Gauging Knott's Impact

Gauging Knott's Impact

Iowa State is a full yard better on defense with sophomore WLB Luke Knott in the lineup

No need to bury the lede. Iowa State sophomore linebacker Luke Knott serves it up for us.

Knott is back to football activity. He missed an important spring practice, but he will get back in shape this summer and ready to roll in fall camp.

A torn hip labrum cost Knott the final six games of the season, ending his streak of consecutive starts at five (Knott began the year as Jevohn Miller's backup at weakside linebacker). Still, Knott's 45 tackles in 2013 were seventh on the team — either an indictment on rest of the defense or a testament to Knott's talent. Depends on your outlook.

In the five games Knott started, from Iowa to Baylor, teams averaged 4.38 yards per carry. In the seven games Knott didn't start — this includes Northern Iowa, although he played — opponents picked up 5.97 yards per attempt.

  • With Knott as a Starter (Opponent YPC, per Game): 3.6, 3.1, 4.1, 5.6, 5.5.
  • Knott as a Reserve: 6.9.
  • Knott Out (Opponent YPC, per Game): 7.3, 4.7, 3.2, 9.2, 4.6, 5.9.
  • Knott may never be the playmaker his brother, Jake, was (10 career takeaways) and he surrenders three inches, but Luke had the superior freshman year of the two. In his first start, against the Hawkeyes, Knott learned on the fly — biting on play-action fakes in the first quarter and staying home in the third. If Knott stays healthy throughout the next three seasons and progresses as he should, he'll very likely crack the top 10 of Iowa State's career tackles list. Jake sits at No. 7 with 347, A.J. Klein fourth with 361.

    Iowa State's defense is nearly at full health, missing only pass-rusher Justin Madison, who's recovering from a knee injury. Knott will have no problem winning back his job at WLB, while Jared Brackens looks set at SAM (Drake Ferch is playing nickel). Alton Meeks and Jordan Harris will compete for the starting job at middle linebacker in the fall, though each could see the field at the same time should the Cyclones mix in the 3-4 package they've experimented with throughout Wally Burnham's tenure.

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