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December 22, 2013

Knox the protector

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FORT WORTH, Texas - In just about six weeks, the Ohio State football program is going to sign the nation's number one offensive guard prospect in Fort Worth (Texas) All Saints Episcopal product Demetrius Knox. The 6-foot-4, 285-pound prospect committed to the Buckeyes back in the summer and is one of the crown jewels of a recruiting class that is currently ranked No. 3 in the nation. BuckeyeGrove.com checked in with All Saints head coach Aaron Beck to get his thoughts on the type of player the Buckeyes will be getting.

"It's been fun to watch Demetrius progress over the last four years," said Beck. "Demetrius has become noticeably better each year during his four years here. Even as a freshman, Demetrius passed the eye test. You could just tell, 'oh my goodness, this kid is going to be something special'. He started for us as a freshman and we normally don't do that."

The Ohio State program is used to winning a lot of football games and Beck says that Knox should only bolster that winning attitude.

"He started for four years and during those four years we played for three state championships and won two," Beck continued. "We haven't lost a game in two years so he's a kid that knows how to win. He knows what winning looks like."

In addition to Knox's physical gifts, Beck praised his work ethic, both in the weight room and in terms of his dedication to perfecting his craft. Knox has certainly had some help along the way from some well informed staff members.

"He's really pushed himself in the weight room," Beck said. "Blake Brockermeyer is our strength coach and he was a first round pick of out of Texas. Blake helps coach the O-line here as well so Demetrius has had some great mentors. When you watch him on film, you can tell that he's been coached. He has outstanding footwork and his agility is really good for a big kid."

As for what Knox can ultimately become at Ohio State, Beck says his star player is a blank canvas.

"From the time he's been here, his weight has fluctuated from 275 to 325 and you can't tell when it happens," Beck said. "His frame carries that weight so well. Today he's probably about 285 pounds which I think is a great weight for him at this age and for him to take to Ohio State. When he's at a training table, they'll get him to where they want him but my point to that is, he can be whatever they want him to be. When he was carrying the 320ish he still looked great."

Offensive linemen are known as protectors on the football field and Knox is certainly no different in that regard. That protection instinct stays with him off the field and has made him an invaluable member of Beck's locker room over the years.

"I've been coaching for 30 years and offensive linemen have this inherent protector trait," Beck explained. "They all share it, it's kind of the nature of the position. Demetrius is that here for me. He's the protector of the locker room. He watches out for all of the kids on the team. He'll come in and tell me, 'hey coach, go check on so and so, something happened'. He's very personable, very funny, very articulate, and very smart. He has a wonderful mother and they've become part of my family for sure."

Knox is rated the No. 39 overall player in the nation by Rivals.com in the 2014 recruiting class. He will participate in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl the first week of January.

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