Ranked as one of the top two deep snapper prospects by Kohl's Professional Camps for kicking, punt and deep snapping, a new Auburn assistant coach knew about Knipper from his previous job.
"Jay Boulware, the Auburn special teams coach, worked with the Kohl's camp and he was at Iowa State with Chizik (Auburn head coach Gene Chizik) the two years before," Knipper tells Inside the Auburn Tigers.
"Jamie Kohl, the owner of the camp, kicked at Iowa State and holds a camp every year at Iowa State," Knipper says. "They have a long-standing relationship so when Jay came down to Auburn and saw that the long-snapping position was a critical need he contacted Jamie at Kohl's and says, ‘What have you got?' Jamie recommended me and I have Kohl's to thank for it and my snapping coach there, Kevin Garvoille."
So far Knipper has an opportunity to walk on at Auburn with a chance to earn a scholarship at a later day. He says that he is very interested in the Tigers, but not ready to commit to Auburn or anybody just yet just in case there is a late scholarship offer.
The official visit over the weekend was Knipper's first trip to Auburn and first trip to the state of Alabama. "I have been down to Atlanta for a wedding for half a day," he says. "That is as far south as I have been before visiting Auburn.
"I had a real good time on the trip," he adds. "Ryan Shoemaker, the punter, was my player host. He is a great guy and a lot of fun. I hung out with him and Wes Byrum, the kicker. They are all fun guys. It was a great weekend. I was really impressed."
The 6-4, 225-pounder played defensive end and left offensive guard in high school, but is being recruited by colleges to snap. He says that Wisconsin and Purdue have invited him to walk on and Iowa may, too, but adds that he is impressed by what he saw on his visit to Auburn and is leaning to the Tigers.
"It will take me a lot to convince me not to come there," he says of Auburn, noting that he felt like he fit in well with the players and others he met on his visit.
Knipper says that he is a three-year starter in high school as a snapper and a two-year starter on the offensive line. He earned all-conference honors as a senior at Whitefish High and is also a pitcher in baseball.