Websider: Coach, thanks for taking the time to talk with us about Knile. Where would you rate his strength on a scale of one to five?
Coach Phipps: A six. Right now as we are going through the off-season it is a state mandatory thing right now that we have to test all kids for strength, etc. to assess the physical status of the school, and I thought "I really want to test these guys myself." So I test every player and Knile is 6 feet even, you know, he may be a hair over 6 feet but he is right there, and he weighed in last week at 211 pounds. Then we moved to bench, and he was repping 225 lbs twelve to fifteen times, so he is really really strong.
W: How about rating his speed?
C: Well I can tell you he is a legit 4.3 guy. He runs the third leg in a lot of the relay teams in track, so he shows that speed a lot. I would definitely give his speed a 5.
W: How would you rate is overall athleticism?
C: You know his size and speed ratio is tough to beat. Not many guys in the 200 and above pound range can run 4.3's, but Knile is one of those guys. He is really tough mentally, you know, sticking him out there in those positions in track, you have to be mentally tough. He has a great forward body lean when he runs, and he just punishes others, he doesn't take the punishment. I think he tweaked his shoulder last year but when you look at when he did it, it was because he was delivering the blow. Defenders don't get shots at his legs very often, and he's also got a little jelly to him. He has great hands coming out of the backfield, and he is a real character guy. He is division one all the way.
W: Speaking of that, how is recruiting coming along for Knile?
C: Well I'm not totally sure which schools have offered, I think Oklahoma and Mississippi State have offered, and Oregon has been talking to me a bunch about this kid. I know Texas A&M and a bunch of other schools have taken a hard look as well.
W: Do you know if he has any leaders?
C: I don't think he does at this point. I talk to him about it almost every day and it seems like he is going to wait and take it all in before rushing into something.
W: Would distance be a factor for him at all?
C: I don't think necessarily distance is a factor, as in he wouldn't be afraid to go to an out of state school, but I would say all things equal he'd probably like to stay somewhat close to home preferably.
W: So what kind of teammate or leader would you describe Knile as?
C: He's definitely a leader, but he is more of a lead by action type of guy. He's not the most outspoken guy, but he is always one of the first in line for sprints, and things like that, to where it helps because since he has gotten a lot of attention recently, all the players look up to that so they see what he does and want to imitate it, so he is a leader in that way.
W: Right now the field of running backs in Knile's class is pretty deep. What would you say stands out about Knile versus the other running backs his age?
C: Well I think it's his ability to do it all. He is equal at running between the tackles and running outside. He can definitely beat people to the outside, I mean with a 4.3 he can sure bounce it, but if you need him to run a dive, or iso, or anything inside to pick up those tough two to three yards he can do that too. He is involved in the pass, he has great hands, and right now there aren't a lot of true 200 pounders coming out of High School. Most of them are in the 185 pound range, so when you have him weighing in at 211 like last week, that's definitely a step above. He is also a legit 4.3, and in college with the training program and everything I can see him at a true 6'2", 220 pounder, or something in there.
I know at A&M you kind of have the extreme examples with Jorvorskie Lane and Michael Goodson, but I think he fits the all-purpose role beautifully. And also I think A&M has a good chance if they choose to push hard for him because Jorvorskie will be gone this year and Goodson, personally, I think if he Goodson has a good year he'll be gone too, so A&M will need someone like Knile.
W: So you think the depth chart will be a factor in Knile's decision?
C: I would think so yeah, he would view coming in and getting a chance to play early as a positive, I'm sure.
W: So what is the one thing Knile needs to work on in your opinion to further standout and succeed on the Division 1 level?
C: I would say for right now it's just to keep doing what he's doing and have a great season next year. And I'll tell you what, if he stays away from injury he is going to have a good chance of just having a banner year next year. I asked him how many times he carried the ball last year and he said he averaged 11 carries per game, and this year we are going to definitely increase his workload. It will be good because I know he will take punishment at the next level, so we need to make sure he can handle the added load, but we are going to do some things offensively to isolate him and get him in some space to where he can really have a spectacular season. He has probably got a little physical maturing left in him, but he is already that guy that can move you, run over you, or run away from you, so he is right there.
W: Thanks a lot coach, anything else you'd like to add?
C: Well just because I'm sure I'll be talking to y'all soon about him, I'll just go ahead and talk about one of Knile's blockers, he's a sophomore offensive tackle right now and he's coming in at 6'6.5" and 312 pounds. His name is Robert Bradford, and he is the real deal, so just remember that, and maybe you can tell those Aggies to come nab this guy as well.
W: Will do coach, thanks again and good luck next year.
COACHES CORNER: Knile Davis
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