Steven Knight Gets Second Chance After Season-Ending Injury

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CLINTON, MS - In the coming weeks, we will take a chance to preview each position on the field for the Choctaws as we head toward the season opening "Backyard Brawl" on September 3rd against Millsaps.  We invite MC fans to take a look and get more acclimated with the 2011 group of Choctaws.

The schedule will be as follows:

Quarterbacks – August 15th
Running Backs – TODAY
Wide Receivers / Tight Ends – TOMORROW
Offensive Line – August 18th
Defensive Line – August 19th
Linebackers – August 20th
Secondary – August 22nd
Special Teams – August 23rd
Offense – August 24th
Defense – August 25th
Overall – August 26th

Heading into the 2010 season, it appeared that Steven Knight (Pearl, MS, Hinds Community College) was ready to take over as the leader of an offense that ranked near the top of the American Southwest Conference the season prior.  The senior was a First Team All-Conference running back in 2009, rushing for 1,333 yards and 11 touchdowns on 263 carries.  He was also selected to the D3 Senior Classic Preseason All-American Team heading into 2010.

Everything seemed prepped for Knight to flourish, especially after rushing for 132 yards and two touchdowns in the victory over cross-town rival Millsaps in the annual "Backyard Brawl".  Those hopes were dashed in the second game of the season against Belhaven when the Pearl native was lost for the year with an ankle injury.

Sometimes you see opportunity come out of adversity, and it appears that Knight will have just that as he heads into the 2011 season.  Knight on his opportunity for another season, "I feel like I've been given a second chance.  I think I may have taken things for granted before the injury.  Now I know this is my shot.  I feel like I have worked harder this summer than I have in my life.  I'm just ready to get back on the field."

While Steven may be the top runner for the Choctaws heading into the season, there is not a lack of talent in the backfield with the return of senior Qin Mobley (Moss Point, MS, Hinds Community College) and sophomore Josh Johnson (Plaquemine, LA, St. John High School).  Mobley has rushed for 214 yards and four touchdowns over his first two seasons.  Johnson is a speedster that will be leaned more heavily upon as he learns more of the offense.

Running backs Coach Jimmy Sampson talked about Mobley and Johnson, "I think they are going to provide us with a lot of depth at the position.  With Qin in his third year in the offense and Josh having a year under his belt, they should be ready to contribute.  I feel good about our depth at the position."

A youngster that could compete for playing time right away will be Keith Villafranco (Kenner, LA, University of New Orleans), who transferred from the University of New Orleans.  Sampson commented, "He has a great work ethic.  His speed and change of direction will give us another dimension at the position."

Tomorrow, we will preview the wide receivers and tight ends.

Dec. 10: All times Eastern
at UW-Oshkosh 10, John Carroll 3
Box Score Recap Photos
at Mary Hardin-Baylor 14, Mount Union 12
Box Score Recap Photos
Dec. 16: All times Eastern
Mary Hardin-Baylor 10, at UW-Oshkosh 7
@ Salem, Va.
Box Score Photos
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