SIDELINE SCENE: New UCF coach establishes relationship with Dr. Phillips

Knights head coach Scott Frost locked up a commitment from Panthers star Jaquarius "Q" Bargnare.

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  • | 11:57 p.m. December 9, 2015
Courtesy Dave Jester
Courtesy Dave Jester
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The University of Central Florida announced the official successor to George O’Leary as the head coach of its football program Dec. 1 — Scott Frost, the offensive coordinator for the high-powered Oregon Ducks’ offense.

Frost, who was the quarterback for the Nebraska team that won the 1997 National Championship, is 40. 

Steven Ryzewski
Steven Ryzewski

His youth, relative to the coaching profession, is expected to hopefully translate into energy and success on the recruiting trails and his expertise of the system at Oregon — a program that has been a staple in the national polls — is expected to help lure some of Florida’s top athletes who might want to stay close to home and play within a system that lends itself to their strengths.

Mainly, speed.

At his introductory press conference, Frost indicated he would be putting a priority on recruiting locally in Central Florida — an area with which the previous regime struggled.

“Listen, we don’t need to go very far to find kids to win at UCF,” Frost said. “The kids are right here.”

Talk is one thing, but in just a matter of days, the new head guy for the Knights and the staff he is still in the process of assembling have shown they plan on backing up that talk. 

As of Monday night, UCF had already picked up commitments from Dr. Phillips’ wide receiver Jaquarius “Q” Bargnare, Daytona Beach Mainland running back Adrian Killins and Sanford Seminole cornerback Brandon Moore. These are in addition to the commitments to the Knights already in place from the previous staff.

The commitments Frost has picked up since hired are significant in a variety of ways.

First, they didn’t take long, meaning the first-time head coach got right to work. After a disastrous 0-12 season that probably had lots of UCF targets thinking twice about coming to Orlando, that is important.

Second, not only did he immediately deliver on his pledge to recruit the local area, but he did so by going after players at schools where he’ll need to establish relationships.

Take Dr. Phillips, for instance.

Bargnare is, of course, a great get for any program. The explosive playmaker for the Panthers is dynamic and versatile, with a good head on his shoulders and lots of big-play ability. But, in addition to getting Bargnare, Frost has now begun his relationship with head coach Rodney Wells’ program — a program whose current Class of 2017 bunch is loaded with Division I prospects.

UCF already has a Panther alum on its roster in Nick Patti. Although it’s not official until National Signing Day, it figures to have another next fall in Bargnare. But what if this is just the beginning and, a few seasons from now, there are four or five Dr. Phillips alumni on the Knights’ roster?

And it won’t be limited to the Panthers, either. Olympia, West Orange — even Windermere Prep and CFCA — all churn out athletes with Division I potential.

Now that there is a fresh face at the local Division I program, fans of those local kids might not have to travel too far to see some of them play their college ball.


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