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Sammy Knight officially a graduate assistant coach

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It took a while, but former USC and NFL star safety Sammy Knight finally owns the title of graduate assistant coach.  He'll work with the safeties.

A newly-adopted NCAA rule requires that graduate assistant football coaches must have received their degree or exhausted their collegiate eligibility within the previous 7 years.  The rule prevents veteran coaches from being added to a school's coaching staff as a G.A., effectively circumventing the NCAA limit of 9 full-time assistant coaches.  Schools are allowed 2 graduate assistant positions, which are not considered full-time, have restricted compensation and are meant for younger coaches who are learning the ropes.

Even though Knight--a 1998 USC grad who has never coached before--joined the Trojans earlier this year prior to the rule's adoption, USC wanted to make sure that his hiring checked out with the NCAA.  While the process unfolded, Knight served instead as an in-office aide.

Knight started 3 seasons (1993-96) at USC, notching 290 tackles and 5 interceptions in his career.  He was an All-Pac-10 first teamer and USC's team MVP (and Most Inspirational Player) in 1996.  When he started at free safety against Oregon State in 1993, he became the first USC true freshman to start at safety in the post-World War II era.

After USC, he spent 12 years as a strong safety in the NFL with the Saints (1997-2002), Dolphins (2003-04), Chiefs (2005-06), Jaguars (2007) and Giants (2008).  In his career, the Pro Bowler had 42 interceptions (4 for touchdowns) and 671 tackles while starting all but 15 of the 183 regular season games he played.

He is one of three Knight brothers to have played football at USC.  Ryan lettered 4 years (1984-87) at tailback (he led the Trojans in rushing in 1985 and 1986) and Darryl lettered 3 years (1998-2000) at linebacker at USC.

Keary Colbert--who also starred at USC before playing in the NFL--is USC's other G.A.  He is working with the tight ends.

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I played HS football with Sammy. He was a Sophmore and I was a Senior. Tremendous talent and high football IQ. He will be a great asset to Trojan football.

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