Muskegon (Mich.) defensive lineman Damon Knox had several BCS offers, but it was the one closest to…
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Damon Knox, the 6-foot-5, 265-pound, three-star defensive end from Muskegon, Mich., has scholarship offers from six schools and has narrowed his list down to three – Michigan, Michigan State and Illinois. Knox, ranked as the No. 96 defensive end in the country by Scout.com, says he also has offers from Eastern Michigan, Western Michigan and Ball State. He has not taken nor scheduled any official visits yet. "I just sent my stuff to the clearinghouse," he said. "So I'll be taking those soon. I hope to have a trip set to Michigan or Michigan State this week." Knox has had a chance to attend games at all three of his favorites. "I went to a couple Michigan games and a couple Michigan State games," he said. "I also went to the Illinois/Purdue game (on Oct. 30) and that was a lot of fun. "Illinois is a nice environment," he said. "It's a smaller stadium and campus, but I liked it. They have a good program and coach Ron Zook seems like a good guy. I can see myself playing there." The Illini are about five hours from his house, while Michigan is three hours away and Michigan State is only one and half hours away. "But distance won't be a big deal," he said. "I like the coaches at Michigan a lot," he said. "I really like coach Rich Rodriguez. He's a real forward guy and doesn't beat around the bush. He tells you what he thinks. "They've come a long way since last year," he said about the Wolverines. "It's part of the process. They're struggling on defense and are bringing guys in who can help them…maybe I'll be one of those guys." So how does Michigan State compare to their in-state rival? "That coaching staff is amazing," he said about the Spartans. "They're so energetic and never flat. "I constantly hear from them and they really want me," he said. "They make me feel very wanted…I love that program." Despite living in Michigan, Knox says he never followed either in-state team. "I wasn't big on football until middle school," he said. "And then I didn't really get into college until my 10th grade year. I didn't even think college football was something I'd do until then." Knox admits he wasn't as focused as he should have been at the beginning of high school, which severely hurt his grades. He reports a 1.9 core GPA and a 17 ACT, which he is retaking on Dec. 11. "I wasn't thinking about college back then," he said. "School wasn't something I was focused on and wasn't taking anything seriously. "But now I see where I want to be and what I want in life," he said. "I'm actually thinking about the future and I'm excited about it. I'm doing everything I can to make sure I make it." Despite his academic struggles, he says he is projected to graduate with his class in June. "I'm on target right now," he said. "I've been taking online classes and made up my core classes and having been getting all A's and B's, so it's going great." Knox says that all three of his favorites have been nothing but supportive about his academic situation. "Nobody has given up on me," he said. "They all know I'm fighting hard to get it done." Muskegon finished the 2010 season with an 8-4 record. "I can figure out my opponent fast," he said. "I go after his weaknesses. I play smart and know what to do. I have a good bull rush and go after it hard." He says he can bench 340-pounds. "I want to improve my speed," he said. "And I'm working on using my hands better and on my technique."
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