Braylon Knauth is one of the best players from the Orlando, FL area in the Class of 2024.
The 5-foot-6, 130-pound Knauth, who attends Timber Springs Middle School, is a dynamic player that works as a wide receiver and defensive back for the Osceola Panthers.
Knauth has earned plenty of recognition during his outstanding career, such as: Team MVP for Predators, Defensive Player of the Year for Predators, coach’s awards for Predators, MVP of FSG tryout of Orlando, Athlete of the Year nominee for Timber Springs Middle, FBU National Championship Team (Central Florida), Gridiron Kings, FSG Team Florida, U.S. National Team Middle School Bowl games and Florida Elite Pro Bowl.
Knauth is humbled by the accolades.
“I felt honored to receive the awards because it made me realize that my coaches felt I was the best at that position. I was surrounded by talented teammates that helped me improve my skills and leadership,” Knauth said. “Being on the all-star teams allowed me to enhance my skills, learn new skills, and it gave me the opportunity to play with some of the best players in my age group in Florida and in the nation. These games showed me just how much talent is out there and why I have to continue working my craft.”
No matter the opponent, every game Knauth is determined to give it his all.
Knauth is going all out.
The motor is always at full throttle whenever Knauth steps between the lines.
“At wide receiver, my philosophy is ‘You touch it, you catch it.’ I have to run clean routes and always catch the ball. Footwork is essential,” Knauth said. “At defensive back, my philosophy is ‘See ball, get ball.’ Whenever I line up against a receiver I remind myself of this and tell myself I’m faster and won’t get beat.”
Knauth has great passion and energy whenever he’s on the field. Knauth tells why he enjoys the game of football so much.
“What I love most about playing football is the competition because I love going head to head with another player as good or even better than me,” Knauth said.
Knauth has learned many valuable lessons from playing football that he applies to his everyday life.
The main one is applying perspective to all situations.
“Playing football has taught me that I have to work for everything you want and believe you can do anything,” Knauth said.
Knauth recalls his favorite football memory.
“My favorite memory is the AAU 10u Conference Championship, which we won,” Knauth said. “This game taught me the importance of leadership and teamwork, since every player contributed in some way in this game.”
Lorenzo Williams is Knauth’s coach for the Osceola Panthers.
Williams explains the best parts of Knauth’s game.
“Braylon is a true athlete that plays a multitude of positions that includes: wide receiver, wing back, cornerback, safety, and placekicker. The best part of his game is his mental toughness, mental focus on the field, and his ability to track the football at his age has made him a threat on short and long throws,” Williams said. “Braylon works toward perfection on his technique at each position. The kid stands out because he is coachable and humble.”
Knauth takes his role as one of the leaders on the team very seriously. Knauth makes sure he’s a daily positive influence on his peers.
“I demonstrate being a good teammate by encouraging and helping my teammates, being a role model in every drill and play, and help the team stay focused on their goals,” Knauth said. “The best advice I give to my teammates is we need to always work hard and play as a team. A chain is only as strong as its weakest link.”
Williams adds that Knauth is one of those consummate teammates that every squad needs to be successful.
“Braylon’s work ethic is to give 110 percent daily in practice and games by pushing his teammates to keep up with his energy and go hard mentality on the field,” Williams said. “He leads the drills, give instructions to players, ensures teammates are at practice and always celebrates his teammates accomplishments.”
Knauth is appreciative of having amazing male role models that are supportive.
“My coaches have taught me grades come first, give back to the community, and treat others with respect,” Knauth said. “The best advice any coach has given you is to always glory to get better, in school, sports, and life in general.”
Williams is an advocate of Knauth’s capabilities.
“Braylon has made a few big plays,” Williams said. “A football catch for 50 yards to help tie a championship game, then he won the game with his right leg by kicking the extra point.”
In addition to making clutch plays, Knauth is developing a high level of football IQ as well.
Knauth is growing into excellent football awareness that puts him in position to thrive.
“His football IQ, mindset and work ethic help him to read defensive and offensive formations to make quick and often game changing decisions,” Williams said. “Watching hours of football daily in the car and sitting on the couch watching YouTube, Huddle, A Football Life, and Last Chance U to get a clear understanding of football.”
Knauth is on the grind to perfect and hone his craft in any way possible.
“Braylon’s work ethic is shown in his ability to play multiple sports during the year,” Williams said. “Braylon plays football, lacrosse, plays basketball and runs track; all while maintaining the A/B Honor Roll at his middle school. Braylon trains by running 50 different football patterns during receiver training sessions. Braylon goes to a defensive back trainer in between practices during the week and also gets a Sunday morning footwork session for speed and technique.”
Williams explains why he compares Knauth to these players.
“I compare him to wide receivers Nick Williams (Alabama) and Golden Tate (NY Giants) because of his skill level right now with his technique, foot work, and football IQ,” Williams said.
Knauth patterns his mentality after this athlete.
“A player I look up to is Calvin Ridley because of his precision route running, great hands, and the way he helps in the community,” Knauth said.
Knauth is constantly striving for greatness in everything that he does.
“My goals off/ on the field are to maintain my 4.0 gpa through middle and high school, and be the best wide receiver in the nation,” Knauth said.
Knauth explains his collegiate aspirations.
“My dream school is the University of Alabama because they are a primarily passing school, have a great football program, and have a history of producing great receivers,” Knauth said.
Knauth lists math as his favorite subject in school.
“My favorite subject is math because it makes sense to me,” Knauth said. “Math is an important subject that you need in your life. I also like P.E.”
Williams lists the improvements that will take Knauth’s game to the next level.
“We are working on to improve his quick decision making mindset on the field, mental toughness, trusting his gut and taking advantage of environment cues on the field.” Williams said.
Williams believes the sky is the limit as long as Knauth continues to stay hungry.
“In my opinion Braylon has separated himself by being coachable, humble, and his willingness to sacrifice to play D-I and possibly be a star in the NFL,” Williams said.
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