There’s an unexpected player in the recruitment of four-star cornerback Nigel Knott.
Notre Dame defensive backs coach Kerry Cooks reached out via Twitter the last couple weeks to let the junior from Madison, Miss., know he had hit the recruiting board back in South Bend. Knott has since been exchanging messages with Cooks almost “daily.”
“Basically the coach told me that they wanted to go ahead and get something set up to visit,” Knott said. “He told me I was at the top of his list. They’ve got my name written down on a board. They really want me to get there.”
Knott adds Notre Dame to a list of interested programs that includes Arkansas, Cal, Clemson, South Carolina, TCU and UCLA.
Cincinnati, Louisville, Miami, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Southern Miss and Tennessee have offered.
Some are more familiar than others as 6-foot, 170-pound prospect continues to do research.
He mentioned Notre Dame to his mother, then went online to look up some facts about the University and football program.
“My mom had come in the room and she was like, ‘Who are you texting?’” Knott said. “I told her it was a coach from Notre Dame. She was like, ‘The Notre Dame?’ I was like, ‘Yes.’ And she was like, ‘Man, they used to be the stuff back in my day.’ I talked a little bit about them with her then I looked them up and saw that tradition and stuff like that. It’s a great school.”
Knott hopes to learn more about the programs in pursuit with some unofficial visits and junior days this offseason.
Miami, Tennessee and TCU are all potential visits. Knott wants to make a trip to TCU on Feb. 1, but nothing is set. Knott is already considering the possibility of playing college ball somewhere outside the Southeast.
“I’m open to leaving,” he said. “I’m open to anything. I feel like if it’s the best school and the relationship I have with the school, I’m gonna go there. My parents, we talked about it already and if sometimes they’re not able to make the game I’m OK with that. There’s always TV. I’m trying to get the best opportunity and what I feel is right. I wanna have fun at school, a school that I wanna go to and can be there for four years.”
Knott expects options both near and far to expand, especially after National Signing Day.
“I have a lot more interest,” he said. “I think since it’s getting close to the 2015 signing day, a lot more coaches have been talking to me. Like (Monday), I talked to the South Carolina Gamecocks. The assistant coaches reached out to me on Twitter. There’s been a whole lot more coaches trying to get in contact with me. That’s pretty cool.”