Knauf back at full speed

As a true freshman, B.J. Knauf was poised to make an instant impact. He was even clocked at a 4.29 40-yard dash upon arrival on campus. However, a back injury turned his first year at Purdue into a year of redshirt and rehabilitation. Now, he's back at full speed and eager to make an impact.

Just weeks into his Purdue career, B.J. Knauf was clocked running a 4.29 40-yard dash. Not long after, he was shut down for the season.

Knauf was battling pain in his lower back, which started during track in his senior year at Santa Fe (Fla.) High School. The freshman receiver wanted to play through the pain, but it wouldn't go away.

"It was like a bad ex-girlfriend," Knauf joked on Tuesday.

Inside Purdue's Mollenkopf Center this spring, Knauf is moving at full speed. It was a painful process back to practice field.

Knauf struggled to walk with the pain in his back. It even hurt to sit. Needless to say, the rehabilitation was agonizing, too. Last fall, he spent hours each day working toward recovery. It wasn't until the Boilermakers' bowl preparations when Knauf finally felt able to play, but his redshirt kept him sidelined.

Given the type of injury, Knauf still must work rehab-like treatment in order to prevent a flare up.

"It's something I'll have to work out for the rest of my life," Knauf said. "But I feel good on the field."

Last season, Knauf felt additional pain knowing he wouldn't be on the field with his team. Even as a true freshman, the receiver was poised to have a role in the offense. Instead, he wasn't able to suit up.

Looking at his situation now, Knauf sees his redshirt year as a great gift.

"You have a whole nother year ahead of you to get bigger, faster, stronger and smarter," he said.

The pain still exists and won't go away, but Knauf is back to form. He is currently working at the Z-Receiver spot—a slot role in Purdue's new pro-style offense. His track-star speed has created problems in practice, and has caught the attention of Purdue's new coaching staff.

"He's a guy that has tremendous speed," said Purdue receivers coach Kevin Sherman of Knauf. "He's a guy that can give you a big play. My whole thing with all of these guys is consistency, and B.J. is one of those guys."

Knauf is at full speed and vying for a starting spot. It's the same position he was in last August, just before the pain in his back become too much. Now, he's feeling better than ever.

"Like high school, honestly," he added. "I haven't really played since high school. I came in, got hurt right away in the summer. It's kind of a blessing to come right in and play again."

Chris Emma has covered recruiting, college athletics and professional baseball for FOX Sports Next since 2009. Emma covered the Nebraska Cornhuskers and Northwestern Wildcats, and currently covers the Purdue Boilermakers. A Chicago native, he resides in West Lafayette.
Facebook | Twitter| E-Mail |

BoilerSportsReport.com Recommended Stories


  • Peyton Manning emerged alone atop yet another category in the NFL record book tonight vs the Niners, as he tossed touchdown #509 under the national spotlight of Sunday Night Football (NBC). (Photo…

  • Former USC and NFL running back LenDale White added tons of drama to what was a relatively quiet Homecoming weekend for the Trojans.

  • Here’s a way to watch football and improve your golf swing at the same time. In your living room (or on the range), practice the one-minute golf swing, as shown in this video. Set the timer on your…

  • Dr. Roto, like many others, can't believe Seattle Seahawks QB Russell Wilson (pictured above) passed for over 300 yards and rushed for over 100 yards in the same game. First time that's ever happened…

  • As soon as those winds fall off, get into the stand! I always tell people you can't kill them if you aren't out, but if you want to try and pick an opportune time – this is it.

Up Next


Purdue receivers coach Kevin Sherman meets with the media, discussing the Boilermakers' spring…

Forums


48 Fans online
    Join The Conversation

    Tweets