For some, the word is the ultimate motivational factor. Continuing a family legacy has brought four Lombardi Trophies at long last into the Manning household. 

Sammy D Knight knows all about legacy. His father, Sam Sr., was a state championship basketball player at Riverside (CA) Community College under the legendary coach Jerry Tarkanian. His brother Ryan Knight was a four-year letterman at USC (1984-87) playing tailback for the Trojans. He led the team in rushing in 1985 and 1986. Brother Greg was a defensive lineman for Colorado in 1986, and brother Darryl was a three-year letterman (1998-2000) at linebacker for USC.

Born September 10, 1975, Sammy graduated from Rubidoux High School in Riverside, California. He would go on to the University of Southern California, and enjoy a stellar career there which saw him continue that university’s legacy of defensive backs. His would be added to names like Ronnie Lott and Steve Atwater at USC and in 1996, Knight was chosen as the Trojans Most Valuable Player and he’d earn All-Pac 10 First-team honors.

Graduating USC in 1997, Knight was considered undersized and slow for playing safety in the NFL by draft scouts, despite his successes at USC. 

(Photo: NewOrleansSaints.com)

He would go on to play two years in Miami, two years in Kansas City, and two more one-year stints in Jacksonville and with the Giants.

Over the course of his twelve-year career, he finished with 42 interceptions and 12 forced fumbles, along with 792 tackles and 9.0 sacks.

In 2010-2011, Knight would return to his alma mater USC and serve as a graduate assistant, primarily working with safeties.

And also in 2011, Knight’s career would culminate in the city of New Orleans as the Saints would induct him into the team’s Hall of Fame for his six-year career for them.

Sammy Knight has somehow always been connected to a legacy. The Knight family and USC defensive backs, he furthered those legacies by being a part of them. And in doing so, he managed to create a legacy of his own.

Sammy Knight is absolutely a Saints legend.


More Legends of the Fall: /nfl/article/nfc-south/new-orleans-saints/new-orleans-saints-legends-of-the-fall-michael-lewis-r237/” rel=””>Michael Lewis