The University of Central Florida first fielded a varsity football team in 1979, and ascended to Division I–A, now known as the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS), in 1996. The Knights entered an Automatic Qualifying conference in 2013, and won the program's first major bowl game. In 1987, Elgin Davis became the first Knight to be selected in an NFL Draft when he was selected in the twelfth round by the New England Patriots. Since Davis's selection, thirty-two Knights have been drafted into the National Football League, including two first round selections. The highest a UCF player has been drafted is third overall in 2014, when quarterback Blake Bortles was selected by the Jacksonville Jaguars.
was drafted 120th overall by the Denver Broncos in the 2006 NFL Draft