By Chris Williams, CycloneFanatic.com Publisher Follow Chris on Twitter @ChrisMWilliams
Here’s a scary fact.
Other than before his true freshman season at Iowa State, senior linebacker Jake Knott has never entered a fall camp at 100 percent.
Before his sophomore season, it was wrist surgery. Prior to last year, it was Knott’s ulna (forearm) that gave him troubles. A shoulder injury hindered Knot throughout the majority of 2011.
Despite all of the setbacks, Knott recorded an astounding 245-combined tackles over the last two seasons and for the most part, he wasn’t even close to being healthy.
“As good as his numbers were last year, he really played average because of his health,” said Iowa State head coach Paul Rhoads. “There were so many limitations placed on him physically, things that he couldn’t do that he has to do at that position to play great linebacker and having him back healthy, I think he has all kinds of growth potential yet.”
During his press conference on Tuesday, Rhoads joked that he’s currently hiding Knott’s helmet so the All-Big 12 linebacker isn’t tempted to go out on the field. Knott isn’t practicing this spring for a reason. The goal is for injuries to be a non-issue for Knott in 2012.
You think you’ve seen the best of Jake Knott? You’re wrong.
“I don’t even think I have touched where I can get to,” said Knott. “When I thought about it, I’ve been hurt every summer going into fall camp. I’ve had some kind of limitation and all of the work that I had put in over the winter went back a step from where I wanted it to be. I’ve never been where I thought I could be going into the season.”
Knott was recently cleared to begin weightlifting without limitations. Since then, he’s taken things up a notch.
“I’ve been doing some pretty intense workouts with Coach (Yancy) McKnight, some extra and more advanced workouts. I’m definitely getting after it,” said Knott. “The type of workouts that I am doing right now are just going to make sure that by far I am the strongest and fastest I’ve ever been.”
To the Big 12 quarterbacks, running backs, wide receivers and offensive coordinators, consider this your warning.
— While being sidelined, Knott isn’t just hanging around the weight room and going home early.
“I’m kind of helping out with coaching my position,” said Knott. “Coach (Wally) Burnham is so busy calling the defense all of the time, they can come ask me a question really quick and I can rattle off an answer. It saves some time for everybody and works out really well.”
— Speaking of his new role of coaching, Knott likes what he’s seen as far as depth is concerned, specifically his backup, sophomore Jevohn Miller.
“In the past, if a certain person went down, you didn’t know what their backup could do. It could scare you a little bit,” said Knott. “Now they’re getting all of the reps, all of the time, they’re going against the ones and that type of competition.”
— We’ve already covered that Knott will be healthy entering spring camp. What makes this news really important? Knott’s golf game should be better than ever this summer…
“It will probably improve my driving game hopefully,” said Knott. “I’ll be able to get a little more into it. I don’t have to worry about dropping the club with my right arm or something.”