One More Ride for McKnight

Senior wide receiver Rhema McKnight is looking forward to a big year as he wraps up his Notre Dame career. McKnight, who has earned three monograms, was the team's leading receiver the past two seasons. In 2004, he had 42 receptions for 610 yards and three touchdowns. The senior is currently seventh in school history in both receptions - 98 - and receiving yards - 1,301. Irish Eyes spoke to McKnight as he prepared for the first practice of the season.

The Irish are still in the process of installing the new offense and McKnight said, "Originally it was difficult to pick up. I think any kind of a new system you come into it's hard to pick up certain things, but I think as a team we've come along pretty well."n

The veteran receiver told us what his expectations are for the new offense, and McKnight also said that last year's results are not representative of the talent on this team.

"Just to do well. Just to do well," said McKnight when asked what his expectations are for this season. "I'm in good shape and ready for the season to begin.

"Our record last year isn't relevant to the type of team we really are. We have good players here, and we have always recruited good players to come here. We can be better than what we were last year and previous years, of course."

McKnight believes the receiving corps will have an outstanding year this season.

"I think we are the deepest and strongest we have been," he said. "We are a veteran group with a couple of new guys and hopefully they can be productive as well. We have a lot of veterans coming back, and we will be passing our knowledge on to the younger guys. As a whole I think we will come out and do very well."

We asked the speedy receiver how much time the receivers and quarterbacks spent together this summer. He smiled and said, "All the time. Me, Mo (Maurice Stovall), Jeff (Samardzija) and basically all the receivers were out there with Brady (Quinn) and the other quarterbacks throughout the whole summer. Hopefully we will have the connection going through the season."

The senior also said he likes the Quick-Thick-Nasty slogan. "Basically it means football to me," McKnight explained. "That's what football is all about - playing big and tough. Being quick and just having a nasty attitude out on the field."

The California native is already aware that this is his final season and he wants to make the most of it.

"This has already hit me," McKnight said when asked about 2005 being his final year of eligibility. "I've been thinking of that since our last game last season. Hopefully things go well as a whole for the team and the receiving corps and me individually."

Look for McKnight to be a major contributor to the success of the Irish this season. If the spring practices and the spring game are any indication, McKnight looks much quicker that he previously had, and he now has an offense that should take full advantage of his skills. Top Stories