"We are throwing the ball around," said wide receiver Ezekial Knight. "I hope we continue to do that. Brodie (Alabama quarterback Brodie Croyle) is doing great. All the quarterbacks are. Even the freshmen are learning fast."
Zeke Knight, as he is known, was a late arrival in 2004. While many freshmen checked in for summer school and got a head start working with their future teammates, Knight was mired down by the NCAA Clearinghouse being unable to give him speedy academic clearance. But it didn't take Knight long to get up to speed.
He finished as Bama's njumber six receiver in 2004 with 10 catches for 98 yards and a long reception of 39 yards. Then in the spring he was the Tide's top receiver.
Knight, 6-4, 225 (up about 10 pounds over his freshman year), was named winner of the Ozzie Newsome Most Improved Freshman Award, given to the player (regardless of position) Alabama coaches feel made the most progress in the first year.
In the three spring scrimmages, Knight had 12 receptions for 145 yards and four touchdowns–all team highs.
"I had a pretty good spring, but there is always room for improvement," Knight said. "I try to get better every day. I don't want to settle for less."
Unlike the summer of 2004, Knight spent the entire summer of 2005 in Tuscaloosa going to summer school and working out with his teammates. "It really helped me," he said.
Knight likes having a large group of talented wide receivers. "I see us having a lot of guys who can do the job," he said. "That means we can spread the ball around, not having to depend on just one receiver. And that means the defense has to play everyone. And all of us believe there are plenty of passes to go around."
Knight is an outstanding athlete who at one time was projected as a possible linebacker or tight end. But the Alabama coaching staff is sold on the notion of having big receivers, which makes Knight a valuable member of the wide outs.
He did it all at Randolph County High School in Wedowee, playing linebacker on defense and wide receiver on offense and starring as a kick return man. He led his team to the 2A state championship as he was 2A Back of the Year and MVP in the state championship game.