Former UCF Football Offensive Lineman Jordan McCrary Talks Orlando Glory Days, Knights Football

TAMPA – You never know who will be in the same gym on a Wednesday morning. After being introduced to Jordan McCrary, a former Knights offensive lineman from 2010 to 2013, it was fun to talk about football. He is very proud to be a UCF alumni, and he was recently on campus at UCF.

Recruitment: Coming out of Miami (Florida) Southridge, McCrary chose UCF along with his twin brother Justin McCrary. They both played the Knights offensive line.

When you went to UCF, try to paint a mental picture for the people who are going to read this. What were the facilities like and what were your expectations when you walked through the door?

“So my introduction to UCF was a little bit different. My older brother was already on the team. So, uh, it still appealed to me beyond my wildest expectations. We were still Adidas at that time. We were just transitioning to Nike. The facilities were nice. The dorms were super nice. (UCF) came with a lot of kids from Miami as well, so the transition was smooth.

“To see where he (UCF Football) is now, compared to then… (smiles).”

Who was your offensive line coach at UCF?

“Brent Key was the offensive line coach.”

Who was the offensive line coach when you left UCF? »

“Coach Key, we had the same staff. Coach (George) O’Leary was the head coach. Once O’Leary retired, Coach Key went to Alabama and won a national championship. Now he’s at Georgia Tech.

How was the transition from the Miami Public School League to UCF? Do you think that was a bigger transition for kids in rural Florida, for example?

“I would say yes. Coming to Miami, the football that is played there, we were very well prepared to play at D1 level. It was still a difficult transition. The playbook, just the rigors of practice, having to balance a real school schedule, not high school academics. I think the transition was still quite smooth.

Here’s McCrary’s workout on Wednesday, Feb. 10 with Trench Academy in Tampa:

Here’s a video made by several McCrary reps on Wednesday:

What was your favorite thing about being at UCF while you were there?

“Probably just all the friendships I’ve made. All those guys we played together with, nine years ago, ten years now. We still talk every day. Talking about all the wins we’ve had. To be able to build a legacy there. You know, instead of adding to it (to a program rich in lore), being the first team (at UCF) to win a bowling game, the first team to win a game New Year’s Bowling Six, it was a lot of memories made.

Stories about Coach O’Leary?

“Yeah, Coach O’Leary was a damn good coach. A really tough coach. A lot of guys really didn’t like him, but we wouldn’t have been this good without him man. So I appreciate him for everything he has done.

Who is the best player you played with at UCF?

“Ummmm… We had a lot of good players. I mean, Blake Bortles was arguably one of the best players in UCF history. We wouldn’t have gotten this far without it, so I’m giving it to Blake, 1A, then I’ll give it to my brother, 1B.

Biggest moment for you at UCF?

“Most people say the bowl wins against Baylor. I would say the biggest moment for us at UCF letting us know we could beat a team like that was when we came back and beat Louisville.

“We were down 28-7 in the third quarter. They had Teddy Bridgewater (at quarterback) who was going to be a first-round pick. We ended up winning this game. I think it was 38-35. Just that comeback, how much fun I had playing in that game, yeah I would probably say that game.”

Have you returned to UCF to see the facilities in the past few years?

“Yeah I have. I went back a few months ago. Seriously jealous. They have a player room, more like a game room. The interior (practice facility) is air conditioned. We don’t We had no air conditioning. So, uh, it’s nice now.

Last question, what do you think UCF needs to do, with the move to the Power Five in the Big XII, in addition to obviously recruiting even better players, to ultimately compete for the college football playoffs?

“As you said, recruiting is one thing, but guys have to really buy in. I think (UCF Head Football Coach Gus) Malzahn really does a great job there. We were in a lot of very close games this year. Just figuring out how to win those close matches, instead of just being competitive. Really, this happens out of season. With all the training, lifting. Just come together.

Thanks to Mr. McCrary for taking the time to talk football and discuss UCF in his day. He is preparing for his next step as he continues to play professional football. Wish him all the best wherever he finds himself in the future.

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