Southern Nash's Knight commits to Duke

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Southern Nash’s Zonovan "bam" Knight, right, drives past Eastern Alamance Friday, November 17 at Southern Nash in Bailey.


Sports Writer

Sunday, March 4, 2018

The Duke football program filled a scholarship spot for the 2019 season.

Zonovan Knight, a Southern Nash junior, committed on Saturday to play football for the Blue Devils beginning in the 2019 fall season.

Knight made himself into a highly sought-after recruit after bursting onto the college radar with the help of a pair of dominant seasons in the Firebirds’ backfield in as many years. Knight had 12 offers to choose from, including looks from schools across the country.

Teams from the Big Ten like Illinois and Maryland expressed interest, along with a number of teams from the ACC and the SEC, as Knight’s talents drew interest from a number of Power 5 conferences.

In-state teams that offered included N.C. State, Wake Forest and East Carolina.

This past season, as a junior in his second year on varsity, Knight needed just 142 carries to rush for 1,877 yards with 28 touchdowns. His yards per carry average of 13.2 meant he was gaining more than a first down with every touch.

Knight, who was the Telegram’s 2017 Offensive Player of the Year, has one more high school season to collect 1,139 yards to become the Firebirds’ all-time leading rusher, a yardage total he eclipsed in each of his two varsity seasons.

Colleges were excited about Knight’s 3,019 rushing yards over two seasons, and especially so because the running back accumulated those yards while oftentimes playing just the first half of games.

Of the 14 games the Firebirds played last season, nine involved a running clock. Knight didn’t play past halftime in six of those games.

Knight was offered by Duke in November.