Blake Bortles, Latavius Murray commit $500K gift to UCF athletics department

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·3 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Former UCF football standouts Blake Bortles and Latavius Murray have combined to give the athletic department a $500,000 gift.

The donation will be used to help renovate the sports medicine center and several components of the Wayne Densch Center, which houses the football program. In recognition of their gift, the school is renaming the sports medicine center the Bortles and Murray Athletic Training Room.

“UCF played a huge part in making me the football player and the person I am today,” said Bortles, who played quarterback at UCF from 2010-13. “I created lifelong relationships and countless memories while I was at UCF. I am excited about the direction the program is headed and I’m honored to have played a small part in making this an elite college football program for our current and future student-athletes.

“My time at UCF made me the man and athlete I am today,” added Murray, who starred at running back for the Knights from 2008-12. “My hope is that this gift will help leave an impact on the next generation of UCF Knights. I came to UCF to be a part of history, and it’s an honor to be able to continue that history.”

Bortles was named the American Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Year as a senior in 2013 after leading UCF to a conference championship and a win over Baylor in the Fiesta Bowl. He was the third overall pick in the 2014 NFL draft by the Jacksonville Jaguars.

The Oviedo product played for the Jaguars from 2014-18, the Los Angeles Rams (2019) and the Denver Broncos (2020). He signed a one-year deal with the Green Bay Packers this offseason.

Murray finished with 2,424 career yards during his time with the Knights, ranking sixth all-time in school history. He was a sixth-round pick of the Oakland Raiders, playing three seasons for the franchise before moving on to the Minnesota Vikings (2017-18) and the New Orleans Saints (2019-now).

“Latavius and Blake obviously are UCF legends and after meeting both it’s clear they also are exceptional young men,” said new UCF coach Gus Malzahn. “Their combined gift shows how important this program and this university is to them.

“We want to thank them for their generosity and support as well as wish them continued success in their professional careers. They are great guys for our players to look up to.”

Added new UCF athletics director Terry Mohajir, “Tay and Blake are great examples of outstanding people that took advantage of their opportunities while students at UCF. Their academic/athletics successes, combined with their leadership traits, gave them the ability to make a substantial commitment to their university! I believe this gift commitment has illustrated their desires to see more student-athletes who benefited from their time here follow their direction by giving back to our school.”

This article first appeared on OrlandoSentinel.com. Email Matt Murschel at mmurschel@orlandosentinel.com or follow him on Twitter at @osmattmurschel.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting