(Photo by Adrian J. Hernandez / New Day Review)
ORLANDO, Fla. – Three UCF Knights stars have declared for the National Football League draft in April. Junior cornerback Mike Hughes, senior tight end Jordan Akins and junior wide receiver Tre’Quan Smith have all decided to take the next step and play professionally.
Hughes made quite the mark in his one and only season at UCF. Perhaps his biggest moment was when he brought Spectrum Stadium to a roar after a game-clinching kickoff return against the USF Bulls to win the “War on I-4.” Hughes totaled three special-teams touchdowns in the 2017 season: two kickoff returns and one punt return.
The cornerback also made an impact on the defensive side with 49 total tackles and four interceptions, including a pick-six.
Thank you Knight Nation!! pic.twitter.com/kv5evNwT4n
— Mike Hughes (@_Bigmikee1) January 8, 2018
Akins, the wide receiver turned tight end, used all four years of eligibility at UCF. After switching to tight end his junior season, Akins doubled his yardage. The former minor-league baseball player recorded 287 yards and 2 touchdowns on 26 receptions in his first two seasons with UCF as a wide receiver; as a tight end, Akins tallied 55 receptions for 862 yards and 6 touchdowns in his final two seasons as a Knight.
Once a Knight, Always a Knight ⚔️
— 2017 National Champions (@UCF_Football) January 6, 2018
Smith was a consistent target for UCF’s passing attack during all three of his collegiate seasons, notching at least 50 catches each year. In each season, Smith made improvements in receptions, yards and touchdowns, totaling 2,748 yards and 22 touchdowns on 168 receptions. Smith even added a rushing touchdown this season.
— Tre’Quan Smith (@TreQuanSmithUCF) January 6, 2018
The three Knights will look to use the momentum of the 2018 Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl to hop up the draft board when NFL teams begin drafting rookies April 26.
For more on the Knights, as they enter the NFL draft, follow Tommy Cardinal on Twitter at @NDR_TomCardinal.