This is the 12th in a series of Q&A's with Bi-City recruits in the Class of 2016. Coming Saturday: Shaw’s Austin Hester.
One of the top passers by yardage in the Bi-City last season doesn’t have a page on 247Sports or multiple stars attached to his name.
When it comes to recruiting, Shaw quarterback B.J. Knight is a relative unknown. And yet his 2,600 yards and 24 touchdown passes indicate that he is doing more than a couple things right.
The rising senior joined the Raiders late last summer, giving himself a short period of time to get control of the playbook and learn how to be a leader of teammates he had never met. With a year under his belt, he is more comfortable and trying to do all he can to get his name on the desk of the right college coach.
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The Ledger-Enquirer spoke with Knight on Thursday about his improvements in Year 2 at Shaw and his future in college football.
How have summer workouts been going for you personally?
They’ve been pretty intense. We’ve got a lot of different coaches, different personalities, new players and some older players who came back off of injury, so we’re playing real tough.
Your numbers were great last year, obviously. What are you trying to improve on even from last year?
I want to be better at managing the game, make better decisions with the ball. Really, for me, I want to make quicker decisions whether to run the ball or pass the ball, and cut down on the incompletions and interceptions.
There’s obviously a leadership role that comes with being a senior quarterback. How have you encountered that this offseason?
Last year, I came in late in the summer, so I was kind of thrown in the fire early. I had to become a leader quicker with guys that I didn’t know. This year, it came much easier. Everybody trusts me and they put their faith in me to make plays. I’ve become more vocal this year on the field, because I’ve usually been the guy who’s just — lead by example. But this year, I’ve become much more vocal.
Why was that a focus for you?
Being a senior, I’m used to always looking up to the seniors. So, I want the freshmen coming up to be able to look up to me.
You’re just like anyone trying to get their tape out there and get attention. How’s that going for you right now?
It’s going pretty good. I’ve got some interest from some Division-I schools — Kennesaw State, Mercer, Air Force, Jackson State. Still waiting for offers.
What do you do in a situation like that, going into your senior season still trying to prove yourself to college coaches?
The mindset I have, I’m just trying to play the best I can and get my name out.
What do you do to try and get their attention? Send out tape, email?
It’s a little of both. My dad and coaches help reach out to coaches. I talk to them on social media and all that.
Do you have a dream school you’d love to play for?
Auburn would be a dream school, really. I’m not even an Auburn fan — I’m an Alabama fan. But the scheme that they run, I love their scheme.
What about the schools you’ve talked to?
Kennesaw State seems like a good fit. I went to a camp, and their offense is a lot like ours. It gets me out in open space and I can run and complete passes.
Any individual goals this year?
Yeah, 3,000 yards passing and 1,000 yards rushing. And we’d really like to get to the playoffs this year because we fell short last year and we shouldn’t have. So I’m trying to get us into the playoffs. Deep into the playoffs.
David Mitchell, Follow David on Twitter @leprepsports.