UCF rounded out its recruiting class this weekend when it received commitments from two visitors, Ft. Lauderdale Boyd Anderson LB Justin McDonald and Uniondale (N.Y.) ATH William Stanback.
Stanback was an under-the-radar recruit who came to UCF’s attention through a connection with Knights coach George O’Leary. Stanback starred at Uniondale on Long Island under assistant coach Tom Watson, who played for O’Leary at Syracuse from 1983-87.
A 6-1, 212 running back, Stanback also played linebacker and is willing to play on either side of the ball for UCF.
“That’s undetermined yet,” Watson said. “Coach O’Leary will use his best judgement. Will is a football player, he will play wherever they need him. He is thrilled to be at UCF. ... He is willing to play anywhere. He loves offense but if they want him on the other side of the ball he’d be happy with that too.”
Stanback set a school record with over 4,000 career rushing yards and helped lead Uniondale to the playoffs for the second time in his tenure there. After moving to quarterback midway through the season, he combined for 2,050 total yards, including more than 1,300 on the ground, and 19 touchdowns.
He also racked up 75 tackles on defense, playing both inside and outside linebacker, at times in a rover defensive back-linebacker hybrid spot.
The senior showed off his speed and was an all-Long Island selection in track, in which he was part of a 4x100 team that set a Nassau County record in 41.83 seconds.
Stanback had generated some interest from UConn and Syracuse, but when Doug Marrone left for the Buffalo Bills the Orange began to look elsewhere. Watson reached out to his former coach, who took a look at film, and they invited Stanback down on an official visit.
Coaches offered him during the visit, Watson said, and Stanback committed.
“He is thrilled, he is on cloud nine right now,” Watson said. “He couldn’t believe how much of a fit it was. This really worked out for him. Between academic programs that UCF offers and you’re talking about a [top-rated] team and moving to the Big East, all of it pointed in the right direction for him.”