Only once is in his entire football career has Jalen Knox felt like not suiting up for a game.
It was not in high school or middle school, but when he was an 8-year-old boy playing at the peewee level.
“It was a morning before one of my football games and that was the only time in my life I just legit didn’t wanna play football,” Knox said.
“That was like my best friend,” Knox said. “Every time my family went back to Louisiana to visit, me, my brothers and my male cousins always just went to his house and played games and laughed with each other until we fell asleep at like two or three in the morning. That morning, my dad called me and my siblings to his room, and I saw my mom crying, and she broke the news to us that he had passed. It hit deep.”
Knox has recovered well from the incident on the playing field, becoming “one of the best to come through the doors” of Timberview for coach James Brown.
“He is six feet, 193 pounds and is elusive, quick and fast,” Brown said. “All factors that play into his greatness on the football field. He has always been a quiet kid, but always puts the work in to improve his skills and make those around him better.”
To receive those accolades from his head coach is quite significant for Knox, himself an historian of the Timberview football team.
“That’s a huge honor, especially knowing all of the great talent that’s come out of Timberview,” Knox said. “I’ve been watching Timberview football since 2011, when my older siblings were going here and they went five rounds deep.
“I’ve watched great names like Chuck Taylor, Talo Pascal, Dre Fuller, Ed Paris, Brandon Simmons, Myron Gailliard and many more come through here, so to be put in the same company as them is major.”
Knox was recruited by the likes of Wisconsin, Utah, Tulane, Oregon State, Kansas, Duke and Boise State, but chose the University of Missouri for a good reason.
“When I took my visit there, I felt like I took a trip to my second home,” Knox said. “On all my other visits, it felt like just routine visits that I was taking just because it was what I was supposed to do. But Missouri just gave off a different vibe. I didn’t feel like anyone there was trying to sell me something fake. Everything about it, I just fell in love with.”
Brown said he thinks Knox made a wise choice.
“He fits great with Missouri,” Brown said. “They do a great job offensively and have a great plan for his talents there. The coaching staff is one of the best in the country and it is in a great Power 5 national conference. He will face great competition there which will make him better as he continues to grow in the game.”
Favorite athlete: Sean Taylor
Favorite sports team: New Orleans Saints
Favorite food: Pasta
Favorite movie: Norbit
Favorite TV show: Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
Book currently reading: Beowulf
Favorite musical group or performer: Big K.R.I.T