Blogs > Burney's Bytes

Burney's Bytes will focus primarily on the local preps sports scene, but will also touch on some college and pro athletics, mostly in regards to athletes who hail and have played high school sports in Oakland County. My goal for the blog is to be conversational and anecdotal, a more relaxed and free formal take on high school athletics than you see in regular game day coverage.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Bad Call

Both Michigan and Michigan State made a big mistake with letting recently graduated Birmingham Detroit Country Day football star Kenny Knight slip out of the state. After failing to garner scholarship offers from either, the Wolverines or the Spartans, Knight, a 6-4, 210 pound agile and fast wide receiver, accepted a scholarship offer from Illinois in February.
There's no going back. Knight, a two-sport standout with the Yellow Jackets, who also started on the school's state championship basketball team, is already in Champaign donning the blue and orange, getting ready for the upcoming season with the Fighting Illini.
But he shouldn't be.
He should be playing in his backyard in Ann Arbor or East Lansing.
And he wanted to.
When I spoke to Kenny on the afternoon of his signing, he told me he had waited for UofM and MSU to throw their hats into the ring in his recruiting because he was very interested in both programs, however they never did.
I find this head-scratching.
It's not like Knight wasn't highly coveted. He had offers from a plethora of BCS schools, including practically every Big 10 school besides Michigan and Michigan State.
And it's not like he wasn't prolific. Last season, he caught 35 balls for 550 yards and seven touchdowns, averaging over 25-yards per TD grab and being named all-state for the second consecutive campaign.  He's got a 35-inch vertical and he graduated with a 3.6 GPA.
In Burney's opinion, the decision to not recruit Kenny Knight is going to hurt both in-state programs in the very near future. This situation reminds me of the recruitment or lack of recruitment as it turned out to be, of Freddy Scott, another star DCD Yellow Jacket wide out from back in the early 1990s. Just like Knight, both UofM and MSU ignored Scott, the son of the former NFL veteran pass-catcher of the same name, forcing him to land out of state.
Specifically, he found a home with Joe Pa and Penn State in Happy Valley, going on to torch the maize and blue and Sparty as a starting split end with the Nittany Lions when they rolled to the 1994 Big 10 and Rose Bowl title. In other words, he made them pay.
Burney expects his boy, Kenny aka "Extra Crispy", to do the same in the coming years.


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