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It seems like just yesterday when Blake Bortles was leading touchdown drives at Bright House Networks Stadium.

However, it's been just more than a year since the quarterback declared for the NFL Draft, starred at the NFL Combine and became the No. 3 overall pick in the 2014 Draft.

Over the weekend, he returned to his old UCF stomping grounds.

Jay Bergman Field was home to the 2nd Annual Chris Duffy Celebrity Softball Game to raise money for the Boys & Girls Club of Central Florida. Along with other UCF alumni such as Daunte Culpepper and Ronnie Richardson, Bortles played in the game.

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Bortles pitched for his team and hit two home runs at the plate, and his team eventually went on to win the event 17-15 while raising money for charity.

After the event was over, Bortles spoke to the Central Florida Future about his love for softball, the NFL and adjusting to life after UCF.

CFF: How did you get involved in this event?

Bortles: I've known Ronnie Richardson, who played here two years ago; I've known him for a while. Just going to school together and playing baseball together and all that. He put me in contact with Chris Duffy and they told me about it, and I was excited and happy to be a part of it.

CFF: What is it about the Boys & Girls Club that's important to you?

Bortles: I think it's just such an important thing to be able to give back, help out and do anything you can with young kids that are going through the things we went through not long ago; and to be able to lend a hand in any way is huge.

CFF: Did you play intramural softball at UCF?

Bortles: I did actually. I've been playing softball since I was like 15.

CFF: You've won high school state championships, the Fiesta Bowl and were selected in the first round of the NFL Draft. How does this win stack up in that list of accomplishments?

Bortles: (Laughs) This was definitely up there. It was up there with those and it was definitely fun. It was a good group of guys that were out here, and girls as well, and they really did a good job. Chris and everybody that helped out did a great job.

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CFF: Not even necessarily as a football player, but in general, what's the transition from college life to the professional world been like?

Bortles: It's just maturity. You're on your own a lot, you're in a locker room full of guys that have wives and kids and you've gotta start paying bills and doing all that stuff. So you grow up pretty quick.

CFF: In football, people always talk about rookies having to adjust to 'the speed of the game' in the NFL. Is that overblown? How much of a real thing is that adjustment?

Bortles: You know, it's true. It's the best athletes in the world, so guys are super talented. But as well as them being talented on defense, the guys on offense are faster too so it kind of evens out.

CFF: Do you have a favorite moment so far from your brief NFL career?

Bortles: You know I don't … I'm living out my dream so every single time I get to run out there, show up and go to practice and sit around the locker room and talk to those guys is special.

CFF: Twenty years from now, when you think back on your time spent at UCF, what do you think is going to be the first thing to come to your mind?

Bortles: I think I'll definitely remember the memories and relationships I built. And winning the Fiesta Bowl with an unbelievable group of guys would probably be the first memory I have.

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Colin Bell is a Senior Staff Writer for the Central Florida Future. Email him at colinb@knights.ucf.edu.

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