Football, Sports

DeKalb County Standout Issac Knowles Commits to Tech

A football player dives through the air with the ball outstretched between two defenders.
Issac Knowles (6) dives for a touchdown for the DeKalb County Tigers in 2021. Knowles committed to Tech in January.
Photo provided by Braden Wall.

DeKalb County High School’s Isaac Knowles committed to play football at Tennessee Tech University Saturday, Jan. 22, 2022.

“Honestly, [committing] is a burden lifted off my shoulders knowing I’ve finally found a home and place to further my athletic career,” Knowles said. “Tech felt like home when I visited. I’m super excited to further chase my dreams.”

The DeKalb County Tigers finished the 2021 season with a 7-5 overall record and 3-2 in Region 4-4A play. The Tigers fell 40-14 in the second round of the Class 4A State Playoffs to Upperman High School.

“He’s definitely an all-around threat,” DeKalb County’s head coach Steve Trapp said. “He was crucial in what we were able to accomplish not only this year but in the past couple of years.”

“When the ball is in the air, it’s not a 50-50 chance of catching the ball with Isaac. It’s more like 60-40 or possibly 70-30. If you look at his highlight tape, he’s not just catching wide-open footballs.”

Tennessee Tech’s football team holds two other graduates from DCHS in Isaac Cross and Evan Jones. The Golden Eagles finished the 2021 season 3-8 overall and 1-5 in the Ohio Valley Conference.

“He has that blue-collar work ethic where you just roll your sleeves up and get the job done,” Trapp said. “I think he has the capability, the skill set and the work ethic to be somebody that they can rely on. Hopefully that will be sooner rather than later.”

Knowles tallied 154 receptions in his high-school career for 2,308 yards and 15 touchdowns. On the ground, he had 109 rushes for 893 yards and 15 touchdowns. He functioned as the Tigers’ main returner, catching 109 kicks for 1388 yards and two touchdowns. Knowles capped out at 4,744 total yards.

“I’m extremely ready to sign and get to work with the amazing coaching staff at TTU and can’t wait till my first day on campus,” said Knowles. “I’m looking to make as much of an impact as soon as possible and hopefully find my name on a few record books by the end of my collegiate career.

He received selections to the 4A All-State team in 2020 and ‘21. He is a 4-time All-Region, first team selection. In 2019 and ‘20, Knowles was named as his team’s Most Outstanding Defensive Back. He was the Tigers’ Most Valuable Player in 2018. In 2021, he was named as his region’s Offensive MVP and as the DTC Communications Player of the Year.

Knowles never missed a game, setting the DeKalb County record in games played with 47. Knowles caught 74 passes in the 2021 season. DCHS’ record for receptions is 76.

“There’s a process to everything,” Trapp said. “He understands the jump of talent that will be around him and the level of work that he has to put in. I’d love to see him go down there and get some playing time right off the bat. Ultimately, that’s something he has to earn and deserve.”