Jim Teknipp has the size, speed, and skill set to be a great tight end. That seemed pretty apparent to most who observed him play at Riverside H.S. in Ohio when he was a sophomore. Unfortunately for Teknipp though, he played for a coach that rarely threw the football, so he wasn't able to truly showcase his talents.
"My coach in Ohio only wanted to run the football," Teknipp told InsideKnights.com. "We'd be down and in a position to throw the ball, but all he wanted to do was run. I always had the option to play with my uncle in Georgia, so I moved down south to a school that would throw it."
Teknipp's move to Henry County (Ga.) proved to be the right move. He played in a pass-happy system where he thrived. Recruiters and scouts visited his school daily, mainly to get a look at the four-star receiver, Jamal Patterson, but coaches also liked what they saw in Teknipp.
"Jamal certainly helped draw a lot of publicity," added Teknipp. "Every big school you could imagine came to Henry. Up in Ohio though, the biggest school that came around was UCF."
What exactly was UCF doing in Ohio? Teknipp committed to UCF in the summer after the Knights saw him play to his potential. Teknipp decided though that home would be the best place for him, especially after his old coach in Ohio was fired and replaced with a more pass-oriented coach (Riverside's former defensive coordinator.)
"Being back with my family was a big part in me moving back up north. We had a decent year, we went 5-5 but we could have done more."
UCF tight end coach, Brent Key, recently visited Teknipp and it appears the talented tight end will be taking his official visit to UCF December 6th.
"I've been to the campus before, but I really want to get down there and get situated."
Teknipp is as strong a commit as they come for the Knights and is scoping out the area because he plans on heading south a little early.
"I'm going to enroll early and play during the spring. I should be down there in February and it will be a lot warmer, that's for sure. I had a teammate, Chris Jackson, and he said he started playing early as a freshman. I think getting into the system early would really help out."
The 6'6" tight end has experienced the best of both worlds playing in the south and up north, which should make him a better all around player come this spring.
"The game's definitely a lot faster down south. Up north they are bigger and pretty much lift all the time. Playing in Georgia helped me improve in the passing game, especially after the catch, it became a lot easier to out-run opponents; I was probably the second fastest player on the team."
Before Teknipp enrolls at UCF he said he'd like to get a little bigger.
"I think I have good hands, good route-running and I have improved on the physical aspect of the game. I'm at 220 lbs. right now and I'd like to gain around 8-10 lbs. before February."
Teknipp didn't get a lot of attention from recruits after he moved back to Ohio, which could be good for UCF. He had over 500 receiving yards this season and seven touchdowns. He has excellent size and is becoming a good overall tight end, a lot of that due to the eclectic places he's played. If Teknipp can take what he's learned from his varying experiences with him, he could be a steal for the Knights in this 2009 recruiting class.
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