Rhema McKnight, 6-2, 190, La Palma (Calif.) Kennedy, has consistently played it pretty close to the vest when it comes to recruiting, and he continues to do so. However, McKnight, who is a very articulate, thoughtful, young man, talked a bit about the recruiting process from a refreshing perspective Sunday night.
McKnight doesn't enjoy many aspects of recruiting, particularly how it leads to college coaches exaggerating and making outlandish promises. While most high school recruits love to hear the flattery and the promises, McKnight doesn't want to hear any "B.S." He said, "I know it's their job, but it's pretty pitiful when coaches are making up things, and making promises and saying things to you that are pretty ridiculous. They'll tell me their city is something, or their school is something, or they'll promise that I'll be a starter from the first day of practice. I've been told that. ‘From the first day of practice you'll be a starter.' How could they know that? How could they say that to me? I take it pretty well, but sometimes it makes me sick. I just want the coaches to be real and be honest."
McKnight said that one of the schools he's considering, Florida, was the school that told him he'd be starting from day one of practice. "Which is really funny because it was a place like Florida. They always have good receivers. They're known for their receivers. It wasn't like it was Boise State, which would have made it more believable. It was Florida. They're going to have some guys next year. I know it. So the chances of me starting are pretty slim."
But McKnight wanted to point out that this doesn't make Florida any different than any other school. "They all do it," McKnight said. "And they have a real interesting way they do it. Each program has one coach who is the B.S.er. I talk to a few different coaches at each school. They'll have one guy who gives it to you straight, but they have another guy who lays on the crap."
The talented wide receiver prospect said he knows that, right now, college coaches will more or less say anything and treat a recruit like a king, but he said he knows that will change. "That's the funny thing about it," McKnight said. "As soon as you're committed and you come in for practice, all of that stuff is over. Suddenly they don't care as much about you. All of that stuff they were telling you is no more."
McKnight started talking about the subject of recruiting "B.S." when asked why he wouldn't take a trip to UCLA, which he lists as one of his top five favorites. "It'd be a waste of a trip," he said. "I want to avoid all of the B.S., and that's what most of these trips are. I'm taking the trips to try to get through all the B.S. to find out the stuff I need to know about the schools I don't know about. I know about UCLA. I can just get in my car and drive there. I know everyone says taking a trip is different, but that's the part I want to avoid. Unless I thought that there were no other schools that I really need to know about then I might just do it and take that trip to UCLA."
McKnight took his first official visit last weekend to Oregon and said, "It was pretty good. I learned what I wanted to learn. It's still one of my top choices. It was rainy, but wherever you go you're going to have to adapt to the area and that school."
He'll trip to Florida and Georgia Tech over the next couple of weeks. He'll then keep open his last two trips for potential visits in January. The other two schools he said that he's seriously considering are UCLA and Tennessee. He said, though, that he could use one of those trips to visit another school. "There are other schools I'm considering. I haven't really narrowed it down. So I could definitely still trip to another school other than those five." He said that he'll use the entire recruiting period – right up until signing day in February – to make his decision.
McKnight said that he's looking very closely at depth charts from each school. "That's a really big factor. If I have to redshirt my freshman year, that's okay. But I'd like to be able to contribute as a freshman and would really like to start as a sophomore. I think that's realistic."
Staying close to home isn't that big a factor for him. "I would like to, but it really doesn't matter that much. I would prefer it but it won't really be too big of a factor in my decision. You can tell by the schools I'm considering. The only school I'm considering in California is UCLA."
A prett good basketball player, McKnight said he would also like to try to walk on to the basketball team wherever he goes.
Also a pretty good student, McKnight said he's carrying a 3.25 GPA and scored a 1020 on his SAT.