ORLANDO, Fla. - Saturday served as a day UCF running back Latavius Murray and safety Kemal Ishmael will remember the rest of their lives, as Murray was selected in the sixth round of the 2013 NFL Draft by the Oakland Raiders and Ishmael was taken in the seventh round by the Atlanta Falcons.
A native of Nedrow, N.Y., Murray served as the 181st overall pick of this year’s draft, and was the first Knight taken by the Raiders since Doug Gabriel was tagged in the fifth round in 2003. For Ishmael, the Miami product was the 243rd pick of the draft, and the first Knight to be taken by the Atlanta Falcons in school history.
The Knights’ first began play in Conference USA in the 2005 season, and they just wrapped up its final campaign in the league this past year. During that time, UCF was the only school in the conference to have at least one player taken in every NFL Draft from 2006-13, marking eight-consecutive NFL Drafts in which a Knight heard his name called.
Through this year’s draft, the Knights lead C-USA with 12 draft picks dating back to UCF’s first NFL Draft as a member of the league in 2005-06.
Most NFL Draft Picks from C-USA Schools from 2006-13
- UCF – 12
- SMU – 9
- East Carolina – 8
- UTEP – 6
- Rice - 6
Since 1987 when Ted Wilson and Elgin Davis became the first Knights to be selected in school history, a total of 31 UCF student-athletes have heard their name called by NFL organizations.
Murray began making a name for himself as a redshirt sophomore in 2010. That season, he was the C-USA Championship Game MVP and the AutoZone Liberty Bowl MVP when he rushed for 104 yards and a touchdown in the victory over Georgia.
He was then named the team’s MVP in 2011 before dominating defenses as a senior in 2012, where he garnered All-C-USA First Team honors by the league’s head coaches. A Doak Walker Award Watch List member, Murray was the first player in school history to have a rushing touchdown in nine-straight games, and did not lose a fumble in his final 407 carries as a Knight. Overall, he fumbled the ball just three times out of 453-collegiate carries.
Murray wrapped up his senior season with 1,106 rushing yards on 198 carries, posting 15 rushing touchdowns in the process. All-time in Black and Gold, Murray was second in UCF history in overall touchdowns (44), eighth in attempts (453), sixth in yards (2,424) and third in rushing touchdowns (37).
As a receiver, Murray hauled in 50 passes for 524 yards and six touchdowns in his career. That included 27 receptions in 2012. He also had a 69-yard kickoff return for a touchdown at Southern Miss during his junior campaign.
Ishmael wasted little time breaking into the UCF defensive back, starting nine games as a true freshman in 2009. That started a stretch where he started 49-straight games at free safety for the Knights to end his career.
A 2010 All-C-USA First Team honoree, he stepped it up even further as a senior when he was voted as the C-USA Defensive Player of the Year. The Jim Thorpe Award Watch List member finished his time in Orlando as UCF’s all-time top tackler among defensive backs, and ranked third overall with 368 tackles.
In 2012 alone, Ishmael had 124 tackles, which was good for ninth in single-season history. One of his biggest moments was his overtime interception to seal the win over Southern Miss, while he notched his first sack as a Knight on his final play at Bright House Networks Stadium.
In all, Ishmael played in 53 games with six forced fumbles, six recoveries, 13 passes defended and six interceptions.
Plan your game days with the Knights in 2013, and experience one of the best schedules in program history in the best available seat locations at Bright House Networks Stadium. 2013 season tickets start at $99. To secure your UCF football season tickets, visit UCFAthletics.com or call 407-UCF-1000.
UCF Football in the NFL Draft
Player Pos. Team Year Round Pick
Ted Wilson WR Washington Redskins 1987 10 274
Elgin Davis DB New England Patriots 1987 12 330
Bernard Ford WR Buffalo Bills 1988 3 65
Corris Ervin DB Denver Broncos 1988 5 136
Raymond Irvin DB Cleveland Browns 1991 9 225
Shawn Jefferson WR Houston Oilers 1991 9 240
Bob Spitulski LB Seattle Seahawks 1992 3 66
Rick Hamilton LB Washington Redskins 1993 3 71
Greg Jefferson DE Philadelphia Eagles 1995 3 72
Marquette Smith RB Carolina Panthers 1996 5 142
Daunte Culpepper QB Minnesota Vikings 1999 1 11
Paul Miranda DB Indianapolis Colts 1999 4 96
Charles Lee WR Green Bay Packers 2000 7 242
Travis Fisher DB St. Louis Rams 2002 2 64
Asante Samuel DB New England Patriots 2003 4 120
Doug Gabriel WR Oakland Raiders 2003 5 167
Mike Mabry OL Baltimore Ravens 2003 7 250
Elton Patterson DE Cincinnati Bengals 2003 7 259
Michael Gaines TE Carolina Panthers 2004 7 234
Brandon Marshall WR Denver Broncos 2006 4 119
Mike Sims-Walker WR Jacksonville Jaguars 2007 3 79
Kevin Smith TB Detroit Lions 2008 3 64
Josh Sitton OL Green Bay Packers 2008 4 135
Mike Merritt TE Kansas City Chiefs 2008 7 239
Joe Burnett CB Pittsburgh Steelers 2009 5 168
Torell Troup DT Buffalo Bills 2010 2 41
Jah Reid OT Baltimore Ravens 2011 3 85
Bruce Miller DE/FB San Francisco 49ers 2011 7 211
Josh Robinson DB Minnesota Vikings 2012 3 66
Latavius Murray RB Oakland Raiders 2013 6 181
Kemal Ishmael DB Atlanta Falcons 2013 7 243