Knights redshirt junior wide receiver Kyle Coltrain has been a UCF football fan all of his life. When he got the chance to walk-on to the team his freshman year, he was ecstatic.
The son of former Knights wide receiver Ted Coltrain wanted to follow in his father’s footsteps and play for the Knights.
“He had some opportunities at some other schools,” Ted said. “When we got a call from coach Beckton to come down and take a visit, we went down there and after the visit we got in the car and he goes ‘Dad, I’m a Knight.’ It just brought tears to my eyes, and I looked at him and said ‘Charge on son, charge on.’”
Ted was a part of a great team in UCF history. The 1990 squad made the record books by becoming the first school in history to qualify for the I-AA playoffs in its first season of eligibility and further that success by reaching the semifinals of the playoffs that year.
“I knew he was a tough guy, he was a good football player from what I heard,” Kyle said. “He played alongside coach Beckton, who is a great coach here, and then actually my uncle played here as well. He was a receiver in the slot and was a great punt returner and a fast guy.”
In high school, Kyle was a quarterback at Guerin Catholic High School in Noblesville, Indiana. He played on the varsity team for three years and completed 53 percent of his passes for 1,176 yards and eight touchdowns.
Kyle also got some playing time on the other side of the ball during his high school days. With his flexibility, he ultimately transitioned to a wide receiver here at UCF, just like his father.
“When I got the call to walk-on here, I was actually committed to walk-on to another school,” Kyle said. “It was a no-brain decision right away. I remember jumping up and down, and it has been a dream come true. I am just blessed to be here every day — I love it.”
Following UCF football while growing up in Indiana can be quite a task. Kyle and his father said they struggled to catch every game.
“At the time when I was growing up, they were not on TV as much,” Kyle said. “I’d follow the ESPN game tracker to just see when they were moving the ball. I was a fan of the basketball team, and I had a UCF phone case, so kind of my whole life has been UCF all the way.”
The role of a walk-on is to ultimately challenge scholarship players and help the team practice better in preparing for a new season or a new opponent. His father and position coach have taken notice to his great work ethic, which is a much-needed characteristic when playing at such a high level.
“Kyle is a guy that is going to show up every day; he gives you everything he has,” Knights offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach Troy Walters said. “Walk-ons play a huge role. They come in, and they earn everything they do, and in this offense, the way we practice, they get just as many reps as scholarship guys. They have the opportunity to show the coaches what they can do and earn playing time.”
Matthew Saunders is a Digital Producer for the Central Florida Future.