Wayne Knight is making a name for himself

By Andy Walter
Posted 7/28/21

SMYRNA — Wayne Knight thinks he might like to be an architect.

Architecture is definitely something the Smyrna High senior wants to study in college.

“I’ve been wanting to do …

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Wayne Knight is making a name for himself

Posted

SMYRNA — Wayne Knight thinks he might like to be an architect.

Architecture is definitely something the Smyrna High senior wants to study in college.

“I’ve been wanting to do that since I was little,” said Knight. “I’m going to try that and see how that works for me. I’ve always been a design type of guy — making things and creating new things.

“I feel like that fits me.”

Because he is both a good student and a good football player, Knight is going to get the chance to see what he can be as both a college student and an athlete.

As the NCAA football summer recruiting period winds down, Knight has been one of the most visible Henlopen Conference seniors on this year’s football recruiting landscape.

The speedy running back/receiver just got his 11th scholarship offer — from Delaware — as he established himself as a solid recruit at the NCAA FCS Division I level. Knight has offers from most of the Ivy League, as well as Delaware, Delaware State,
Howard, Stony Brook, Maine, Long Island, Central Connecticut State and Western Illinois.

The 5-foot-8, 185-pounder also went to camps at Penn State and Maryland just to make sure he wasn’t being overlooked.

A third-team All-Stater last fall, Knight knows some recruiters are going to hold his relatively small size against him. But he thinks he can win them over if they just see him play in person.

“It’s always good to be able to exhibit your talent on that stage and show coaches what you’re really made of,” said Knight.

“I’m interested in any program interested in me !!” is pinned to the top of his Twitter page.

Smyrna coach Mike Judy said Knight really helped himself by the way he played at college camps this summer.

“He performed at a high level,” said Judy. “He really turned a lot of heads — big schools, smaller schools, everywhere in between. He really spent a lot of time and effort this summer doing that and it really paid off. He’s got some really nice offers out there.

“It’s pretty exciting. I just like to see the kids having opportunities and options.”

Like so many high school standouts before him, Knight has found the recruiting process both exhilarating and exasperating. He’s visited Howard, Penn and Stony Brook.

“It’s pretty fun,” said Knight. “I get to get on some campuses and see what every school is about.”

On the other hand, there are a lot of college recruiters out there who want to know what he’s thinking.

“The constant phone calls and the coaches contacting me, it can be overwhelming at times,” said Knight. “It’ll be good to make a decision and get this behind me and take the next step in my life.

“It can get tricky sometimes. They put you on the spot.”

The fact that Delaware offered Knight a scholarship is interesting because his older brother, Will, was a standout running back for the Blue Hens in 2019 before announcing that he was transferring. The older Knight hasn’t announced a transfer destination.

Wayne Knight admits he wasn’t sure if UD would offer him.

“Most definitely,” he said. “The offers started rolling in and I didn’t see Delaware. I was a little bit worried and waiting around. They finally (offered) and it was good to see.”

“They offered a good player who can help them win,” said Judy. “That’s all you can ask for. They like him and they offered him.”

While Will has already played for two schools in college, Wayne said he really likes the idea of picking a school and sticking with his choice for his whole career.

“I want to settle in one place and stay there for the remainder of my college career,” he said. “Bouncing around, it can get tricky. ... I just want to find a home and stay there.”

Knight says he’s hoping to make his college decision by early September so he can focus on his senior season at Smyrna. As interesting as the recruiting experience has been, he knows it can’t go on forever.

“The biggest thing is, you run out of time,” said Judy. “You only have so many days to visit. He’s a great football player, a great kid and a great student. But he’s got to be happy.”

“I don’t want to get caught up in all the in-season stuff,” said Knight. “I don’t want to wait too long.”