They hadn’t seen this before.
How D.J. Knox takes the first rep in individual drills, inserts himself into situations and goes full-throttle regardless of the circumstance.
How Knox will take a hit, pop up and sprint another 10, 15 yards to “finish,” like he’s asked.
How Knox will deliver his own blows, using his low center of gravity and power to take a shoulder pad to knock a would-be tackler back.
Knox didn’t have much film for Purdue’s new coaching staff to watch, having missed all of 2016 while recovering from knee surgery. He didn’t have practice tape, either, last season, because he spent all of his time working in the pit, pushing himself past reasonable limits, even when he had no real reason to do so. Only because that’s who he is, the ultimate worker, try-hard guy and coach-pleaser.
And because they didn’t know this, Knox has used this spring for one sole purpose: To show them that everything he has to offer is good enough to get No. 1 reps.