By Paul Doyle, The Hartford Courant
Not only did the Windsor High graduate garner attention from the football world with his play against the Patriots, he was suddenly embraced as a media sensation just as the Broncos were stepping into the Super Bowl spotlight.
So, for the past week, Knighton has been surrounded by cameras and microphones. The defensive tackle rolled with the absurd media day questions about his appetite, he has told and retold the story of how he came to be known as “Pot Roast,” and he’s been more than happy to recount stories of his basketball exploits at Windsor High.
Yes, the guy who’s been living in football anonymity since leaving Connecticut is relishing his new celebrity.
“I like it,” Knighton said. “I don’t mind showing my personality and talking about my nickname and things like that. I enjoy it. Everybody else enjoys it. So it’s cool.”
Knighton, 27, endured losing at Temple University — the Owls were 1-22 in his first two seasons and 10-37 over his four years in Philadelphia — and he played with the lowly Jacksonville Jaguars for the first four years of his NFL career. He signed with the Broncos as a free agent last summer, lured by the opportunity to play for a winning team. Sure enough, the Broncos were 13-3 during the season and will face the Seattle Seahawks in the Super Bowl on Sunday.
Led by future Hall of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning, the Broncos historically have a productive offense. The question about the team has been the defense, but Knighton led the unit against Brady, and suddenly football prognosticators are labeling him as an important player to watch Sunday.
There’s a sense of pride for those who know him well.
“It’s outstanding,” said Windsor High basketball coach Ken Smith, who coached Knighton in high school. “Terrance deserves this. He has the heart of a warrior. He competed all the time. But he’s like a gentle giant — one of the best guys, one of the nicest kids. He’s one of the best kids I ever coached.”
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