Miami Hurricanes 2019 Player Profile: Robert Knowles
Redshirt Senior-S-6’1”-200 lbs-Miami,Florida.-Miami Edison HS
Playing at the University of Miami attaches you to a legacy of greatness. When you play safety for the Canes, the tradition grows even stronger. From his position to rocking the statement number of 20, Robert Knowles is going into his last season as a Cane with extreme aspirations. With the departure of both Jaquan Johnson and Sheldrick Redwine, the safety position is one of the rare position groups that will feature completely new starters in the upcoming season. The main three safeties returning with experience are Amari Carter, Gurvan Hall, and Knowles. The Hurricanes also added former HS All-American and USC Trojan Bubba Bolden, four-star recruit Keontra Smith, and converted Derrick Smith to safety this spring. There is an opportunity for Knowles but, the same can be said for every other player at the position. They say that competition brings out the best in us all, we’ll see if that’s the case for Knowles.
High School Years
Robert Knowles was a 4-star ESPN recruit. He was a 3-stark ranked prospect for Rivals. He came to Coral Gables touting a senior season of 44 total tackles, 3 INTs, 7 pass breakups, 3 forced fumbles, and 3 fumble recoveries. He was also rated one of the top-25 prospects in Miami-Dade by the Miami Herald.
Knowles was a redshirt his freshman year. The following season, he played in 11 games. He became a contributor on special teams and finished the season with 6 total tackles. In his redshirt sophomore season, the number of tackles tripled (18). He also notched a forced fumble against Georgia Tech. Last season, Knowles had a 16-tackle campaign including, one solo tackle in New Era Pinstripe Bowl vs. Wisconsin.
Safeties coach Ephraim Banda talked about his excitement when it comes to working with the collection of talent at the safety position. He stated, “I’m more excited about this group than I’ve ever been. I recruited Gurvan Hall; we all know how dynamic an athlete he is.Amari Carter, I know his physicality and all the intangibles he possesses, Robert Knowles blew us away in mat drills. And you add Bubba and Keontra [this summer].” The terms “dynamic” and “intangles” were bestowed upon Carter and Hall. Banda also later called Derrick Smith, “arguably the best safety in Broward.” Banda speaks glowingly about several pieces in the safety room which highlights the surge of competition in the group. His message to the players battling it out was simple, “This is your opportunity, your chance to show me you can play for Miami...At the end, we’ll lay all our cards on the table and say, ‘Who is the best guy or the best three or four or five guys?’ We’ll play them all if we can.”
This is Knowles’ last year as a Cane. The window of opportunity is hastily closing for him. This year provides his final chance to cash out on all of the talent and praise that garnered him so much attention when he came out of high school. If he can’t put it together, there are several other gifted options ready to jump at the chance to etch their names in the starting lineup. Knowles will either continue his special teams track, pitch hit if injuries occur, and leave Coral Gables with the label of “solid”. Conversely, he can seize the opportunity to assert himself into the lineup. It’s purely on him.