COVID-19 has impacted high school recruiting in a big way. Especially for the players that hoped to catch the eye of college coaches at spring and summer camps.
2021 tight end Benjamin Knapp (Canton, Pennsylvania) is a prime example of this.
Knapp (6’4″, 240), a 2018 1st team Eastern Pennsylvania selection, had been scheduled to work out in front of the Pitt coaching staff at one of their prospect camps but that was obviously canceled. Fortunately for Knapp, he’s been able to stay in touch with the Panthers staff and actually had a phone conversation yesterday with Tim Salem.
“I met Coach Salem as a Rising Junior during the summer at a camp and also visited Pitt last year for a game,” said Knapp. “We’ve been in consistent contact with him since then and yesterday we talked and caught up and he told me that a scholarship isn’t out of the equation and that possibly a preferred walk-on spot could be available down the road as well.”
“COVID-19 has definitely put me behind because I was supposed to go to Pitt for a spring practice and also attend one of their camps so they can see in person how I’ve improved as an athlete from last year. So, it’s set me back but I’ve tried to do what I can and have sent them as many videos as possible. They wanted to see video of my route work so I tried to give them as much video as I can of that. Honestly, I think he and other schools are really waiting on that senior year football tape to really see how far I’ve come as a player.”
— Benjamin Knapp (@BenjaminKnapp7) November 17, 2019
Knapp tells PSN that in the offensive system he currently plays in, he’s split out a lot and doesn’t play a ton on the offensive line, so when given the opportunity, in-line blocking is something he’s looking to improve on this season. Another area that he’s looking to improve on is to try and be consistent with running more precise routes. Knapp believes he’ll be able to do that because he’s improved his speed during the off-season, dropping three-tenths of a second off his 40 time and shuttle run.
— Benjamin Knapp (@BenjaminKnapp7) July 11, 2020
Knapp and his high school team will start practice on Monday which will begin his journey of working toward that first D-I offer.
“Coach Salem didn’t go into a lot of detail about how many more tight ends they’re looking to add,” said Knapp. “We talked about how he has a list of guys that he wants to get and I fall on a certain spot on that list. Depending on what happens, there’s an opportunity for a scholarship down the road and also could be an opportunity for a PWO but at this point in time, he’s not sure which way that will go. I’m just going to wait and see and play out my senior season.”