East Gadsden (Greenville, Fla.) free safety Qwuantrezz Knight thought he had an offer from Maryland a month or so ago, before the Christmas holidays set in. He’d head from UMD defensive backs coach Aazaar Abdul-Rahim and was eagerly anticipating visiting College Park, Md.
But, as it turned out, the firm scholarship wasn’t quite available to the 6-foot, 190-pound Eastern Michigan commit. At least, not yet.
But with Signing Day nearing and the Terps still in need of defensive backs, Knight finally pulled in the real thing when headman D.J. Durkin stopped by East Gadsden Jan. 27.
“The offer finally came to reality for real this time,” laughed Knight, who holds no other offers other than EMU. “It’s official now. My high school coach had been putting me out there, and he met Coach Rahim about a month or so ago, so that got Maryland interested in me. And then a month later Coach Durkin is down here to tell me he figures I’m everything their program needs. He told me I had an offer from Maryland, and I told him it was an honor.”
Needless to say, Knight was thrilled.
“Absolutely excited,” Knight said. “I was firmly committed to Eastern Michigan, but my options are opening now. I’m taking an official visit to Maryland [Jan. 29] and then I’ll go from there.”
So, what are the chances Knight commits on said official?
Knight, realizing this was a loaded question, laughed.
“Well, you know the chances,” he said. “You know how it goes when you get a real big offer. Me and my family were very excited about it. I’ll take the visit and go from there. But I guess you could say there’s a very good chance I commit.”
Since Knight has been in touch with Abdul-Rahim for the last month, he’s had time to research Maryland. He called it a “very attractive” school and a “great opportunity.”
“I found out Coach Durkin was at Florida from 2010 to 2014 and was at Michigan for a year. He’s a very good defensive coach and knows how to develop his players,” Knight said. “And I read Maryland had been down for awhile, but it sounds like Coach Durkin in going to be building it up. It would be cool to be part of building up a program.
“And I know Maryland is in a power-five conference too, and it’s any kid’s dream to play in a big conference like the Big Ten.”
Although Knight did not hold a committable UMD offer until Jan. 27, Abdul-Rahim treated him as a priority target. Knight said the two have developed a very good relationship.
“Coach Rahim called me like every day when he was able to. He is a great guy and he’s so chill,” Knight said. “We’ve built a strong bond over the last few weeks. And Coach Durkin is the same way -- straight up and real. And when he came down to see me, I really enjoyed it.”
For now, Knight remains committed to EMU. He gave the staff his pledge during his official visit back in November and has remained in contact with the staff every day.
“It’s great people at Eastern Michigan,” Knight said. “They’ve been on me for awhile now, and it’s a pretty good program.”
Knight is coming off a season where he starred on both sides of the ball for East Gadsden. He recorded 110 tackles, seven picks and 700 all-purpose yards.
“I’m going to be a free safety at the next level,” Knight said. “I can play all over, but Maryland wants me at free safety.”