October 28, 2021
"Changing Lives, Improving Communities"

DITR: Andre Knighten

Andre Knighten is a class of 2022 defensive back/wide receiver for McKinley Senior High School in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Knighten is 5’11” and 155 lbs. He is a corner back who likes to get physical with a receiver and make his life miserable on the field. Last season, Andre was named second team all district for his play at cornerback. Andre is the kind of guy who is constantly going to church and spending time with his family.

Q: How long have you been playing football?

A: Since I was about 6. My dad had his own team in little league, he pushed me to try it out and I loved it.

Q: Do you or did you play any other sports? 

A: I run track and play basketball also. I really fell in love with football in 11th grade. It was my first year in varsity, I went and tried out for the team after taking some time away from the game and I became a starter.

Q: Do you play any other positions or only DB?

A: I play wide receiver, return punts, and kicks also. I used to play QB in little league and middle school.

Q: What did your off-season training regiment look like?

A: Other than practice, I was working out with my dad a lot. We would go to the track to run and then we would do some drills. I would also work out by myself whenever I got the chance.

Q: Do you have any goals for this season?

A: Personally, I want to get 1st team All-District on both defense and offense. But the ultimate goal is to win a state championship.

Q: What kind of corner back would you describe yourself as? Do you feel like you are better in man coverage or zone?

A:  I would probably say I’m better in man. Usually a quarterback only gets like four to five seconds to make a decision in the pocket. When I play man, I’m jamming the receiver as hard as I can so that usually takes off like a second or two. That makes it a lot harder for the quarterback to throw towards me. I’m good in zone coverage, but in zone coverage it’s not about you versus the guy in front of you. In zone coverage, everyone has to play their part.

Q: What is your favorite part about playing cornerback?

A: Jamming people off the line and getting interceptions. There’s no feeling like locking somebody up and getting that INT.

Q: What is your most memorable moment on the field?

A: My favorite moment from this year has to be my interception against Capitol to seal the game. But I’ll never forget my first touchdown. First play of my life in little league, I took a quarterback keeper like 90 yards for a touchdown.

Q: How would your teammates describe you? 

A: I think they would describe me as a cool dude and leader in some ways. I’m the only returning senior from last year so I stay on them to keep improving.

Q: Do you have any role models who have inspired you? 

A: My big brother and my dad have been role models in my life. My dad has been cheering me on my whole life in football. Coach Reed has also been a role model for me. The way that he preaches about getting better every day not only in football but also in life has had an effect on me.

Q: What is a time you went through significant adversity and how did you get through it?

A: Last year was really hard for the team and I. Losing every game, it caused us to feel like we would never win again. But at the same time, it caused us to work harder this summer and strive to win. Coach Reed helped a lot with that, he totally changed our mindset and our culture. We’re a really young team and he’s helped the young guys step up and accept their responsibility on the field.

Q: Do you think football has affected you as a person? 

A: Yes, it has helped me keep more discipline in my life. Growing up where I’m from there’s not many options. It’s not a good area, so I stuck to football and other sports to keep me out of trouble. My grandma would always tell me I can do anything I put my mind to. Coach Reed and football have helped me understand that it is possible to accomplish what I want in life.

Q: Has football taught you any valuable lessons? 

A:  It has taught me to never give up on anything you’re doing in life. When adversity comes you have to stick through it and stay strong. The hardships will pass but if you stick them out you will become a better person in the long run.

Click Here for Andre’s highlights