Sammy Knight, Jr. was born on September 10, 1975, in Fontana, California. He attended West Riverside School and Mission Middle School. It was at Rubidoux High School where he first made his mark nationally as a prep All-American. He played linebacker and safety for John Robinson at USC.
As a USC sophomore in 1994, Knight made All-Pac 10 Honorable Mention. In his junior year, he won the Bob Chandler Award, took home the Jack Oakie “Rise and Shine” Award, and was All-Pac 10 Second Team. In his senior year, he made All-Pac 10 First Team, leading USC in tackles (121), interceptions (5 including 1 for a TD), and fumble recoveries (3). He was named MVP and Most Inspirational Player and Team Captain in 1996. Knight amassed 290 tackles and 5 interceptions in his stellar college football career.
After college, Knight was drafted by the New Orleans Saints, where he played from 1997 to 2002. He was named to the 2001 NFL Pro-Bowl squad, and played for the Miami Dolphins from 2003-2004, Kansas City Chiefs from 2005-2006, Jacksonville Jaguars in 2007, and New York Giants in 2008. His career stats as a pro include 42 interceptions (4 of which he returned for touchdowns), 786 tackles, 38 deflections, 13 fumble recoveries and 12 forced fumbles. He started in 168 of the 183 regular season games in which he played and also appeared in 5 playoff games. Knight was inducted into the New Orleans Saints Hall of Fame in 2011.
In 2009, Knight served as an analyst on the Compass Media Network’s college and pro football radio broadcasts. He is currently working on his Masters Degree at USC and serves on the football coaching staff as the safeties coach and graduate assistant.
Knight and his wife, Freda, have five children – Anelia, Shianne, Sammone, Savannah and Sasha Grace. They still have family in Riverside, and still feel this is “home”.