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Deerfield Beach RB Knighton raves about FSU: Tour Stop No. 16

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DEERFIELD BEACH, Fla. -- As we continue the South Florida leg of our spring recruiting tour, it's time to check in on another loaded Deerfield Beach team, which has several big-time prospects for the classes of 2020 and 2021.

At the top of the list for FSU in this cycle are RB Jaylan Knighton and WR Bryce Gowdy. During this installment, we check in to see where things stand with both of them and also visit with a big-time 2021 athlete, Phillip O'Brien.

And in case you missed them, here are the previous installments from our Spring Tour:

Spring Tour Stop 1 -- Madison County, Fla. (DB Travis Jay, OL Zane Herring, more)

Spring Tour Stop 2 -- Orange Park Oakleaf (DE Chantz Williams, OL Jalen Rivers)

Spring Tour Stop 3 -- Jacksonville Sandalwood (several FSU targets)

Spring Tour Stop 4 -- Wakulla and Leon High

Spring Tour Stop 5 -- Largo High (LB Jayion McCluster)

Spring Tour Stop 6 -- Pinellas Park (RB Lawrance Toafili)

Spring Tour Stop 7 -- IMG Academy (WR Redding, DE Griffis)

Spring Tour Stop 8 -- Mulberry High (ATH Arian Smith)

Spring Tour Stop 9 -- Sarasota Riverview (Malachi Wideman, others)

Spring Tour Stop 10 -- Spring Tour Stop No. 10: Berkeley Prep (Harrell, others)

Spring Tour Stop 11 -- FSU's Haggins is hot after Apopka DT Carter

Spring Tour Stop 12 -- Tallahassee schools; TE Ennis gets coveted offer from FSU

Spring Tour Stop 13 -- Orlando Dr. Phillips: LB commit Dix, others

Spring Tour Stop 14 -- Miami Central and Norland (FSU commit Harrell, others)

Spring Tour Stop 15 -- Palm Beach Central: WR Bryan Robinson

RB Jaylan Knighton is loving the FSU offense and vibe around the program.
RB Jaylan Knighton is loving the FSU offense and vibe around the program.

Top RB target Knighton fired up about FSU offense

Spring football didn't end the way four-star running back Jaylan Knighton wanted as he injured his wrist and missed the Bucks' spring game against Jacksonville Trinity Christian.

The good news for Knighton is that his cast will be removed soon and he's only going to miss a few weeks. He also has been using his down time to work on other parts of his body.

"I've been using my legs since I can't utilize my arms a lot because of my wrist," Knighton said. "But I'll be back in June. It was frustrating, but I was happy to get surgery out of the way. So what I had to do is help teach some of the younger guys, so that's really been my focus. So everyone knows what is expected every time you are on the practice field."

If you talk to anyone around the Deerfield Beach football team, they will let you know that Knighton is the heart and soul of the team and one of the Bucks' biggest leaders.

Head coach Jevon Glenn explained more about what makes the nation's No. 5-ranked all-purpose back special.

"Being able to be diverse," Glenn said. "He can run with physicality, but he's fast and can outrun guys. What makes him unique is how he can spot when to adjust to that style. There's a thinking pattern when you try to tackle him. He's not a mind-made-up back. He knows he's put in the work, and he's a confident kid. Even as a freshman, he's coming right in and made a big impact."

Glenn shared the story of how Knighton won the staring job over Jakari Norwood, who is now expected to be the starting running back for Illinois. Knighton won the job as a sophomore and hasn't relinquished the spot since.

Many college powers are hot on Knighton's trail, and one of those teams certainly is Florida State. After making a recent visit to the FSU campus, Knighton said he is very intrigued by the Seminoles as well.

"The feeling is really great," Knighton said. "I have a great bond with all the coaches. I love it there. I think a lot about that visit. I loved the offense because I saw how many times the backs get the ball, and how fast the offense is. But it was everything wrapped together for the visit. I loved it all. I really can't wait to get back."

Knighton said he's expecting to visit FSU again in June and July. One of the big connections in that relationship has been FSU running backs coach Donte' Pimpleton.

"Our relationship is really outstanding," Knighton said. "We talk every morning, and we talk every afternoon. We talk a lot. He's laid back, and that's great with me because we are both laid back. I mean, when I'm on the field, I talk some. But my general personality is like Coach Pimp. I'm sure Coach Pimp is the same way as me when he's on the field coaching."

Knighton was originally planning to announce his commitment in May but decided to push things back because he wants to take all of his official visits. He said he is still trying to decide how many officials he will take, but the talented back did confirm that FSU will get an official visit for sure.

Some of the other schools in the mix are LSU, Ohio State, Clemson and Florida, and a decision could come by August so that Knighton can focus on his senior season.

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