Football is father-son affair

Zac Reicks

It is every son’s goal to make his dad proud.

Whether in the classroom, finding a good job, or even on the football field, boys don’t want to let their dads down.

ISU senior tight end Kyle Knock isn’t any different, and he gets the opportunity to have his father watch him every day in practice and at every game.

Don Knock, Kyle’s father, is the director of football operations at Iowa State.

Don returned to Iowa State after a one-year stint as offensive coordinator and offensive line coach at Nebraska-Omaha.

He’s now involved closely with his son.

“Football is one of the main things our family is focused around,” Kyle said. “It means a lot to have him here, especially for my senior season.”

A member of the Iowa Football Coaches Hall of Fame, Don coached Kyle at Cedar Rapids Kennedy and has always been closely involved in the development of his son as a football player.

“A big part of the equation in coming back was that I had two sons here,” Don said. “Last year I only got to see two or three games, and this year I will see them all.”

Kyle has been instrumental in the success enjoyed by the Cyclones early in the season with his devastating blocks and timely catches, giving Iowa State someone who can be depended on for each and every down.

The toughness and hard-core mentality Kyle brings to work each day have been passed down by a father who captained the 1975 Central College football team and signed a free-agent contract with the Oakland Raiders.

“Everything he taught revolved around sportsmanship and how football teaches you lessons in life,” Kyle said.

“There are a lot of things that go on during the game that are easier to deal with because of the things he has taught me.”

Don has also passed on his football knowledge to Kyle’s three younger brothers as Scot (20), a student administrative assistant on the ISU football staff, Beau (16) and Jordan (7) keep close watch in the papers.

“Its nice to go home and have them telling you that you played a good game and had a nice catch,” Kyle said.

“They are here every game they can, and its just nice knowing that they are there.”

Kyle has had the unenviable task of replacing three-year-starter Mike Banks, and while his blocking skills might not be developed as Banks’ were, he has already accomplished one thing his predecessor never did.

“I do have one more touchdown than he does,” Kyle said with a laugh.

“I am not trying to make them forget about Mike Banks – I just want people to realize that we have a pretty good tight end here in Kyle Knock.”

The process that went into making Knock a good tight end started at home, with his dad and mom, Cindy, being there and supporting him in every way they could.

“He’s got a great mother who’s also had a role in this,” Don said. “We’re both very proud of him.”

And this is something that the senior tight end knows as well.

“He tells me and shows me every day,” Kyle said.