Matt Luke’s 2018 class ranked 30th in the country and included blue-chip offensive prospects like quarterback Matt Corral and wide receivers Elijah Moore and Miles Battle. One guy nobody was talking about was Tylan Knight.
A two-star (yes, two-star) running back out of Pearl, Miss., Knight was ranked by 247Sports as the No. 2,700 football prospect in the 2018 class. The Rebels’ next lowest signee, linebacker Luke Knox, was over 800 spots higher. Listed at just 5’7 and 173-pounds, Knight’s only other offers came from Southern Miss, Louisiana-Lafayette and South Alabama.
Which is why it’s surprising to hear his name being mentioned so much during fall camp.
“He is very similar to Jaylen Walton,” Rebels running back coach Derrick Nix told media members recently. “Strong guys for their size. Guys who don’t need a lot of room to get going. They can get to their top speed right away. Just very instinctive. I think that’s the thing that sticks out to me. He can set up blocks. He can kind of anticipate where holes may be.”
“He’s showing flashes every day.”
Knight’s position coach isn’t the only one who’s noticed.
“I’ve been really impressed with Tylan Knight,” Matt Luke told The Clarion-Ledger.
Knight’s preseason All-American blocker, Greg Little seems excited as well.
Greg Little identified freshman RB Tylan Knight as someone to look out for: pic.twitter.com/WuiIIeMEBE— Maddie Lee (@maddie_m_lee) August 15, 2018
Proving doubters wrong is nothing new for Knight. Despite his size, he was the 2017 player of the year in the state’s highest highest classification, starring at both running back and corner. On defense, he racked up 117 tackles, 18 tackles for loss, five sacks, four forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries and two interceptions.
“He is a program changer,” his high school coach, John Perry, told Ole Miss Spirit. “He is one of those that will make the whole program better the day he walks on campus. We probably don’t play for a state championship and win it without him. I stand firm on that.”
One thing is for sure, Knight is earning his keep and showing why the Rebels offered him in the first place. Seeing the field is still a stretch this season with Scottie Phillips, Eric Swinney, Isaiah Woullard and Armani Linton in the backfield, but Knight is certainly off to a hot start.