The 6-foot-2, 185-pound Knotts said he recently has been talking with the Vols “two times a week, probably,” staying in contact primarily with Burns.
“It was really, pretty much him,” Knotts said of Burns. “But I’m starting to get to know everyone a little bit. … I mean, (Burns is) a cool guy, funny. I get along with him. I talk to him on the phone.”
Knotts, who holds offers from at least 20 schools, said Tennessee’s coaches have told him that he could play a major role in the uptempo offense they’re installing.
“What they were telling me, I really like it,” Knotts said. “They were telling me what type of team they are. They see me playing a big outside factor. They say I can really be something to their offense.”
He also knows at least one of the Vols’ current players. Tennessee freshman quarterback Sully McDermott, a preferred walk-on from Marvin Ridge High School in Waxhaw, N.C., who arrived in Knoxville in January, recently has been in contact with Knotts.
“My boy, Sully — they got the quarterback that committed there. He’s from here,” Knotts said. “He was at Marvin Ridge. We’ve been talking. I didn’t even know he was there until I asked him a couple weeks ago.
“I was asking him, ‘How is it?’ He said he likes it a lot.”
The opportunity to play in the SEC is one of the reasons Knotts is interested in taking a closer look at the Vols.
The 6-foot-2, 185-pound Knotts has never visited Tennessee, but he told GoVols247 in late March that he “for sure” was hoping to make a trip to Knoxville at some point to take a closer look at the Vols. He said at the time that he had been talking with Tennessee “two times a week, probably,” led by first-year wide receivers coach Kodi Burns. It doesn’t hurt that Knotts knows one of the Vols’ current players: freshman quarterback Sully McDermott, a preferred walk-on from Marvin Ridge High School in Waxhaw, N.C.
The 6-foot-2, 175-pound Knotts will be visiting Tennessee for the first time. He received an early scholarship offer from Tennessee's former staff in September 2019, and first-year Vols coach Josh Heupel's staff reaffirmed his previous offer from Tennessee in February.
He has stayed in contact with the Vols since then, led by wide receivers coach Kodi Burns, and Knotts now is ready to see for himself what Tennessee has to offer. He told GoVols247 in late March that he was “for sure” hoping to make a trip to Knoxville at some point, adding at the time that he liked what he had heard from the Vols.
“I don’t know much about it,” Knotts said in March. “But I feel like, once I do and I have a chance to go down there and take the trip, I’ll probably like it.”
Knotts is ranked the No. 93 overall prospect and No. 12 wide receiver in the 2022 class and the No. 3 rising senior from the state of North Carolina, according to the industry-generated 247Sports Composite. He's also a top-100 prospect in 247Sports' rankings.
He has received offers from more than 20 schools, including Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, Miami, N.C. State, Ole Miss, Penn State, South Carolina and Texas. Georgia hosted him last weekend on his first official visit, and he's scheduled to take an official visit next weekend to Maryland, where he went on an unofficial visit the weekend of June 4.
While Knotts has never been to Tennessee's campus, he knows at least one of the Vols’ current players. Tennessee freshman quarterback Sully McDermott, a preferred walk-on from Marvin Ridge High School in Waxhaw, N.C., who arrived in Knoxville in January, has been in contact with Knotts in recent months.
“My boy, Sully — they got the quarterback that committed there. He’s from here,” Knotts said in March. “He was at Marvin Ridge. We’ve been talking. ... I was asking him, ‘How is it?’ He said he likes it a lot.”
“They’re on my list at the top for sure," Knotts told Volquest. "It went good. I had a great time."
The visit to see the Vols was just his second official visit of the month. Knotts traveled to Georgia the weekend of June 11 to visit the Bulldogs. He'll head to Maryland on Thursday for his third official visit.
Maryland, Tennessee and North Carolina are the three schools standing out the most to the Rivals Top 100 player at the moment.
“It was different in a good way," Knotts said of his visit to Rocky Top. "The city, the people, it just stood out for itself."
Tennessee's coaching staff stood out to Knotts the most. He spent plenty of time with wide receivers coach Kodi Burns and was able to speak quite a bit with Josh Heupel.
“I like the whole coaching staff," Knotts said. "I like the way that they move. They all move together as one. They’re all on the same page.”
Knotts is ranked as the No. 97 overall player in the country by Rivals. The Monroe, North Carolina native is considered the third-best player in the Tar Heel state and is currently ranked as the 11th-best receiver in the country.
At 6-foot-2, 187-pounds, Knotts intends on releasing a top 10 in the near future. Tennessee can certainly expect to make the cut.
“They have a fast offense and that's what I like," Knotts said. "I can go up and get the ball at any time, it doesn’t matter. They’re telling me stuff I want to hear that I don’t get elsewhere. Like they’re giving me an opportunity to come in and play early. Or at least come in and learn the offense and see where we go from there.”
Knotts even got to hang out with Tennessee quarterback commit Tayven Jackson on the visit.
“Tayven was a cool guy," Knotts said. "He was trying to get me to come play with him.”