Noah Knight aims to major in criminal justice on his path to becoming an officer with the United States Marine Corps after graduating Rochelle Township High School this spring. The senior football player plans on attending Norwich University in Vermont, and the Hub standout will continue his athletic career with the Cadets while pursuing his academics.
“What led me to Norwich was that the university had Marine Corps ROTC and a good criminal justice program, which were my main two factors in choosing a school,” Knight said. “Norwich also has a football program with a team that has a good shot to compete for a conference championship. I’m looking forward to the new atmosphere, the energy level and the traveling of college football.”
Knight spent three seasons with the Rochelle varsity football team, earning All-Conference First Team recognition at defensive back his senior year. The two-way player earned time at running back as well, totaling 703 yards and nine touchdowns this season. Knight tied teammate Louie Mancinas for a season-high three interceptions as well.
“Noah is as honorable a young man as I can think of,” Rochelle head football coach Kyle Kissack said. “He’s had a vision for his life and that plan is coming together for him. His consistent work ethic and attitude really set a standard for his teammates as a leader on the field, but more importantly, as a peer in the community… I have the utmost respect for Noah.”
Knight single-handedly took over Rochelle’s victory at LaSalle-Peru early in the season, when he rushed for a team-best 166 yards and recorded four touchdowns while also adding a key interception in the fourth quarter. The performance earned him WREX-13 Player of the Week honors alongside teammate Eddie Villalobos, who had 102 yards and three total scores.
“I’m mainly hoping to get involved on special teams to show the coaches that I can play,” said Knight, who also said the Cadets will be graduating only four seniors from the team this year. “I feel I’ll excel at running back more because I feel comfortable running the ball and being able to split out wide. I want to get better at trusting my guys up front and hitting the hole harder... I think Rochelle football has helped me prepare for college because of our style of offense and being a physical team that pounds the ball on every play.”
Knight said he would like to either make his career in the Marine Corps or become a federal agent after completing his college education at Norwich.