Redshirt senior defensive back Qwuantrezz Knight is a leader of the Bruins’ defensive secondary. His efforts helped the Bruins to hold their opponents to 30.71 points per game. Knight transferred to UCLA from Kent State, the 2020 season was his first season with the Bruins.
Last year, Knight came in third on the team in tackles with 40 hits. He also made 4.5 tackles for loss, making him fifth on the team in that category. Along with competing hard on the field, Knight has worked hard academically. He was named on the Athletic Director’s Honor Roll for Winter 2021.
“I have back-to-back semester 4.0 [GPA],” Knight said. “Me being a leader on the team as far as football, it’d be bad on me if I’m not performing at a high level in the class as well.”
Knight is an education major; in his favorite class, he studies the philosophies of his favorite coaches.
“Studying coaches like my head coach Chip Kelly, John Wooden,” he said. “[How] I attack school and football is ‘how you do anything is how you do everything.’”
As a leader on the team, he wants to perform at a high level in the classroom as well as on the gridiron. Being around students that want to excel in their classes has also pushed him to be in great academic standing. He noted how it the academics at UCLA is a good selling point to tell prep prospects.
“If you want to be around a whole bunch of guys that is really gonna push you to be in a great program, not only the program but the academic side of things, that’s huge,” Knight said. “At this place, we have many resources, many things that is going to take you far in life.”
Knight started in all seven games the Bruins competed in last season. His best performance was in their 38-43 loss to USC, he made a season high of nine total tackles and secured two hits for a loss of eight yards. Another highlight was his 20-yard fumble recovery against Oregon. In their 34-10 win over California, Knight executed a sack with an eight-yard loss.
The Bruins finished the 2020 season with a 3-4 overall record. Coaches, players, and even teachers expect a big season out of the Bruins. Knight has told his teammates to put their best foot forward for each game and elevate their game.
“This team is going to go how far the secondary takes us,” he said. “I tell the guys every day we have to come out and perform, that’s the only way that we’re going to have that big year that we want to have.”
Along with being on the Bruins secondary, Knight has done work as a return specialist. When UCLA lost to Oregon 35-38, Knight committed a 20-yard kick return. For this season, the Bruins are working as hard on special teams as they are on offense and defense, according to Knight.
“If it’s getting an extra kicks in, catching punts from (kicker Luke Akers), anything like that just to get us better on the special teams side of the ball,” he said. “I know we really haven’t been very dominant at that, so we’re definitely trying to take that upscale this year.”