After Pinson Valley lost to Mountain Brook in the quarterfinals of the 6A playoffs, Indians defensive lineman Connor Knight knew that this off season was going to be important to him and his teammates. Mountain Brook defeated Pinson Valley 30-0 after coming off a state championship run in 2020.
Pinson Valley has been used to championships and that is the level Knight wants to see the Indians get back to. "I believe we definitely were really good this last season," said Indians DL Knight. "Honestly we underachieved. We know the Pinson Valley standard and last year wasn't an example of that. I feel like for us to be a championship team, we need to go into the off season more discipline, hungry and attack everyday with a purpose."
Knight is a 6'3, 275-pound defensive tackle and knows some specific areas that he would like to improve on for next season. "I want to become faster off the ball and play lower," added Knight.
With former Indians head coach Sam Shade moving onto Miles College, currently Pinson Valley is without a head coach and they would not have to go far to hire Indians offensive coordinator Keon Handley. The Indians offense has been going against Knight in scrimmages and Handley likes what he sees in Knight. "Connor is explosive out the hips," said Indians OC Handley. "He is very versatile guy that can play on both sides of the ball. He developed into a leader that is focused on the standard of being a champion and not just his recruitment. I wouldn't be surprised if he starts getting Power 5 offers on both sides of the ball. That will make him more versatile and marketable."
The recruiting scene has really picked up for Knight this off season. His offers are South Alabama, Morgan State, Morehouse College, Akron, Eastern Kentucky, Alabama A&M, Houston, Oregon State, Tennessee-Martin, Miami, Troy, Toledo, Jacksonville State, Samford, Western Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee-Chattanooga, Tennessee State and Jackson State for a total of 19 offers.
Knight does not have favorites right now but there is a good tier that he likes in Miami, Kentucky, Eastern Kentucky, Troy, Houston and Jackson State. "Miami is the U and I feel like their program is in incredible hands under Coach Cristobal," said Knight. "What sets them apart is that I can call and text Coach Cristobal whenever I need to. Kentucky is obviously in the SEC and that says a lot because of the amount of players that league has put in the next level and Kentucky has put in a lot of player in the league as well."
"Troy is my dad's alma mater so that is legacy and I have grown up watching them," added Knight. "Jackson State is Deion Sanders, the type of man he is to lead an HBCU and turn it into a power house along being bigger than football with him. I really like EKU when I visited back in October. I have relationships with several coaches up there."
Knight is planning to take official visits to Miami and Kentucky along with an unofficial visits back to Miami and one to Kansas State. Offers keep coming in for Knight so I'm sure more to come from him on the recruiting trail.