The Jets used a seventh-round pick during the 2011 draft to add to the team the boyhood friend of quarterback Mark Sanchez. Receiver Scotty McKnight, to whom Sanchez threw passes at his Pro Day workout, will get a chance to catch passes from Sanchez during NFL games.
McKnight also has an interesting back story, as recently chronicled by Mark Cannizzaro of the New York Post. The player nearly was kicked out of his high school after writing threats against a teacher in a journal. McKnight missed the final eight games of his high-school career while school officials investigated the situation.
“It was an error in judgment that led to a huge consequence,” McKnight told Cannizzaro. “I was 17 years old and had a class assignment to do some creative writing and the teacher told us for the first five minutes of class to write whatever you want, be creative and that no one was going ever to read it.
“Me and a buddy wrote some crazy stuff, [Quentin] Tarantino-like movie type stuff and were trying to one-up each other, figuring no one was ever going to read it. It was a lack of judgment for sure, but we were 17 years old and not thinking — clearly.”
McKnight said he had committed to Boise State, but that the school shied away from his after the incident. He later walked on at Colorado.
“People that know me know that’s not me,” McKnight said. “I was 17 years old and had never been in trouble. I come from a family of police officers. My father is a lieutenant in Newport Beach and my grandfather and uncle are in the LAPD.”
Though Cannizzaro writes that the words used by McKnight make rookie nose tackle Kenrick Ellis, who faces up to 20 years in jail for felony assault, and rookie running back Bilal Powell, who was stabbed during a gang-related incident in high school, “look like choir boys,” McKnight used only words that apparently weren’t ever intended to be read. Plenty of kids dabble in creative writing that, at times, crosses the line. Unless and until those words become actions — including intentionally sending those threatening words to the target of them, which it appears McKnight never did — it’s no significant cause for concern.
Besides, any guy who has had friends is familiar with the “one-up” dynamic. Whether it’s creative writing or bench presses or free throws or expelling gas (fast forward to 2:00), it’s not an uncommon phenomenon. As long as no one actually gets hurt or deliberately gets threatened, it’s normal behavior.