to championship series before losing to Rockford Thunder and Javier former UCF Teammate Allison Kime.
20- Greg Eason– Men Golf : Eason won CUSA Golfer of the Year in 2013, All-CUSA first Team (2012,2013), CUSA Freshman of the Year (2011), two-time CUSA second team (2011,2012). Part of CUSA Championship team in 2011.Eason led UCF into the NCAA Championship final when they finished in a tie for second in the regional tournament at Tempe, Arizona in which Eason won the regional
21- Latavius Murray– Football RB : Murray finished his Knight career second in UCF history in overall touchdowns (44), eighth in attempts (453), sixth in yards (2,424) and third in rushing touchdowns (37). Was CUSA Championship Game MVP in 2010 and Liberty Bowl MVP in the win over Georgia. Was first team CUSA in 2012.
22- Chris Taladay– Baseball : C,3B : Taladay became the first player in program history winning CUSA Player of the year in 2013 after leading C-USA in batting average (.361) and hits (78), while ranking in the top 10 in slugging percentage (.477), on-base percentage (.429), runs scored (38), RBI (43), doubles (14) and total bases (103). He also reached safely in all 24 league contests and registered a base-knock in all but one. Taladay became the fourth student-athlete in conference history to have won C-USA Freshman of the Year and Player of the Year. Taladay won Freshman of the year in 2010. Taladay ranks sixth on the all-time hit list with 273. Taladay was part of UCF 2 NCAA Tournament appearances (2011,2012).
23- Warren Creavalle– Mens Soccer M : Two time- CUSA All-First team member (2010,2011). third team All-American in 2010 which was first UCF Men soccer player to earn honor since 1997. Was part of UCF NCAA Tournament teams in both of his seasons in 2010,2011. Currently plays in MLS with Houston Dynamo.
24- Nikki Moore- Women Soccer D : Moore was a 3-time All-Conference USA Member (2007-2009) , second team All-CUSA (2006), Made NSCAA All-Southeast Region Team twice (2007-2008), and NSCAA All-Central Region First Team (2009). Part of two CUSA Championship teams (2007,2009), 3 NCAA Tournament appearances (2007-2009) Always marked the opponents best player.
25- Blayne Barber– Golf : Barber in two years won CUSA Golfer of the Year (2009), and CUSA Freshman of Year (2008), being big part of UCF first two CUSA Championship teams (2009,2010). Barber transfered to Auburn to reunite with former UCF golf Coach Nick Clinard.
26- Kevan George – Men Soccer M : George was a 3-time CUSA All-First Team (2008,2009, 2011) Won CUSA Newcomer of year (2009), was part of the Knights two NCAA Tournament teams in 2010,2011. Currently plays in MLS for Columbus.
27- Aisha Patrick– Women Basketball Guard : Patrick finished her Knight career as one of UCF’s most accomplished players in school history. Patrick Ranked among school’s career leaders in steals (Tied-No. 1; 284), points (No. 7; 1,189), assists (No. 4; 357), rebounds (No. 3; 819), double-doubles (No. 5; 17), most field goals made (No. 8; 452), and most free throws made (No. 6; 267)…Only player in school history to have tallied 1,000 points, 800 rebounds and 300 assists over a career. Patrick was Named to All-Conference USA First Team in 2012. Was a starter and part of 2- CUSA Tournament Championship teams (09,11) and trips to NCAA Tournament.
28- Tiffany Lane – UCF Softball ss : Lane was a 2-time All-CUSA First team (2009,2010), Second Team All-CUSA (2011). CUSA Tournament MVP in 2008. Hit go ahead game winning 2-run HR in CUSA Championship game vs #9 Houston and All-American Pitcher Angel Shamblin. Holds C-USA all-time record with 23 career triples. Tied for the national lead with eight triples in 2009. Part of 2 UCF NCAA Tournament teams (2008,2010)
29- Ben Lively – UCF Baseball Pitcher : Lively was named All-CUSA First Team in 2013, 2nd team All-CUSA in 2012. Became first Knight pitcher to win 9 games in a season in 2012 since Tim Bascom did it in 2005. In 2013, Lively had an era of 1.88 and was the ace of the program for the last two seasons. In his three seasons. Lively went 20-7 with a 3.07 era. Lively was part of UCF two NCAA Tournament teams (2011, 2012)
30- Erin Campbell – Volleyball Outside Hitter : Campbell had over 1,000 kills and 1,000 digs while making CUSA All-Second Team in 2009. Campbell ranks 5th all-time in Kills (1,207) and 6th in Diggs (1,134) and is only player in top 6 of those categories to do it all in CUSA.