Sammy Knight, who starred at safety for USC and in the NFL, is in his second year as a graduate assistant working with the safeties.
Knight, 35, lettered 4 years (1993-96) at safety and linebacker (rover) at USC, starting the last 3 seasons. He had 290 tackles and 5 interceptions in his career.
As a 1996 senior linebacker, he made the All-Pac-10 first team while leading USC in tackles (121), interceptions (5, including 1 for a touchdown) and fumble recoveries (3), and he also had 11 tackles for a loss, 9 deflections and a forced fumble. He was named USC's MVP and Most Inspirational Player and was a team captain in 1996. He added a team-best 89 tackles (9 for losses), plus 7 deflections, 4 forced fumbles and a blocked punt as a junior strong safety in 1995 when he won USC's Bob Chandler Award and Jack Oakie "Rise and Shine" Award. He made the All-Pac-10 second team in 1995. He had 65 tackles, 3 deflections, 2 fumble recoveries and a blocked field goal as a 1994 sophomore strong safety while making All-Pac-10 honorable mention. As a first-year freshman in 1993, he saw action as a reserve safety in all 13 games, getting 15 tackles, 1 deflection, 1 fumble recovery and 1 forced fumble, and even started at free safety against Oregon State to become the first USC true freshman to start at safety in the post-World War II era.
He then spent 12 years as a strong safety in the NFL with the New Orleans Saints (1997-2002), Miami Dolphins (2003-04), Kansas City Chiefs (2005-06), Jacksonville Jaguars (2007) and New York Giants (2008). He played in the 2002 Pro Bowl. In his career, he had 42 interceptions (4 for touchdowns), 671 tackles, 38 deflections, 13 fumble recoveries and 12 forced fumbles. He started 168 of the 183 regular season games he played (he also appeared in 5 playoff games).
He was a prep All-American at Rubidoux (Calif.) High, where he also was on the basketball and track teams.
He received his bachelor's degree in communication from USC in 1998. He is working on his master's degree in communication management.
He spent 2009 as an analyst on Compass Media Networks' college and pro football radio broadcasts.
He has 3 brothers who played college football: Ryan was a record-setting prep All-American running back (rushing for 501 yards in a game) who then lettered 4 years (1984-87) at tailback for USC and led the Trojans in rushing in 1985 and 1986 (he is 20th on USC's career rushing list with 1,875 yards), Greg played defensive line at Colorado (1986) and Darryl lettered 3 years (1998-2000) at linebacker at USC. His father, Sam Sr., played on a California state championship basketball team at Riverside (Calif.) Community College in the early 1960s that was coached by Jerry Tarkanian.
He was born Sept. 10, 1975. He is married and his wife's name is Freda. He has 4 daughters: Aneka, 21, Shianne, 9, Samone, 7, and Savannah, 4.
BIRTHDAY: Sept. 10, 1975