May 26, 2011

NIKE Camp OL MVP plans to camp at MSU

This past weekend SpartanMag.com attended the NIKE Camp at Ohio State University. The MVP of the offensive line group turned out to be a player from Michigan, Kyle Knapp of Portage Central High School. SpartanMag.com spoke with Knapp and got the latest details on his recruitment.

Offensive line recruiting is never an exact science. For that reasons it is always beneficial for players to get out and go to camps so they can improve their skill while showcasing their ability at the same time. On Saturday Knapp did just that. He used the NIEK Camp to improve himself as a player as well as let people know that he has the talent to play quality division 1 football. Spartanmag.com spoke with Knapp and asked him about his NIEK Camp experience.

"I really enjoyed the coaching staff and the drills they put us through," Knapp stated. "The coaches helped me improve some things on my pass blocking skills that I will continue to work on. I have gained 20-pounds since wrestling ended in March. I want to continue to get bigger and stronger. Overall, I feel like I had a good day. I still have work to do, but that is part of the fun."

Knapp has seen his sock rise this spring and he already has multiple scholarship offers on the table. SpartanMag.com asked him about the teams that have offered and the ones that are showing him the most interest at this point in time.

"I have 6 offers right now, he said. I have scholarships from Western Michigan Toledo, Bowling Green, Ball State, Florida International and South Alabama. I am current getting quite a bit of interest from Iowa, Syracuse and Cincinnati."

With half a dozen offers prior to the summer camp season, Knapp is on pace to have double-digit offers prior to his senior season. We asked him about his thoughts on Michigan State University and if he has heard much from the Spartans as of late?

"I have not heard much from State lately. I know they have a limited amount of offensive line scholarships to give this year. However, I like the coaches and love the campus. Some BCS teams have talked to me about playing defense, so that might still be a possibility. I still get letter from them and I got invited their Senior Camp in July."

As far as this summer, Knapp will be hitting the road and looking to impress coaches at numerous programs. He told us about his travel plans.

"I have a packed schedule this summer," he said. "Some of the camps I plan on going to are Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Northwestern, Syracuse, Cincinnati, Notre Dame, Pitt and maybe a few more. I hope to make my college decision in the middle to the fall. That way I can see how the teams are looking and what my options are at that time."

SpartanMag.com will continue to keep in contact with Knapp. SpartanMag.com recently ranked the top players in the state of Michigan and we slotted Knapp at #15 based on his solid NIKE Camp performance. It would be a surprise if he continues to creep up the rankings if he has a solid summer and picks up additional scholarship offers.

Matt's Take:

It is always good to see an in-state prospect picking up offers during the May Evaluation period. Knapp has a definite chance to be a BCS level player. It will likely come down to if teams feel he can add the size necessary. Knapp is currently listed at 6-foot-4, 265-pounds.

SpartanMag.com evaluated Kyle Cook back in the day and at the time he was 6'3.5, 270-pounds. All he did, was go on to have an outstanding college and now NFL career. Knapp may not be in that category, but his desire to work hard and his ability to be coached will help his development.

MSU is being very selective on the OL due to already having 2 commitments in what was expected to be a 3 man class. However the recent retirement of David Barrent coupled with the uncertain status of players like Henry Conway could open up some room.

Knapp indicating that he plans to wait a bit to make a commitment is a smart move. Many MAC teams will try and pressure a commitment this summer, while BCS teams may want to see film from his first 3 games. Waiting until mid-fall will give him a good idea of where he stands with all of the schools that he is actively considering.


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