Hewitt-Trussville defensive lineman Connor Knight committed to UAB on Monday. The 6-foot-2, 285-pound Knight, who recently de-committed from South Florida, is the first non-previously committed player to pledge to incoming UAB head coach Trent Dilfer and his staff.

Knight said his mother is a UAB graduate, “so it’s already in my blood.” He also gets the chance to play alongside close friend, defensive lineman Emmanuel Waller, a commit from Oak Mountain High.

Dropping his commitment to USF was tough, Knight said, because of the relationships he had built with that staff. However, when head coach Jeff Scott and the staff was fired, he said it was the best move for him. He said the incoming UAB staff recruited him more diligently than the outgoing staff. He said that incoming assistant coach Miguel Patrick, who is expected to work with the defensive line, has called him daily since last week.

Like Waller, Knight, who had more than 30 reported offers, is set on being a recruiter.

“I’m going to start that [Tuesday] on Twitter,” said Knight, who will join Waller on the North team this week in the North-South All-Star game in Mobile.

One of his targets, Knight said, is Pinson Valley wide receiver Amare Thomas. The 5-foot-10, 180-pound Thomas, who has 16 reported offers, recently narrowed his list down to UAB, Jacksonville State, Liberty and Virginia.  

Knight said the plan is for some of the UAB coaching staff to come watch Friday night’s game. Knight and Thomas will be part of what is expected to be a large group of recruits at UAB this weekend.

*UNA running back ShunDerrick Powell, who entered the transfer portal in late November, has talked to a host of schools, including some Power 5 schools. He has 21 offers thus far, and returning to UNA is also an option.

UNA struggled as a team this season, finishing 1-10, but Powell was the ASUN Offensive Player of the Year and a Walter Payton Award finalist. He rushed for a school-record 1,508 yards with 18 touchdowns.

*South Alabama added a transfer portal offensive lineman from Mississippi State. Reed Buys, a 6-foot-4, 300-pound lineman, who began his career at Jones Community College, will have two years of eligibility remaining.

*Dynamic Gardendale High quarterback Tyler Nelson switched his commitment from UT-Martin to Kennesaw State. The 6-foot-3, 195-pound Nelson fits well into the option attack run by Kennesaw State head coach Brian Bohannon.

*Former James Clement High quarterback Jamil Muhammad, who moved to outside linebacker at Georgia State, is on the move to the West Coast. Muhammad entered the transfer portal and committed to USC.

The 6-foot-2, 245-pound Muhammad had 70 tackles, 11 tackles for loss and 7.5 sacks over the past two seasons.

*Georgia State safety Antavious Lane, who recently entered the transfer portal, posted on Twitter that he received an offer from Troy. The 5-foot-9, 180-pound Lane, who is one of the best defensive players in the Sun Belt Conference, has 226 tackles, 11 interceptions, 6.5 tackles for loss, 24 pass breakups and four forced fumbles in 37 career games.  

*Former UAB tight end Maleak Bryant entered the transfer portal and has committed to Long Island University. The 6-foot-6, 245-pound Bryant played in seven games with one start for the Blazers this season.  

To connect with the author of this story, or to comment, email steve.irvine@1819news.com.

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