Shawn Knight Athlete Profile

#77 Shawn Knight

Shawn Knight
Position: Defensive Tackle Height: 6-6 Weight: 288 Roster Years: 1982-1986 Hometown: Sparks, NV Hall of Fame: 2008

  • 2008 Football




All-America

  • 1986 AP Third Team
  • 1986 UPI Honorable Mention

2008 Hall of Fame Inductee

Unlike most boys, playing in the NFL was not a dream Shawn Knight had when he was a kid. He wanted to go to Wimbledon. Fortunately, the 6-foot-5, 200-pound high school freshman decided to put the tennis racket away after five years of practice - but not much success - and learned how to play football. He always knew he would be great at something; he just picked the wrong sport at first.

Knight's high school experience with football had little to do with strategy and a lot to do with size. He played defensive line, where all he had to do was "chase the ball and knock down the guy who had it." His teammates would even tell him when to come off the field. Even so, he achieved was All-League and All-State as a junior and started thinking about college.

BYU was very honest with him when he was recruited; they wanted him for his speed and intensity, not his football knowledge. Knight gained a new kind of training when he arrived in Provo and was later part of the 1984 team that won the national championship. As a junior, he was second on the team with 11.5 quarterback hurries and 2.5 sacks.

When he began his senior year, he had the training to go along with his speed. He led the team with 16 sacks and was second on the team with eight quarterback hurries. He was voted to the All-America Third Team by The Associated Press, received All-America honorable mention by United Press International, and was a member of the All-Western Athletic Conference First Team. He also was a participant in the Senior Bowl and the East-West Shrine Game.

He didn't consider going into the NFL until his senior season was almost over. By the time he realized the possibility of playing professional football, it was a certainty. He was the 11th pick of the first round of the NFL draft, where he became the newest member of the New Orleans Saints. His first year playing professional football landed Knight on the 1987 NFL All-Rookie Team. He also played for the Denver Broncos, St. Louis Cardinals and Minnesota Vikings.

Knight also later played for the Sacramento Surge of the World League of American Football, where he was named to the 1991 All-World Team of the WLAF.

After his football days slowed, Knight got his master's degree and began a physical therapy practice. Eventually he worked into medical sales and is currently living in Park City with his four children.

He spends his time hunting elk, coaching his children's teams and speaking at firesides, where he explains that when you work hard, good things happen.

Personal

  • B.S. and Masters in physical therapy
  • Married with four children
  • Living in Park City, Utah

Career Highlights

  • Was defensive lineman in the week vs. New Mexico 1983
  • Was in on the fourth-down tackle late in the game vs. Missouri in the Holiday Bowl VII 1983
  • Was defensive lineman of the game vs. New Mexico 1984
  • Was second on the team with 11.5 quarterback hurries and 2.5 sacks 1985
  • Deflected three passes and had 2.5 fumble recoveries 1985
  • Named defensive lineman of the week vs. Temple, Colorado State, Utah State and Air Force 1985

Before BYU

  • Member of the National Honor Society
  • Won letters in football, track, wrestling and tennis
  • All-league and all-state as a junior and senior
  • Was zone champion and state runner-up in wrestling

After BYU

  • Picked in the 11th round of the NFL draft
  • Played for the New Orleans Saints, Denver Broncos, St. Louis Cardinals and Minnesota Kings
  • Played for the Sacramento Surge of the World League of American Football
  • Began a physical therapy practice
  • Worked in medical sales

Post BYU Honors and Societies

  • 1987 NFL All-Rookie Team
  • 1991 All-World Team of the WLAF
  • Inducted into the BYU Hall of Fame in 2008


1982 | Redshirt Year

  • Took advantage of the NCAA freshman redshirt rule

1983 | Freshman Year

  • Saw a lot of action as a backup
  • Was defensive lineman in the week vs. New Mexico
  • Was in on the fourth-down tackle late in the game vs. Missouri in the Holiday Bowl VII

1984 | Sophomore Year

  • Was scheduled to start but broke a bone in his foot on the last play of a pre-season scrimmage
  • Returned to the lineup for the Colorado State game
  • Was defensive lineman of the game vs. New Mexico

1985 | Junior Year

  • Broke his arm in a freak accident only weeks before the season started
  • Played sparingly during the Kickoff Classic
  • Started the remaining games
  • Was second on the team with 11.5 quarterback hurries and 2.5 sacks
  • Deflected three passes and had 2.5 fumble recoveries
  • Named defensive lineman of the week vs. Temple, Colorado State, Utah State and Air Force

1986 | Senior Year

  • An honors candidate who worked at the BYU Library during the summer in book security