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Northwest Classen believes this season can finally be the breakthrough one

Knights return eight starters on both sides in attempting to rebound from a winless 2021.
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By Nate Aker

Over the next few weeks, SBLive Oklahoma will break down high school football teams from the four largest classifications in the state in anticipation of the upcoming 2022 season. Here's our look at the Northwest Classen Knights. 


Mike Riggs, 3rd season (1-14 at NW Classen)


8 offense, 8 defense


Overall record: 0-10

District record: 0-7, 8th in District 6AII-1

Playoffs: Did not qualify 


QB/CB Devon Wilkinson, 5-10, 160, So.

DJ Hall, who graduated last season, will be replaced at quarterback by Wilkinson in 2022. As a two-way player, Wilkinson’s athleticism will aid him largely as he can work out of the pocket with quick feet and buy time for himself and for his receivers.

In a contest against Deer Creek last season, he got some playing time and slung a 38-yard bomb to his wideout downfield amidst high pressure from the pocket breaking down. Poised and controlled, Wilkinson will look to have a promising, developing season at starting quarterback just as a sophomore.

On the defensive side, Wilkinson has shown that he can provide substantial minutes at cornerback, as he tallied 36 tackles in 2021.

WR/CB Brandon Butler, 5-8, 150, So.

In the slot, Butler should be a primary target for Wilkinson this upcoming season. As a speedy, shifty player on the hardwood as well as on the field, placing Butler in the slot should bring the best out of him as he can speed out of his release and create space from defenders.

Butler will look to work all over the field, but should be a great threat in deep shots down the field in 2022.

LB Dayveon Anderson, 5-10, 160, Jr.

Anderson proved himself as a sophomore last season in the linebacker corps. Garnering two tackles for loss and 15 tackles total, he’ll look to have an even more impactful season in these next couple years.

But, this season is where he’ll need to break out and show he can hang with some high-powered offenses and highly touted prospects.


Head coach Mike Riggs has been dealt some unlucky cards since assuming the head coaching role in 2020.

From the pandemic to injuries to inexperience at important positions, he has had to build this team from the ground up. But, this season could be the year that the Knights begin to build on top of their young talent, as Riggs possesses athletic talent on both sides of the ball.

While still inexperienced, many players will receive some much-needed playing time this season, priming the underclassmen for their latter years to be a cohesive team. Among these underclassmen are eight returning starters on both sides of the ball, so they will be able to guide and progress their younger peers.

One player that will benefit immensely from this experience is sophomore quarterback and defensive back Devon Wilkinson. While he played well defensively in 2021, he will be introduced to being the leader of the offense at quarterback next season, according to Riggs.

Right next to Wilkinson will be sophomore wideout Brandon Butler in the slot, as the tandem of underclassmen will look to connect many times and build their chemistry. Senior X’zavier Nicholson will bring some veteran leadership to this offense, with the 6-foot, 170-pound tight end garnering 63 yards on five receptions last season.

Defensively, junior Davyeon Anderson will hope to anchor that defense and step up as a leader at linebacker. Defensive coordinator Aaron Franklin plans to draw up a 4-2-5 scheme, prioritizing wrap-up tackling and containing yards gained by the opponent.

It will be a season that the Knights can build on and advance its young talent for years to come.