For Knight, UNH, time to look ahead

DURHAM – A very good University of New Hampshire football season – “not a great season,” said quarterback Trevor Knight of Amherst, “but a very good one.” – ended Saturday in a crunching defeat at the hands of South Dakota State University in the FCS quarterfinals.

Knight and the Wildcats made it 14 straight years of qualifying for the NCAAs. They took care of business in the home playoff opener vs. Central Connecticut and then hit the road, knocking off a top-10 team in Central Arkansas before meeting their demise.

For Knight, the junior who took a physical pounding as the year went on, there is one more point of business – a macroeconomics final – before he takes a well-earned pre-Christmas vacation in Aruba.

“I’ve had some injuries, some nagging stuff, and I’m excited to get healthy, 100 percent again,” said Knight, who missed the second half in Arkansas with a concussion.

“I’m just happy I was able to come back and play this week. The concussion was a little scary. The training staff talked about all the risks. I have confidence in them. Nobody really knows all the risks, and there’s a lot of research being done. But I’m excited to get bigger, faster and strong for next year.”

What a junior year it was for the Nashua South High School grad, as he captured the Golden Helmet Award for Division 1.

The third-team all-CAA and first-team all-New England selection was ranked in the top 20 in six different passing categories nationally, hitting on 291 of 471 pass attempts (61.8 percent) for 3,433 yards with 26 touchdowns and 10 interceptions.

Most importantly, he commandeered the run that gave UNH a taste of the bigtime.

“Personally, I felt myself growing up a lot. I think our whole team did,” he said.

“We’re still a very young team. But in the playoffs, those freshmen got to see South Dakota State. That’s the team we want to be. We know where we want to be, where we have to be.”

With a year to go, Knight’s eyes are set on one goal, the national championship. He says it could happen, especially with the young talent assembled around him.

For now, though, adjusting to the idle time is his first priority.

“It’s weird. I slept in to 10:30 today, that’s not usually what i do,” said Knight.

That won’t last long. The 12-month a year job of “college football player” will commence right after Christmas.

“You’re either playing football or preparing for it. We’re going to need a great offseason. Having seen them, makes it a lot better to know that,” he said. “I just want to be the best leader I can be in the offseason. We’re going to have a special team next year. We can be where we want to be next year.”