Malik Knowles was a part-time player last year for the Mansfield Lake Ridge football team. He admits it was hard, at first, to move to a starting job this season.
“It’s been a big change, because last year I was more of a role player on the team,” Knowles said. “This year I’ve become a better leader as I fulfilled the starting role.”
But the senior was able to help lead his team to a major victory over Lancaster last week, a game in which he caught two touchdown passes and piled up 117 yards.
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Knowles has already surpassed last year’s receiving yardage by nearly 120 yards and has four touchdowns along the way, and said the secret to his success this season has been to not get ahead of himself.
“Our main objective is to be 1-0 every day and not focus on the later goals,” Knowles said. “We focus on the things that we can control at the moment.”
With 352 yards receiving through the first five games, Knowles is on track to be one of the top receivers in District 10-5A this season, and his coach is proud.
“Malik is adapting well to a starting role this year after rotating as a back-up to Zach Jackson (now playing at Louisiana-Monroe),” coach Kirk Thor said. “He has tremendous potential and a bright future.”
Knowles said he prides himself in being a hard worker on the field and is happy to see that hard work paying off.
Thor said the thing that impresses him the most about Knowles is the progress he has made since starting with the Lake Ridge program three years ago.
“He has been in our program since his freshmen year and has improved each year,” Thor said.
Knowles has not yet committed, but has received an offer from Illinois.
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