Knox Has A Friend In South Bend

The Notre Dame coaching staff is going to be picky when they hand out scholarship offers to running backs this year, because it is likely that the Irish will only take one tailback. One prospect to keep a close eye on is Milton Knox, Jr. from Birmingham High School (Van Nuys, Calif.)

California is loaded with running back talent for the 2008 recruiting class and Milton Knox (5-foot-8, 200 pounds) could be the best of the best. Notre Dame has been keeping an eye on him for awhile and Knox likes what he hears about the Notre Dame football program.

"They've sent me a lot of stuff, but I haven't been in contact with them yet," Knox responded when asked about his contact with Notre Dame. "They've been sending me stuff since the tenth grade. They've been sending me questionnaires and stuff like that and they've stopped by my school to talk to my head coach a couple times.

"I have a buddy named Jimmy that goes there. Jimmy Clausen's cousin is my godbrother, Chris Potter, who plays for Oaks Christian. We kicked it when he and Marc Tyler were around. I used to kid Jimmy about his superstar lifestyle.

"I like the [Notre Dame football] program and I like how they run things out there," Knox explained. "I like how they use their running backs. I like how they mix them into the passing game. I like the way they put the running back in the slot or bring him out of the backfield to catch passes. That's right up my alley. I couldn't complain about that. Put me in the open field or one-on-one with a linebacker and nine times out of ten I'm going to win that battle.

"I know they have a great academic program and a great tradition. I know that it's a private Catholic school. I know they have very high standards. I know the academics are real strict and that you need to have good grades to get into Notre Dame."

Mississippi, Florida State and UCLA have already extended Milton an offer. He's getting recruiting material from around the country, but USC, Notre Dame, Cal and Washington are the other schools Knox believes are recruiting him the hardest.

Knox is going to take his time before he makes a decision, but after returning from a recent junior day at UCLA there were rumors flying around that he was ready to name a school.

"There were rumors that I committed to UCLA after their junior day, which is false," Knox clarified. "There have been rumors and a lot of speculation about where people think I'm going to go, but I'm not even close to making a decision.

"I like the UCLA program. I like the vibe at the school. I kind of knew that there would be a lot of rumors during the recruiting process, but when it comes down to it you have to come to me to verify the rumors and this one isn't true.

"It's a decision for me and my family and I need to find out what's right for me in terms of football and an education," Knox explained about the recruiting process. "I'm going to take my time and make a decision next January or February. I'm gong to take all five of my trips and see as many campuses as I can. I need to see what they're all about and see how I like it. You can't say after visiting one campus that you're going to decide that you want to go there. I'm going to travel to a lot of different places around the country and see how things are in different parts of the world. I want to experience different mentalities and see how fans are in different spots around the country."

One thing Knox won't need to find out during his travels is how to compete. After racking up 2,374 yards and 29 touchdowns last season, Milton knows what makes a good player a great player.

"I may only be 5-foot-8, but I have heart and I'm not willing to quit. You can't really measure that," Knox said of his competitive nature. "There are a lot of really good football players out there, that people say that aren't fast enough or they aren't tall enough, but you really can't measure desire. If I'm going against someone who is twice the size of me or faster than me, I'm going to try to find a way to win.

"I run with a lot of heart. I have the vision and I get out into the open field so fast I think it's hard for people to catch up with me. I have the power. I love to use the straight-arm. If they're bigger love to shake somebody, but if it's a corner or a safety I like to put my shoulder down and get that extra yardage. I run hard and play hard-nosed football. "

Knox also participates in track. He runs the 100M (11.1), 200M, 4X400M and 4X100M. Top Stories