Olympia Titans quarterback David Nelson and receiver Henry Eaddy have worked tirelessly throughout the offseason to replace Northwestern commits Trevor Siemian (quarterback) and Rashad Lawrence (wide receiver.) With spring football just weeks away, the two have made it a point to become a cohesive duo in order to supplant their predecessors.
While they have displayed the ability to keep Olympia's offense on track, Nelson and Eaddy are not on the same page with everything. Both visited UCF this past weekend for the Knights' second junior day of the spring and each player viewed his visit very differently.
Eaddy's experience was a little more mixed.
"It had its ups and downs. The facilities and everything were nice but they emphasize size a lot. A lot of their recruiting is based on size, so that counts me out," said the 5-foot-7, 155-pound Eaddy. "I don't think you should be overlooked just because of your size."
Nelson and Eaddy represent the two extremes of a group of eight Olympia players that made the 40-minute drive across town for junior day. Safety Corian Hamilton, ranked No. 10 in the Sentinel's Central Florida Super60, defensive tackle Deon Green, ranked No.12, and linebacker Darryl Monroe (No. 30) all three made th trip to the east Orlando campus.
"It was a great school," said Monroe, who is still awaiting his first offer. "I saw a lot. The campus was nice, the coaches were warm and welcoming."
UCF's coaching staff made a particularly strong impact on Green, who has offers from the Knights along with Ole Miss, Illinois, Louisville, USF and others.
"Coach (Jim) Panagos is my favorite defensive line coach that's recruiting me," said Green, who is looking for a position coach with whom he clicks. "I like him, he has a lot of energy and brings that energy with him all the time. He can get real fired up, that's why I like him."
The aforementioned juniors were joined at UCF with Olympia sophomores Ryan Bishop (linebacker,) James Hamilton (offensive lineman,) and Chris Blackwell (running back/ wide receiver.)
Olympia's eight players were just a small group of the roughly 30 Central Florida stars who visited UCF last weekend.
Dr. Phillips standouts DB Roderick Ryles and WR Chris Gallon also took part, as did Freedom TE Aaron Nielsen, East Ridge WR Dante Campbell, Winter Park QB Sam Richardson, Ocoee trio WR Robenson Roche, DB Trenier Orr and OT Colin Johnson, West Orange LB Kellen Williams, Jones High trio QB Angelo Warner, DB Cameron Montgomery and LB Lexx Edwards and DB/K Eric Farkas and LB Serderius Bryant both of Seminole High. Other players were also visiting, but UCF cannot provide a full list per NCAA regulations.
The day started with a tour of the football facilities. Players didn't make it onto the main part of campus but they did tour the team's indoor practice field and weight room.
"It was my first time there, I was surprised," Green said. "The weight room was nice."
During their tour, the players' height and weight were taken.
"I've heard that's common at some schools," said Eaddy, who has seen his stock rise rapidly since recording a 41.9-inch vertical jump and a 4.5 40-yard dash at a Nike Combine in Miami last month. "At this point I'd be open to any interest from them."
The eight Titans also watched the Knights scrimmage before heading home.
"We have fun together" Nelson said. "We were having a blast and liked UCF. It was fun walking around together."
With the "trip" to UCF over, the Titans will turn their attention to spring football, which starts May 1. However, some players will still take a look at some colleges before the summer starts, as Eaddy is heading up to Middle Tennessee State this weekend and Monroe will visit South Carolina.