Demetrius Knight wasn’t bothered by not having a recruiting ranking from the likes of 247 Sports and Rivals, per se. But the quarterback from Strong Rock Christian School in Henry County acknowledged he got a little down seeing other quarterbacks he knew with rankings and stars by their names.
“I wasn’t sure I had any (stars), but I tried not to think about that and tried not to look at that,” Knight said.
He now has something more meaningful than recruiting stars – a spot in Georgia Tech’s 2019 recruiting class. Knight committed to Tech on Monday just after receiving the scholarship offer. He described himself as “very excited” about the decision.
“I told them that I wasn’t going to switch up,” he said. “I feel very confident about my decision, and that’s what I’m sticking with.”
Knight is the rare prospect who committed to Tech without some level of presence in the world of recruiting rankings. Before his offer Monday, he had received an offer from Tennessee Tech, an FCS team that hasn’t had a winning season since 2011, and was on the verge of receiving another from Georgia Southern, he said. As of Tuesday, 247 Sports had assigned ratings to at least 14 quarterbacks in the state of Georgia in the 2019 class.
Playing at a Class A private school, Knight said he wondered “if I’d be able to get any attention at the collegiate level.”
Knight has been the starting quarterback at Strong Rock since he was a freshman. Coach Tommy Webb also has used him at wide receiver and running back. Last year, he ran for 1,025 yards and passed for 682 and was named to the all-region team for Region 5-A. His highlight video reveals a shotgun quarterback with elusiveness as a runner and an accurate arm. At 6-foot-2 and 218 pounds, he has good size for a Tech quarterback.
“We don’t limit him to being just a great runner,” Webb said. “He’s good for us, and we pretty much are blessed to have him for sure.”
In his quest to play collegiately, Knight said he received particularly meaningful affirmation after a game last season from a coach at Our Lady of Mercy.
“He said that I’m one of the tougher quarterbacks that they have to play and game plan for,” Knight said. “He said I’d be a perfect fit at an ACC school.”
To help bring Knight attention, Webb said, he reached out to college coaches across multiple levels, but didn’t get many nibbles at the game’s higher echelons.
“It’s funny, because we’re a very small school – we’re single-A and we play in a very good, competitive league – but sometimes, being small, certain players are overlooked,” Webb said.
Before participating at Tech’s camp June 3, Knight had also gone to camps at Miami, Florida State and Oklahoma. He came to Tech’s camp at the invitation of assistant coach Joe Speed, Tech’s area recruiter for Henry County, who had met Knight on a visit to the school. At the camp, he ran the 40-yard dash in 4.5 seconds and then took part in throwing drills, first without defenders and then to receivers against a defense.
“Throwing went very well,” Knight said. “They were impressed with my ability to throw the ball as well as run.”
He threw from the pocket and out of it. He recalled completing a deep post of about 30 yards. Coaches were noticing.
“That’s what they told me,” Knight said. “They were not expecting that, and I just kind of got them buzzing, they said.”
The performance evidently secured him a scholarship offer contingent on test scores. The feedback took him by surprise.
“It made me feel really good that I was doing something right to get some attention,” Knight said.
To get his offer, Knight had to wait for his SAT scores to come back. They met Tech’s satisfaction, and the offer came Monday. He became the eighth member of the recruiting class and its first quarterback. Tech may add another quarterback to the group.
Knight is considering enrolling early at Tech. For what it’s worth, 247 Sports built a recruiting page for him Monday, although it has yet to assign him any stars. It likely doesn’t matter to Knight.
“I just wanted to play at a collegiate level,” Knight said.
Not only will he do that, but, provided he follows through and enrolls at Tech, he’ll be Strong Rock’s first football player at the FBS or FCS levels, Webb said. The school will be playing its 12th season this fall.
“Some kind of drop through the cracks, and I’m just glad that he did not because he’s such a wonderful young man that we were going to do everything that we could to make sure that he got in front of as many people as we could and go from there,” Webb said.
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