It has been nearly nine months since Jets wide receiver Scotty McKnight stepped on a football field and the second-year wide receiver is itching to make an impact.
Taken in the seventh round of last year’s NFL Draft, McKnight failed to register a catch or play in a game and a midseason ACL tear in his left knee prematurely shelved his season. A long rehab followed and McKnight attended rookie minicamp along with the Jets’ other young players and while he didn’t put on a helmet, he did participate in individual drills. During OTAs and minicamp, McKnight gradually increased his workload and on Friday, for the first day of training camp, McKnight was a full go.
“It felt really good. I’m not surprised by it. I’ve been working with [head strength and conditioning coach] John Melody and the training staff and gradually started here at Day 1 with the injury, starting from scratch to be ready for training camp. And now I’m here in a position to compete and take reps,” McKnight told Metro. “I was a full go.”
The selection of McKnight was labeled by fans as a bit of favor by the Jets organization due to his childhood friendship with quarterback Mark Sanchez. But in limited snaps, McKnight has been shown an ability to run solid routes and he possesses good hands.
Right now, his focus is on getting healthy again and regaining his ability to make cuts and runs without fear of his knee giving out.
“Minicamp was all individuals. I was six and a half months [into his recovery] at that point. I’m still at that range where things didn’t physically feel that comfortable,” McKnight said. “But now at eight months, I feel much more comfortable with the knee.”
McKnight shared the nearly four hour trip to Cortland from northern New Jersey with his old friend and wide receiver Patrick Turner, who played with Sanchez at USC.
The trip up was a contrast to that of Sanchez’s backup, Tim Tebow, who made the road trip with rugby player turned tight end Hayden Smith. On Thursday, Smith told Metro that the two talked the whole trip and never once turned on the radio. Smith also confirmed that the evangelical good boy of the Jets doesn’t speed on the highway.
Meanwhile, McKnight said that Sanchez speeds “at times,” confirming former Jet Mark Brunell’s comments onSanchez’s heavy foot from two years ago when the two shared a ride.
McKnight described a free-flowing gab fest between the three riding mates.
“Us three? We cover everything, we listen to music, whatever,” McKnight said. “[We] kind of mix it up. Pat is more of a rap guy. Mark is more classic rock. Me? I’m a mix. We just had fun going up together.”
Follow Jets beat writer Kristian Dyer on Twitter @KristianRDyer for live updates from Cortland.