Joe McKnight is a breakaway back with all the right moves from River Ridge (LA) John Curtis. He is perhaps the most electrifying high school football player in the country which he showed a few weeks ago when he led his team to a stunning upset on ESPN against Hoover, Alabama, then ranked number one in the nation. Everybody wants him but recruiting will have to wait until his season ends.
John Curtis Christian School is a private school in Louisiana that has made a habit of winning state championships and showing up in the national rankings. It shouldn’t be a big surprise that they not only played Hoover tough, but actually won the game. The 5-11, 185-pound McKnight and his teammates were very impressive in that nationally televised game.
“It was fun, kind of different and kind of the same,” McKnight said. “We expected to come out and it be a hard fought game, but we won by two touchdowns.”
The five-star running back, ranked fourth in the country by Scout.com, is the focal point of his team’s offense. His skills are practically unmatched among players in the high school ranks. He is quick, fast, elusive, and has great balance. He really does remind a lot of people of Reggie Bush. His list of favorites is certainly no slouch.
“My top six schools are USC, LSU, Florida State, Florida, Miami, and Notre Dame,” he said.
McKnight talked a little bit about each of his favorites.
USC: “I like the things they do. Like when they had Reggie there, they lined him up in the slot and got him one on one with a linebacker.”
LSU: “You know that’s the SEC and they play hard nosed football.”
FSU: “I liked FSU back when they had Warrick Dunn and Charlie Ward. Their troubles this year have no effect on me.”
MIAMI: “They are known for winning championships. They just have mostly good athletes.”
NOTRE DAME: “They are like my high school. The tradition there means they win a lot of games and a lot of championships.”
FLORIDA: “They have a pro style offense. I like how they get the ball to the backs there.”
It looks like McKnight will try and make visits to all of his favorites. The home state school will likely just get an unofficial visit.
“We are talking about not taking an official to LSU because it is right down the road,” he said. “So, I might just take officials to the five out of state schools. I will probably make a decision around signing day.”
The fit in the offense will be the main reason McKnight chooses a school and the Florida Gators certainly have a lot to show him in that regard. The Gators love to spread backs out and get them one on one with a defender, and the Gator offense is designed to get the ball in the hands of the most mismatched player on the field. McKnight has a way of creating terrible mismatches. The Gators would love to have that option.