Jake Evans talks to Dawson Knox for the third article in our ‘What’s it like…’ series. Dawson is a red shirt sophomore at Mississippi.
JE: What made you decide to pursue a career as an SEC walk on, versus being a scholarship player at another school?
DK: I believed that I could compete in the SEC. No matter what level of college football you play at, you have to work hard. Playing in the SEC makes that hard work more rewarding.
JE: What was it like switching from QB to TE, once you got to the college level?
DK: It was strange at first. Blocking was the hardest transition. Running routes and catching the ball has always been fun, but blocking was where I needed to improve.
JE: What’s your favorite part of being in an SEC football program?
DK: Gamedays. There’s nothing like running out of the tunnel to a stadium of thousands of people, about to do what you love.
JE: Do you have a pregame ritual?
DK: I just go over the game plan one more time, then listen to some good music.
JE: Who is the funniest/strangest guy on the team?
DK: Will Gleeson. Something about that Aussie is hilarious.
JE: What’s the college game like compared to high-level high school football?
DK: It’s hard to compare. In high school, you’ve been buddies with your teammates for a long time. Back then, I felt like it was crazy having our small Brentwood Academy stadium packed. Now, it’s more like a business. Everyone is here to win football games. And playing in front of hundreds of thousands of people makes high school seem a lot smaller.
JE: If you had to guess right now, how many guys on your roster will make it to the NFL?
DK: There are at least 10 guys right now that will make it to the league. And that’s conservative.
JE: What was the process like, putting on the weight and muscle necessary to become an SEC tight end?
DK: The process was about the same that I had already been used to. Brentwood Academy prepared me well in terms of work ethic and training, so when I got to Ole Miss, it was a similar routine of working out hard and eating the right things.
JE: What is your favorite memory on the football field?
DK: Dumping the water cooler on Coach Luke after the Egg Bowl victory.
JE: When did you realize you wanted to/could play college football?
DK: When I finally grew a good bit before my senior year. And getting hurt on the very first game of my senior year made me want to play in college even more.
JE: What is your funniest memory on the football field?
DK: During practice one day, one of my best friends, who plays linebacker, dropped into zone coverage during one on ones, when you’re supposed to be playing man. It doesn’t sound very funny, but the whole team still makes fun of him to this day, and that was over two years ago.
JE: If you had to eat one meal every day for the rest of your life, what would it be?
DK: My grandfather’s steak, with my grandmother’s salad, baked potatoes, and dinner rolls.
JE: What is your dream play to make in a football game?
DK: Catch a game winning pass.
Jake Evans is a 19-year-old Integrated Marketing and Communications major at the University of Mississippi. Lover of all things Ole Miss, Predators, Titans & Braves.