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Red Raiders LS Jackson Knotts: Texas Tech 'Best Decision I Could Have Possibly Made'

Knotts discussed why he chose Texas Tech and the decision to become a long snapper in high school.

When it comes to football, there are three aspects to the game. While everyone obviously knows the offense and defense among those the three aspects, at times special teams, that aforementioned third aspect, finds itself forgotten. 

This is especially true for long snappers who find themselves as arguably the most underappreciated and unsung position on the field. Texas Tech Red Raiders' long snapper Jackson Knotts, a multisport athlete in high school, knew that despite his hesitancy there could be a future for him at the next level as a long snapper. 

“I originally didn’t want to do it at all,” Knotts told the Plant City Observer. “But my dad kind of made me do it a little bit and then he got a snapper from USF a while back, his name is Alex Salvato, and he gave me lessons and I kind of learned the technique and how to snap.

"Once I started improving I really started to like it, now I love doing it. So that’s kind of how I got into it. Varsity needed a snapper and I told coach I could do it so he called me up my freshman year, that was exciting.”

At Plant City (FL) High School, Knotts competed in track and field while also a member of the football team, where he served as the long snapper and played safety as a senior. 

As a senior on the track and field team, Knotts would win both a district and regional championship in javelin, as well as a third place finish in the FHSAAA's 4A division at the state meet. Perhaps his best feat as a member of the track and field team was his FHSAA state record 57.23-meter throw at the 2021 Bob English Invite in Lakeland.

Prior to committing to Texas Tech as a preferred walk-on in 2021, Knotts also held offers from Troy, Marshall and Kansas. However, after building a special relationship with the Red Raiders' special teams coordinator at the time, Knotts knew Texas Tech was the best fit for him. 

"Weighing out my options I just saw the best future for me at Texas Tech,” Knotts said. “There’s a lot of connections, a lot of alumni that have gone on to be successful and shoot, it was the best decision that I possibly could have made.”

After joining the Red Raiders as a preferred walk-on Knotts earned the starting long snapper spot, starting all 13 games for the Red Raiders, making him the only true freshman to appear in every game for the Red Raiders in 2021. 

Ultimately the long snapper position will never come with the glitz or glamor that being the start quarterback does. To Knotts, though, that is more than okay. He realizes how vital his position on the team is, whether he has name in the papers on a weekly basis or not, and will give his all to coach Joey McGuire and the Red Raiders. 

You can find Connor Zimmerlee on Twitter @Connorjz98

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