Demetrius Knox (Fort Worth, Texas/All Saints) probably should’ve stayed home and spent the day in bed on Sunday.
Knox had the flu. A runny nose all day. Couldn’t stop coughing. His chest was in pain, his eyes bloodshot.
The 6-foot-5, 300-pound offensive lineman was in no shape to impress Texas coaches at the Longhorns’ camp on Sunday, but Knox did just that.
There was only one problem, really: Knox and the rest of his All Saints Episcopal teammates hit the highway right when the camp ended. When they were more than 30 miles north of Austin, the confused Texas coaching staff came calling.
“They were blowing up my coaches phone and saying, ‘Where are you? Mack Brown wants to talk to you guys in his office,’” Knox said.
Instead, the 2014 prospect made plans to call Mack Brown and offensive line coach Stacy Searels late Sunday night.
That’s when the coaches delivered the good news Knox had missed out on in the afternoon.
“I have a scholarship to the University of Texas,” Knox said. “It’s coming in Februrary, that’s when they’re going to make it public. But coach Searels said right now I’ve been approved by Mack Brown. They all got together today and talked about me and said they loved me and can see me playing in burnt orange.”
Knox will officially pick up his offer when he attends Texas’ first junior day. By then, it will be one of the many he has – Knox has already received offers from Alabama, Ohio State, Michigan, Texas A&M, TCU and at least five other schools.
Still, the fact an offer from Texas is on the way is meaningful to Knox.
“It feels great,” he said. “I mean, it’s UT. If you live in Texas and you get offered by UT, that’s crazy.”
Knox earned that verbal offer by playing with the big boys on Sunday. Searels had Knox work out with the 2013 offensive line recruits, and he liked the results he saw.
“When I was standing around them, I looked at them and said, ‘Wow, I feel so young compared to them,’” Knox said. “I got out there, watched them do the same drills I was doing and I thought I even did a little better than some of them.”
The tall tackle prospect also enjoyed his time spent working with Searles during camp. The second-year coach’s energetic style and personality impressed Knox.
“How do I put this? He’s an upbeat coach,” Knox said. “Very, very upbeat. At the same time, he doesn’t really act his age. He acts like a 20-year-old man when he’s coaching. He’s a lot of fun, and he loves to win.
Knox has family ties to Ohio State and Michigan, but he felt right at home on Texas’ campus on Sunday. The trip to Austin made him feel he could fit right in if he ended up signing with the Longhorns.
“Texas is a great fit for me,” he said. “They’re out to win a national championship this year. The college atmosphere is great. The college is a city itself. If you can’t work what you’ve got there, you shouldn’t be playing football.”
During Knox’s phone calls with Searels and Brown on Sunday night, the coaches asked him where Texas stood among his favorite schools.
Knox says he’s certainly not interested in choosing a school any time soon. He knows by this time next year he’ll have his mind made up, but he still finds it hard to believe his recruitment is off to such a fast and early start.
“They asked if Texas was No. 1 on my list right now,” Knox said. “I said I wasn’t thinking about it too hard, but of course Texas is in my top schools for sure. They’re around the top.”