Jake Knott: Overcoming injury to make NFL dream come true

Former Iowa State linebacker Jake Knott has proven people wrong since his first day on campus. For a guy who was once originally committed to the University of Iowa to play baseball, Knott garnered quite the legacy in his four years as a Cyclone.

Now, Knott is trying to make his dreams of playing in the NFL come true.

Heading in to his senior season, Knott was projected by many as a lock to be drafted. After suffering a second labrum tear to his left shoulder against Oklahoma State last season, many thought his season was over. Rumors flew around that Knott had played his final game in a Cyclone uniform and that he was going to have season ending surgery. But in heroic fashion, he suited up for one last game against Baylor, at home, in front of friends, family and the Cyclone Nation. He finished the game with 11 tackles and walked off Jack Trice Stadium in tears.

Two days after the game, Knott had surgery in Chicago to repair his shoulder. Today, six months later, he is back at full strength. He wasn’t able to compete in physical activities at the NFL Combine but with the help of his strength coaches, Yancy McKnight, Clayton Oyster and Ryan Deatrick, Knott was able to work out at Pro Day in Ames last month.

With the NFL Draft on Thursday, Knott is still trying to prove to coaches and scouts that his shoulder won’t be an issue. He says the surgery has made him stronger and that he’s able to do more than he was able to before his shoulder was repaired.

There is no doubt that Knott is one of the smartest linebackers in the draft this year. He may not be the biggest or the strongest but it’s his natural football instincts that make him a special player.

Produced by Matt Van Winkle
Video shot by Matt Van Winkle & Andrew Schneider
Pro Day video courtesy


Matt Van Winkle