UCF longtime snapper Alex Ward has been selected for the All-American Pre-Season 3 by Phil Steele College Football Preview, hitting stores next week.
While Ward is the only rider to earn an All-American Preseason Honor, he is one of 16 riders named to the AAC preseason team for Phil Steel.
Ward, who reached the finals of the Patrick Manley Award for Best National Snapper of the Year last season, was joined by wide receiver Ryan O’Keefe and offensive lineman Lucahy Powell as first-team picks in all conferences.
Last season, O’Keefe led the UCF and Conference with 84 receptions, which ranks fifth in a single season in the school’s history. 812 yards was also the team’s highest while his seven catches were second.
Powell started all his 13 matches in the offensive guard last year with the Al Fursan team, and was honored by the second team from all the league coaches. Steele believes Powell will make the jump to the first all-around conference as a major advance.
UCF and Cincinnati lead the way with 16 players on the roster, followed by Houston (11), ECU (11), Memphis (11), SMU (10), South Florida (10), Tulane (9), Tulsa (9) and Navy (3 ) and the temple (2).
Although none of the UCF defense members earned first-team honors, three did earn a spot on Steele’s second-team: defensive end Tremon Morris Brash, Dafonte Brown’s cornerback and Salameh Jarvis Weir.
Maurice Brach finished second in the team with 10 tackles to lose and 5 sacks in just 11 games. Brown is entering his first season after leading the UCF with 13 assists, which was tied for third place in the conference.
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Weir was expected to make a major contribution this past high school season but stayed on all year due to a knee injury she sustained at fall camp.
UCF linebacker Isaiah Bowser, who returned for the fifth year after scoring 9 points on the ground, fell back on the second team as well.
Representing the UCF in the team’s 3rd Conference are receiver Kobe Hudson, shoving Ricky Barber, Salameh Quadrick Pollard, and offensive linemen Matt Lee, Ryan Soboda and Sam Jackson.
UCF safety David Wilson, linebacker Terrence Lewis and back-to-back Johnny Richardson earned fourth team honors.
Widely regarded as one of the best college football analysts in the country, with his annual pre-season magazine among the first on the market, Steele thinks he appreciates entering the UCF this season.
The Knights were named the best group of five for Steele in the country against Cincinnati and Houston.