August 12, 2012

Lakewood tackle pledges to UW

Sometimes when you know, you know...

You know?

Late this week, Lakewood (Colo.) High School offensive tackle Taylor Knestis said he knew and was ready to tell the Wyoming coaching staff he wanted to be a Cowboy.

Knestis held scholarship offers from Wyoming and Northern Colorado and was in contact with Colorado, BYU, South Dakota and Montana before pledging to Wyoming. The All-Academic selection helped his Lakewood Tigers squad to a 13-2 mark and an appearance in the state finals against Columbine.

"Coaches tell me I have good technique," Knestis said. "I keep my pad height down and move my feet well."

Wyoming started scouting Knestis last spring and kept up through this year. He said along the way he heard from Wyoming Offensive Coordinator Gregg Brandon, Offensive Line Coaches Pete Kaligis and Jim Harding.

"I thought of what I wanted to go to school for the next five years," Knestis said. "What did the campus look like, what was the football team like, what did I want to study. I decided I really like this school and I made up my decision.

I called Coach Brandon and told him I was interested and I wanted to commit. He told me to call Coach Christensen and tell him, so I did. I called Christensen and told him I was excited and wanted to commit. He said he couldn't wait for you to come up and be part of the team. I was very excited. It was one of the greatest feelings I had ever felt."

Knestis said he is familiar with Wyoming. He has family in Beluah, Wyo. and said his brother spent a year in Laramie before transferring to the University of Colorado-Denver. Knestis said his brother enjoyed Wyoming, but did offer a warning about Laramie's weather.

"He told me when it is 20 below here is it 40 below there, but I know that already and I'm cool with it," Knestis said. "He was excited for me. He liked Laramie and UW. He knows I will get my college paid for and I get to play football."

Knestis said he plans to major in Journalism and may minor in theatre. He called himself a lot of fun to be around and pretty down-to-earth but, but added, "whenever I put my helmet and shoulder pads on I can be pretty mean."

He claims a 465-pound squat max and a 350 max in the bench press while clocking a 5.1 time in the 40-yard dash. He said he hopes to put on a little more weight before arriving in Laramie, but mentioned several times during his interview with gowyogo.com that he is excited to move on to the next step of his life.

"I really liked the campus and the school," Knestis said. "I am really excited to get up there."

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