Ricky Knight didn’t have any offers Sunday morning. As of Monday night, under 48 hours later, he had six offers — including four Power Five schools.
It was such a rapid rise that his coach joked that he had a superstar on his hands.
“So, I had already had FSU, Penn State, Miami and Western Carolina at first, and that was really exciting to know, and then my coach called me and was like, ‘Oh, you must be trying to break the internet,'” Knight told PSN Monday. “And I was like, ‘Whatchu mean?’ He told me that I had got an offer from Pitt, and I was super excited.”
Knight — a 6-foot-1 and, 170-pound athlete from the Benjamin School in North Palm Beach, Florida — was told that he received an offer from Pitt through his Benjamin School coaches, but he received a call from defensive line coach Charlie Partridge soon after.
He hasn’t had a chance yet to really speak with the coaching staff, but Partridge made sure to congratulate him on the offer.
I am BLESSED and HONORED to receive an offer from the University of Pittsburgh💛💙 @CoachPartridge @BatesBacker @Andrew_Ivins @GHamilton_On3 @RWrightRivals @coachmarroquin @EricKresser @wsmith615 @SWiltfong247 @TheUCReport pic.twitter.com/C06LiN3Jhh
— Ricky Knight III (@Knight6Ricky) January 15, 2023
And Partridge hasn’t been his only Pitt correspondence either. Knight is well-acquainted with former Florida high school standout Isaiah Nesmith — a current walk-on wide receiver at Pitt in his own right.
Nesmith talks a big game. But it’s a message that Knight has received loud and clear.
“Honestly, just that it’s a good school, it’s a hard-working school and it’s definitely an environment that it’s fun to be around — it’s good to be around,” Knight said.
But Pitt may not even be on the radar without a strong showing at the All-American Combine Bowl — the first opportunity for the nation’s top underclassmen to showcase their physical attributes and on-field ability in front of high school and college coaches.
Knight has received offers from Pitt, Penn State, Florida State, Miami, Florida A&M and Western Carolina since, and it’s felt especially validating.
“It’s a pretty cool feeling,” Knight said. “I was always a kid who was told I wouldn’t be big enough or I was always too small. But I never took it and I always just thought of myself as a bigger dawg than anyone on the field. No matter the size or anything.”
He proved it at the National Combine, and during his junior season at the Benjamin School, as he 92 yards on four receptions offensively and 33 tackles (27 solo) and an interception defensively.
Knight has certainly grown into himself, and people have begun to take notice. He’s been recruited as a wide receiver and a defensive back thus far, but the Pitt staff sees him as a defensive back.
And while he’s unfamiliar with the staff as a whole, the staff that has put defensive backs into the NFL on a regular basis, he’s ready to learn.
“I don’t know much about Pitt, but I’m really, really excited to learn about Pitt,” Knight said.
When it comes to making a visit up to Pittsburgh, he said that it’s a conversation that he needs to have with Partridge sooner rather than later. But he’s most likely headed up sometime during the spring.
In the meantime, he’s headed to Florida State on Friday, Miami on Saturday and USF and Penn State sometime in the spring.
So, while Knight hasn’t had the chance to really see what Pitt is all about, he’s heard all about it not just from Partridge but from past teammates who have been in Pittsburgh.
“From Isaiah, I feel the school is about family,” Knight said. “And I know somebody that went there on a visit also, Trakwon Harris, he didn’t commit there, but he told me they’re really cool people and it’s really about family up there.”
247Sports rates Knight as the 75th-ranked athlete and the 82nd-ranked recruit from Florida. Neither Rivals nor On3 has rated him yet, but it appears to only be a matter of time now.