Jefferson grad Knight to transfer from Akron

In this September 2019 file photo, Jeremiah Knight hauls in a pass for the Akron Zips against the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Knight, a Jefferson graduate, has entered the transfer portal and will play out his last two years of eligibility at another school.

Jeremiah Knight is on the move.

The Jefferson graduate and Ashtabula County's all-time leading rusher has announced he will be transferring to a new college program after playing the last three seasons at the University of Akron.

The 2017 Jefferson graduate took to his Facebook page to announce his decision Monday afternoon.

“I want to thank Terry Bowden and the University of Akron football team for allowing me to make my childhood dreams into a reality,” Knight posted. “I have had an amazing three years here and have created relationships that will last a lifetime. My journey started here at Akron, but this is not where it ends. With that being said, after talking with my family, I have decided it is in my best interest to enter the NCAA transfer portal for my last two years of eligibility.”

It appeared that Knight had found a home in the Zips offense and special teams deployment. In 2019, he started all 12 games for Akron, including six as a wide receiver. He finished the season with 31 receptions for 430 yards and was the primary handler of kick and punt returns.

The coaching staff that recruited Knight, led by Terry Bowden, was released after the 2018 season.

“At the time it didn’t concern me,” Knight said of the coaching change. “I was still new to the program, I was a redshirt freshman, I wasn’t too worried.”

But when college coaching jobs change over, players who were recruited could be left behind with the new regime not investing in them.

Knight saw the field often in 2019, but as the new staff's recruits began to appear in 2020, his role began to be reduced.

He continued to return kicks, but instead of playing as a wide receiver, Knight found himself rotating in and out of the backfield.

“As more of their guys came in, it seemed they were starting to wash out Bowden’s guys,” Knight said. "This season, I really noticed they were playing freshmen and redshirt freshmen and I began to realize what was happening."

In a shortened six-game 2020 season, Knight rushed for 194 yards on 39 attempts. He also caught three passes and returned 22 kickoffs for 450 yards.

“I just feel like for my best opportunity and to do what I need to do on the field. I need to be one of the coaches guys," Knight said. "It’s an uphill battle when you have a coaching staff that does not really want you to succeed, because you’re not one of their guys.”

Knight still has two years of eligibility remaining because the NCAA granted all athletes an additional year because of the effect COVID-19 played on the season.

Knight said he is not certain what his next move will be. He has already received an offer from Louisiana Monroe, where Bowden is presently coaching. He also plans on visiting California Berkley along with some other Division I programs.

Ultimately, his goal is to continue playing football past college.

“I’m trying to put myself in the best possible situation to get to my dream, my ultimate dream of playing in the NFL,” Knight said. “I believe this is all part of God’s plan, I think it all happens for a reason so I’m not stressing it.”

Knight will continue with classes for the upcoming semester while he trains on his own. He plans on graduating this spring with a degree in sports management.

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