The first full weekend of preseason games in the NFL got started Thursday night and a number of former Knights impressed, including three rookies from last year’s 2017 squad. Jordan Akins ’17Shaquem Griffin ’16 and Tre’Quan Smith ’17 all had stellar NFL debuts.

Currently, there are 23 former UCF student-athletes on 15 different NFL rosters all vying to make their respective team’s final 53-man squad for the 2018 season.

Akins, who started in Aug. 9’s game against Kansas City, needed just two plays to make his splash. The Houston tight end hauled in two catches for 20 yards and two touchdowns as the Texans defeated the Chiefs, 17-10.

Griffin, a fifth-round pick who captured the nation’s attention at the 2018 NFL Draft, subbed in at linebacker, and to no surprise of any UCF fan, led Seattle in tackles. The former American Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Year finished with nine total tackles, six solo tackles and one tackle-for-loss in a 19-17 loss to the Colts.

Smith, also starting in his first NFL game, led the Saints in receiving going up against a couple of former Knights on the Jaguars. Smith finished with four catches for 48 yards, as New Orleans won 24-20 over Jacksonville.

Another big-time receiver for the Knights had an impressive outing, as Breshad Perriman led the Ravens in receiving as Baltimore routed the Rams, 33-7. Perriman caught three passes for 71 yards, including a 32-yard score.

Finally, Blake Bortles had an efficient night in Week 1 of the preseason. Bortles completed 6-of-9 for 53 yards through the air and rushed once for a two-yard touchdown.

Knights in Preseason Week 1 (Results/Schedule)

Kamar Aiken’11 (Philadelphia Eagles) – Started vs. Steelers
Jordan Akins ’17 (Houston Texans) – Started, 2 catches for 20 yards and 2 TDs vs. Chiefs
Blake Bortles (Jacksonville Jaguars) – 6-of-9 for 53 yards, 1 rush for 2 yards and 1 TD vs. Saints
A.J. Bouye ’14 (Jacksonville Jaguars) – Started vs. Saints
Aaron Evans ’16 (Philadelphia Eagles) – Played vs. Steelers
Jordan Franks (Cincinnati Bengals) – 1 catch for 12 yards vs. Bears
Clayton Geathers ’14 (Indianapolis Colts) – Did not play vs. Seahawks
Shaquill Griffin’16 (Seattle Seahawks) – Started, 1 pass break-up vs. Colts
Shaquem Griffin ’16 (Seattle Seahawks) – 9 tackles, 6 solo, 1 TFL vs. Colts
Mike Hughes (Minnesota Vikings) – 2 tackles vs. Broncos
Charley Hughlett ’12 (Cleveland Browns) – Played vs. Giants
Kemal Ishmael ’13 (Atlanta Falcons) – Did not play vs. Jets
D.J. Killings ’16 (Philadelphia Eagles) – 2 tackles vs. Steelers
Brandon Marshall ’06 (Seattle Seahawks) – Started vs. Colts
Justin McCray ’14 (Green Bay Packers) – Started vs. Titans
Latavius Murray ’12 (Minnesota Vikings) – 4 rushes for 43 yards vs. Broncos
T.J. Mutcherson ’17 (Seattle Seahawks) – Played vs. Colts
Breshad Perriman (Baltimore Ravens) – 3 catches for 71 yards and 1 TD vs. Rams
Jamiyus Pittman (Miami Dolphins) – 3 tackles vs. Bucs
Matt Prater (Detroit Lions) – 1 extra point vs. Raiders
Josh Robinson (Tampa Bay Buccaneers) – Played vs. Dolphins
Josh Sitton (Miami Dolphins) – Started vs. Bucs
Tre’Quan Smith ’17 (New Orleans Saints) – Started, 4 catches for 48 yards vs. Jaguars