Oct. 17, 2013
Sophomore linebacker Jovan Santos-Knox lets Minutemen fans know a bit about himself and gives everyone a look at what brought him to Massachusetts for football and academics.
How did you decide to attend the University of Massachusetts?
When I was looking at schools and was able to meet all of the coaches on staff I loved their approach to the game. I thought UMass would be a great fit for me as a player and a person because of that. I also loved the guys on the team - they are a great bunch of kids - and it was exciting to think that I could be on the field next to them trying to build up this program at the Division I level.
What is the most impressive thing about your position coach?
"I think the most impressive thing about coach Phil Elmassian is the number of championship rings he has. It feels to me like he has won bowl games everywhere and he has coached guys at the best schools and football programs around the country. He has a pretty impressive resume.
How would you describe yourself as a person and a football player?
I am definitely one of the funny guys on the team, one of the jokesters. I like to crack jokes with the other guys and we all have a good time. I leave the joking on the sidelines though, so when I play I take the game as serious as everyone else. When I am out there on defense I just try to bring some energy with me and be the spark for the team.
What is something we wouldn't know about you?
At Xavier High School I also played basketball during the winter and had a pretty good time with that. Of the guys on our team here at Massachusetts I am probably one of the better basketball players just based on the pick-up ball and games of H-O-R-S-E we've played.
What about for one of your teammates?
If you could be on any reality or game show on TV right now which would it be?
John Robinson-Woodgett is the king of knowing random facts and tidbits. John just always knows random things that you think no one would ever have the answer to. It is kind of impressive to hear the things he knows.
I would definitely try out for Making The Band or American Idol if I could. I have a good voice for singing and enjoy doing that so I would try my hand at that if I was given the chance. I'd probably pick a Chris Brown or Drake song. I am a big fan of Drake's music.
How do you feel being at UMass has helped you grow as a person and a player?
This is my second year at UMass and I feel from my freshman year to my sophomore one right now I have matured in every sense of the word as a player and just as a person off the field. The coaching staff has always emphasized to us from day one that we need to be on-time in every aspect of our life, all we do with the football team and outside of that with classwork. That has made an impression on me.
What is something you want to continue to work on, football or personal?
I definitely want to continue to grow stronger. Our strength coach, Mike Golden, has us doing great things in the weight room to get bigger, faster and stronger and I just want to continue to work on each of those things so I can be a better player for us as I get older.
What is the best piece of advice you've been given and what is something you want to pass along to the younger guys?
The best advice I've been given is that I should never give up and that I always need to work my hardest. That applies to everything I want to do on the football field and my life away from the sport. What I tell the younger guys is that you should never be too stubborn or sure in what you're doing that you can't take advice from someone else. Don't be afraid to listen to those who have been there and know what it takes to be successful. The information they give you could become important to you in the future.