FAYETTEVILLE — Junior Trey Knox burst onto the college scene in 2019 as a talented wide receiver for the Razorbacks.
However, his sophomore season didn’t go as expected. Much the same for the current junior season until he moved to tight end. He has nine receptions for 63 yards and one touchdown and was a key player for the Hogs against both Ole Miss and Mississippi State. Following Tuesday’s practice he talked about his season to this point.
“It’s been a real roller coaster, honestly,” Knox said. “You try not to ride those roller coaster emotions, you try to stay even keel and just try to play ball the best you can. It’s been pretty tough, but you’ve just got to keep pushing through it because eventually your time is going to come, and you’ve got to be able to answer the call.”
How did the move to tight end come about? Was it your idea or that of the coaches?
“It was really my idea,” Knox said. “I was like ‘Move me to tight end. I feel like I can be really good at tight end. I know I can block. Being the hybrid kind of guy, that’s what a lot of NFL teams like.’ So I just thought it’s a thing that I should bite at and I would have great success with.”
As a true freshman in 2019, Knox caught 28 passes for 385 yards and three touchdowns. But then was limited to seven catches for 70 yards in 2020. Knox put on some weight before the season and is now glad he did at tight end.
“Definitely,” Knox said. “I feel like gaining weight is way harder in the season in the off-season, just because you’re always running around every day for three months, four months straight. So trying to keep weight on is very hard. But I’ve gained about five pounds, so I’m sitting at about 225 right now. Five pounds doesn’t sound like a lot, but it is a lot for being in-season.”
Knox and the Razorbacks are on the road this week with a Saturday night game against LSU. Knox talks about importance of Hogs being able to win their third game in a row.
“Very big,” Knox said. “Just knowing that we can compete with these boys and we can get the boot back and bring it back home, it’s a big game just to keep this run going and trying to get to a better bowl. So it’s very important.”
Knox missed some time after the Ole Miss game due to an ankle injury. How is it feeling now?
“Yes sir, I feel really good,” Knox said. “I’ve been practicing, taking all the reps these past two weeks, so I feel relatively healthy.”
Knox was a key member for Arkansas on Saturday in the two-minute drill that helped lead to the winning touchdown. Knox caught three passes for 16 yards on Arkansas’ game-winning drive against Mississippi State. What is it with you and the two-minute drill?
“I don’t know,” Knox said laughing. “I guess the two-minute drill just likes me, I guess. They like throwing me the ball when it’s crunch time, I don’t know. I just have to make plays when there are plays to be made.”
Sam Pittman took notice of what Knox did against the Bulldogs in Arkansas’ 31-28 victory.
“Big time for Trey,” Pittman said. “He had some really good blocks on a couple screen plays out there that we needed for first downs. Trey is 224 now. We moved him to tight end because we needed help at tight end. I think he can be a really, really good tight end. He’s already helping us there now. He’s physical. Any time you’re slimmer, which I haven’t been for many years, but if you’re slim to have success you have to use your hands well. Trey is tall and slender. He’s really good and really powerful with his hands. Now that he’s put some more weight on, I think he’s going to be a dynamic tight end for us. Played well tonight.”
Quarterback KJ Jefferson made his first collegiate start at LSU in 2019 against the eventual national champions. Knox talked about what he remembered from Jefferson in that game
“I just remember him being raw, young guy, hadn’t really played a lot of snaps going into that LSU game,” Jefferson said. “So, just a little antsy in the pocket. Now, he has a certain swag about him. He knows how to carry himself on the field. He knows how to play with a certain kind of poise. Y’all saw it last game on the last drive, he just made great decisions, stayed calm, and made plays. That’s what I think he is right now.”
Jefferson is having a great redshirt sophomore season. He was appreciative of Knox’s performance on Saturday night in the final drive.
“He stepped up big in that two-minute situation,” Jefferson said. “He just took advantages of his opportunity like Dominique (Johnson) did. Just knowing I have a weapon like Trey Knox out there on the field. I can give him the ball and he’s able to make people miss in space. Get positive yards. I’m extremely proud.”
Arkansas and LSU will kickoff at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday night and televised on the SEC Network.