COLLEGE FOOTBALL: UCF Knights Alumni Blake Bortles, Josh Sitton Headline the 2021 UCF Athletics Hall of Fame Class
By John Heisler, University of Central Florida // September 10, 2021
induction banquet is set for Oct. 8
ORLANDO, FLORIDA – Five former UCF athletic greats Blake Bortles, Afia Charles, Natalie Land, Josh Sitton, and Jermaine Taylor comprise the UCF Athletics Hall of Fame class for 2021.
That quintet will be recognized at an induction banquet on Friday, Oct. 8, 2021, at the Celeste Hotel (4105 N. Alafaya Trail) on the UCF campus in Orlando.
Individual tickets are $135 each—or $1,250 for a Hall of Fame Table (10 seats)–and include an hour-long cocktail reception beginning at 6 p.m. ET followed by the dinner and program at 7 p.m. ET.
CLICK HERE to purchase tickets. Questions can be directed to Aly Derksen in UCF Athletics at 321-558-6291.
The five inductees will be honored on the field at halftime of the UCF-East Carolina football game the following day at the Bounce House (kickoff time TBD).
The UCF Athletics Hall of Fame since 1998 has been inducting former Knight players and coaches and others connected to the UCF program.
Here are details on the five 2021 inductees:
Blake Bortles, Football, 2010-14
■ Oviedo, Florida, the product was American Athletic Conference offensive player of the year as senior in 2013
■ led UCF to AAC championship that year and 52-42 win over fifth-rated Baylor in Fiesta Bowl –threw for 3,059 yards and 25 touchdowns in 2012 and 3,581 yards and 25 more TDs as senior in 2013
■ third overall pick in 2014 NFL Draft by Jacksonville Jaguars
■ played for Jaguars from 2014-18, with Los Angeles Rams in 2019, Rams and Denver Broncos in 2020, and was with the Green Bay Packers during the 2021 preseason
■ has thrown for 17,649 yards and 103 TDs in his pro career with 73 career starts
■ the top season came in 2015 for Jacksonville—4,428 passing yards and 35 passing TDs
Afia Charles, Track and Field, 2011-14
■ Greenbelt, Maryland, the product was UCF’s first track and field Olympian
■ represented Antigua & Barbuda in 400 meters in 2012 in London
■ earned All-America honors in 2011 NCAA indoor 4×400 relay, 2013 outdoor 4×100 relay, and 2014 outdoor 4×400 relay
■ helped set UCF record of 3:32.59 in 4×400 relay
■ helped UCF to three Conference USA outdoor titles and two indoor titles
■ helped UCF take fifth at 2013 NCAA outdoor meet, led by 4×100 relay that finished second
■ president of UCF Student-Athlete Advisory Committee
Natalie Land, Softball, 2009-12
■ Mayo, Florida, the product was a three-time first-team all-Conference USA pick in 2010-11-12
■ the second baseman ranks sixth all-time at UCF in hitting (.316), eighth in hits (206), second in stolen bases (102), fourth in runs scored (134), sixth in total bases, and 10th in slugging percentage (.445)
■ set UCF single-season mark for stolen bases with 43 in 2012
■ helped Knights to NCAA Championship in 2010 and 2012 and to C-USA title game in 2010
■ 2012 Conference USA Scholar-Athlete of Year
■ three-time CoSIDA Academic All-District pick (first team in 2011 and 2012)
■ competed with U.S. Women’s National Baseball Team
Josh Sitton, Football, 2004-07
■ Pensacola, Florida, product started 43 games in his UCF career
■ first-team all-Conference USA in 2007 as Knights won the first all-time league title
■ regular at different times at both offensive guard positions and right tackle
■ helped Kevin Smith rush for UCF record 2,567 yards in 2007
■ helped Knights to bowl games after the 2005 and 2007 seasons
■ a fourth-round pick of Green Bay Packers in the 2008 NFL Draft
■ earned Pro Bowl honors in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2016 as an offensive guard
■ helped Packers win Super Bowl XLV
■ also played two seasons with Chicago Bears and one with Miami Dolphins, then retired after the 2018 season
■ only Knight football player to win a league title, start in a bowl game, start in a Super Bowl and play in the Pro Bowl
■ named to Pro Football Focus 2010s All-Decade Team (second team)
Jermaine Taylor, Basketball, 2005-09
■ Basketball Times third-team All-America in 2008-09
■ Honorable mention Associated Press All-America as senior in 2008-09
■ Conference USA Player of the Year as senior in 2009
■ averaged 26.2 points (third-best in the nation)
■ set C-USA season records with 466 points and 29.1 per game in league play
■ set UCF record with 812 points as senior in 2009
■ led UCF with 20.8 points per game as a junior in 2007-08
■ finished with 1,979 career points, most in Division I era and third all-time at UCF
■ finished second in career three-point goals at UCF with 251
■ 32nd overall pick in the second round by Washington Wizards in 2009 NBA Draft
■ played for Houston Rockets, Sacramento Kings, plus seven seasons with NBA D-League, internationally as well and currently in Big 3 League.
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