“The main thing with North Carolina – and all these other schools that I have offers from – is I want to get to see the campus and the student life,” Knott said. “I know it was spring break [at UNC], but you could tell just from looking at the campus how much of a social life it has. Overall, it was great, though.
“I also got to see the facilities – the football field and the locker room.”
Mississippi, where Knott calls home, isn’t exactly a pipeline state for UNC – to say the least. But the 6-foot, 170-pound, Madison (Miss.) Germantown product says the Tar Heels have a great chance of landing him. He has family in both Charlotte and Cary, and has vacationed in N.C. a few times in the past.
“I love the area – that’s why I continue to come down,” Knott said. “I’m going to also try to come down this summer, hopefully. Yeah, I really like this area – every time I come, I have a good time.”
Additionally, Knott’s godfather, Derek Jones, is an assistant coach at Duke – though, that might do more harm than good for UNC’s chances. Jones played with his Knott’s father, David, at Ole Miss.
Speaking of Jones, he personally escorted Knott around Duke’s campus on Monday. Knott also visited NC State that day. While heading home on Wednesday, he said he may drop by Clemson.
In addition to the N.C. Triangle schools, Knott has visited Alabama, LSU, Ole Miss, and Tennessee. He’s in the process of planning a tour of the big three – Florida, Florida State, and Miami – in the Sunshine State, as well as TCU and Texas A&M.
UNC is among 19 schools to have offered Knott a scholarship. Alabama, Louisville, Miami, NC State, Tennessee, and UCLA are some of the other programs to have offered.
Knott won’t announce a list of favorite schools until later in his recruitment. The only program guaranteed a spot on that list is Oregon.
“Overall, it’s just the football aspect,” Knott said. “Also my dad, he was coached by [Oregon secondary coach John] Neal and the consistency to be on top with the football program. It’s a great football program with a great tradition.”
Since UNC is on spring break this week, not many coaches or staff members were on campus on Tuesday. However, Jonathan Rutledge, UNC’s special teams graduate assistant and a Mississippi native, took time out of his vacation to host Knott and be his personal tour guide.
“He basically gave me my own private junior day,” Knott said. “He went over the academic parts of the school and the football parts, and what they’re looking for in the players that make up the school.”
Knott also sat down with UNC’s new defensive backs coach Charlton Warren.
“He showed me the defense they’re going to be in and what they’re going to be running,” Knott said. “And [he talked about] how I would fit in and what I would have to know and what I would have to be able to do to excel in that defense.
“He told me he handpicks his corners and safeties, and that he’s not really looking for that many, also. But he said basically they really want me. He said that I might have been offered previously [by the prior defensive staff], but I was handpicked [by him].”
If he returns to UNC this summer, Knott said he hopes to meet with Larry Fedora, who was out of the office on Tuesday.
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