5 things to know about new Jets RB Zonovan Knight

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The Jets wasted no time adding to their running back room at the conclusion of the 2022 NFL draft, signing NC State’s Zonovan Knight as their first undrafted free agent.

New York drafted Breece Hall in the second round, but decided that Knight was worth bringing in nonetheless. It won’t be easy for Knight to earn touches with Hall, Michael Carter, Tevin Coleman and Ty Johnson in the mix, but he has a skill set that will allow him to compete among the group at a high level.

Let’s get to know Gang Green’s newest running back.

Southern Nash standout

AP Photo/John Minchillo

Knight attended Southern Nash High School in Bailey, North Carolina. He had a school record 5,073 rushing yards and 71 touchdowns at Southern Nash and is widely considered to be the best player in program history.

Staying home

AP Photo/John Minchillo

Knight reeled in nearly 20 offers as a four-star recruit in the class of 2019 and had options to play his college football anywhere in the nation. Knight ultimately decided to stay home and commit to NC State over Purdue. Knight was originally committed to Duke, but backed off his pledge and took official visits to NC State and Purdue. The school closer to home won out.

Starting strong

Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports

Knight wasted no time making an impact at NC State. His first career carry went for a touchdown and he finished his true freshman season ranked 12th in the ACC with 745 rushing yards as the Wolfpack’s leading rusher. Knight ultimately earned a spot on the Pro Football Focus freshman All-American team.

Three years on top

Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images

2019 wasn’t the only year Knight led NC State in rushing. In fact, he was the Wolfpack’s top performer on the ground in 2020 with 788 yards and again in 2021 with 753 yards. Knight averaged more than five yards per carry in each of his three seasons as NC State’s leading rusher.

Committee member

AP Photo/John Minchillo

If Knight ever wants to carve out a role in the Jets’ backfield, he’ll have to share carries with Michael Carter and Breece Hall. That’s not foreign to Knight, as he was part of a backfield committee throughout his career at NC State. Knight routinely shared carries with Ricky Person Jr., who recently signed with the Ravens as an undrafted free agent.

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