By. Kaci Demarest, Arizona Hotshots Content Manager
The Arizona Hotshots solidified their quarterback room during Tuesday’s Alliance of American Football “Protect or Pick” Quarterback Draft. The unique draft system asked teams to “protect” one of the quarterbacks allocated to them by region, or “pick” from elsewhere.
Rather than protect one of their allocated players, the Hotshots opted to a pick in the first round, taking former Oklahoma and Texas A&M quarterback Trevor Knight.
“I was extremely grateful that Coach Neuheisel, Phil Savage, and Coach Freeze thought so highly of me to take me so early on,” Knight says.
Hotshots General Manager Phil Savage and Head Coach Rick Neuheisel said that they were looking for an athletic quarterback who would fit into how they see The Alliance unfolding.
“He’s a great fit for us given that he’s able to make all the throws, and he has the athleticism,” Neuheisel says. “He can be what we want him to be.”
He added that Knight’s athleticism will be key in the absence of kicking extra points.
Knight redshirted his freshman year at Oklahoma before going on to have a career of 3,424 yards and 25 touchdowns at the helm of Sooner football. Most notably, he posted a 348-yard, four touchdown performance at the 2013 Sugar Bowl to defeat Alabama and win MVP Honors.
During his final season of eligibility, he opted to transfer to Texas A&M, where he led the Aggies to an 8-5 record.
Following his collegiate career, he attended the 2017 NFL Combine where he had the best vertical jump, broad jump, and 40-yard dash time (4.54) out of all quarterbacks.
He then signed as an undrafted free agent with the Arizona Cardinals but was released prior to the start of the season. Most recently, he played on the Atlanta Falcons practice squad. He said his professional stints in the NFL gave him the opportunity to learn from players like Matt Ryan and Carson Palmer on how to harness and adapt his techniques both on and off the field.
“I’m a guy that has a lot of energy and I wear that on my sleeve,” says Knight. “I have a leadership style that’s outgoing.”
Arizona also added John Wolford, Quinn McQueary, and Jack Heneghan to their quarterback arsenal. Savage says the team ended up with a squad of players who were already high up on their list.
“It went exceptionally well,” he says. “If we had been able to just go shopping for quarterbacks with no draft, we got the guys that we would’ve taken on our own choosing.”
The quarterbacks and the rest of the Hotshots roster will come together in the valley for a mini camp in mid-December. The Alliance of American Football kicks off in February 2019.