Smyrna High star Will Knight transferring to Delaware

Smyrna High football star Will Knight posted photos of himself posing in a Delaware football uniform, presumably from his official visit with UD. (Submitted photo)

NEWARK — There was a time when Will Knight planned on being a Blue Hen.

Now it looks like the former Smyrna High football star is going to be one after all.

Knight, who spent his freshman season at Old Dominion, announced on social media on Wednesday that he’s transferring to Delaware.

While he played in four games at running back for the Division I FBS Monarchs last fall, under the new NCAA redshirt rules, he’ll still have four seasons of eligibility remaining with the Hens.

Knight verbally committed to Delaware before his senior season at Smyrna but then ended up signing with ODU.

After thanking his Monarch teammates on a Twitter post, Knight said he just wanted to return home.

“I felt this one having to do what was best for me and my future,” he tweeted. “Thank you ODU family.

“With that being said I will further my career academically and athletically at the University of Delaware. I’m coming home! (This is for you Bro).”

Knights’ older brother, Wade Knight, died in a car accident on Dec. 21, 2017, the day Will signed with Old Dominion.

Along with his tweet, Knight posted a pair of photos of himself posing in a Delaware football uniform, presumably from his official visit with UD.

“It’s thrilling for me and the Smyrna-Clayton community to have Will so close to home,” said Smyrna coach Mike Judy. “I think the No. 1 thing is his happiness and he was able to make this decision so I’m very happy for him. Will is an asset to any program that’s as good of a school as the University of Delaware. He’s a great student and obviously a great football player.”

At Smyrna, Knight led the Eagles to the first three DIAA Division I football state titles in their history. His 6,490 rushing yards are believed to be a state high school record.

He ran for 97 touchdowns and added 1,722 yards and 20 TDs on 78 career receptions. At Delaware, Knight will rejoin Smyrna quarterback Nolan Henderson, who will be a sophomore battling for playing time with the Hens in the fall.

Henderson and Knight were teammates on the Eagles’ first two state championship teams. Both state finals were played at the Hens’ Delaware Stadium.

“That’s something you dream about, and you’ve been dreaming about since the last time you saw those two knuckleheads on the field together,” Judy said about his two former standouts lining up together. “I think there will be an increase in season ticket sales now for sure from the Smyrna-Clayton community.”

At ODU, the 5-foot-10, 210-pound Knight ran the ball 27 times for 118 yards and a touchdown last fall. He also had seven catches for 95 yards.

At Delaware, Knight will join a backfield that includes junior DeJoun Lee, senior Andre Robinson and junior Khory Spruill.

There had been message board rumors for a few months saying that Knight would transfer to Delaware after spring practice at ODU. They turned out to be accurate.

In an interview on ODU’s website earlier this spring, Knight said playing in four games last season helped him develop as a college player.

“It was great because it allowed me to better understand the speed of the game and the transition of the level of competition at the division one level in comparison to high school,” he was quoted. “As a result of playing a couple games last year I believe I will be much more prepared to play in games this upcoming fall.”

Reach sports editor Andy Walter at walter@newszap.com

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