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OXFORD, Miss. — As we count down the days until the Ole Miss season opener against Memphis in the Liberty Bowl, we are releasing who we think the Top 50 Most Impactful Players will be for the Rebels this season. This series is a way for Ole Miss fans to learn more about players to keep an eye on this fall.
With 25 days before kickoff, coming in at No. 25…
As a senior at Pearl High School, Tylan Knight led his team to a perfect 16-0 record and earned the Mississippi Association of Coaches 6A Co-Player of the Year honors. During his career, he tallied 2,742 all-purpose yards and 25 touchdowns and made 240 tackles on defense. He was the Co-MVP of the 2017 Alabama/Mississippi All-Star Game after making five tackles and an interception.
At 5-foot-6, 173 pounds, Knight was not heavily recruited out of high school; however, Ole Miss head coach Matt Luke could see that Knight was a football player and trusted his staff’s evaluation of Knight to offer him a spot on the 85-man scholarship roster. Knight signed with Ole Miss in February of 2018, arriving in Oxford that summer.
As a true freshman for the Rebels, Knight appeared in all twelve games, playing initially at running back before being asked to move over to defensive back in Week 6 after the Rebels suffered several injuries in the secondary. He finished 2018 with 107 yards on 19 carries and 16 tackles and 1.5 tackles for loss.
This spring, Knight picked up where he left off last November, earning the 2019 Eli Manning Award from his performance in camp..
The 2019 Eli Manning Award – presented to the most improved offensive football player based on spring practice performance in the area of spirit, leadership, hustle, determination and dependability – goes to @TylanKnight! #HottyToddy
— Ole Miss Football (@OleMissFB) April 6, 2019
This fall, the versatile sophomore will be asked to play in the slot and some at running back. Heading into fall camp, the shifty and speedy Knight was listed as the backup to Elijah Moore in the slot. At Media Day last week, Knight talked about where he feels he’ll be used the most this fall.
“As of right now, from what I’ve been seeing, I think it’ll be slot, but it is subject to change,” he said.
He told us he worked on his conditioning during the offseason in order to hit the ground running this fall. “I’ve just been doing what I have to do on my own to make sure I hold up my end of the bargain,” Knight explained.
We believe the versatile Knight has found his home in offensive coordinator Rich Rod’s scheme. Coach Luke spoke to this at Media Day last week, discussing where he thinks he’ll use Knight.
“He can do a lot of different things,” Luke said. “He can play running back. We can line him up in the backfield, but he can also go out there and play receiver. You saw we were able to utilize him some in the spring game. He stood out; a lot of people were talking about him. He’s a football player. 6A player of the year in Mississippi and MVP of the MS-AL Game. He’ll continue to have a role,” he continued.
“He has that competitive spirit that you like to see.”
Coach Matt Luke on Tylan Knight
Knight’s fire is definitely easy to see. We asked him what his goals are and his answer is simple:
“Shock everybody, that’s my goal.”
Keep your eyes on No. 4 this fall!
25. Tylan Knight
26. Tariqious Tisdale
27. Octavious Cooley
28. Jalen Julius
29. Luke Logan
30. Nick Broeker
31. Austrian Robinson
32. Quentin Bivens
33. Willie Hibbler
34. Isaiah Woullard
35. Jadon Jackson
36. Grant Tisdale, Kinkead Dent, John Rhys Plumlee
37. Keidron Smith
38. Snoop Conner
39. Michael Howard
40. Vernon Dasher
41. Ryder Anderson
42. D’Vaughn Pennamon
43. C.J. Miller
44. Charles Wiley
45. Sincere David
46. Mac Brown
47. Jason Pellerin
48. Chandler Tuitt
49. Dannis Jackson
50. Jonathan Mingo
Derrell has covered Ole Miss athletics in the past for Rebels247 at 247Sports. He attended Delta State University where he graduated with a B.S. in Biology. He is currently pursuing his Pharm.D. at the University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy with an expected graduation of May, 2020.