Syracuse got itself a keeper in Md. RB Knox

You'll recall that Syracuse received an early commitment last summer from Wicomico (Md.) running back Jamere Knox. Well, little has been written about Knox since then, so recently caught up with Wicomico coach David Nettles for a scouting report, and it sounds as though the Orange have got quite a game-breaker on the way in Mr. Knox.

"He's a fast, explosive back. He has an ‘X' factor that you don't see in many kids," Nettles said of Knox, a 5-foot-11, 170-pound senior who run s a 4.38-second 40-yard dash and has a variety of shifty moves he employs frequently against helpless defenders.

"He can catch, he can run … He's just going to make [tacklers] look stupid, standing there," said Nettles, who is also Knox's legal guardian. "He has balance at that speed and he can change direction at that speed."

Knox, Nettles said, is one of the best athletes to come out of the Eastern Shore in recent years. He's every bit as good a talent as Auburn running back Ben Tate, who is from the same area and who bulldozed his way to 400 yards on more than seven yards per carry as a true freshman this season.

"They have two totally different styles, but skill-wise, [Knox] is in a class by himself," Nettles said of Knox, who rushed for 1,782 yards and 33 touchdowns en route to all-state and Bayside Conference player of the year honors this year.

Knox had interest from a variety of other schools – Illinois and UConn wanted him badly -- some of whom are still calling and trying to recruit him. But he's not budging from his commitment, which he made last summer during a visit to Syracuse.

"They're still calling. I guess they'll call all the way until signing day. But there's been no thought of changing our decision," Nettles said.

Knox wasn't expecting to make such an early decision, but everything about the school and the program just felt right.

"It just felt like I was already supposed to be there," Knox told reporters at the time. "Coach [Greg] Robinson, he was cool, they just seemed like they were family to me. ...They seemed like coach Nettles. They invited me up there with open arms."

"After visiting Syracuse, there was no doubt," Nettles said. "They showed the most interest, and with them it wasn't just about football. Most of the conversation was about academics."

In other words, the academic support system in the Syracuse program was a major factor in his decision.

"He's probably one of the best athletes this area has ever seen [but] he needs academic support," Nettles said.

Nonetheless, Knox is expected to qualify fully and enroll at Syracuse next fall, Know said. Knox's high school teammate Josh White, meantime – a 6-foot-6, 290-pound offensive tackle -- is another Syracuse commit who we'll be profiling shortly.

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