David Knevel is on top of the world.
The offensive lineman from Pauline and Johnson Collegiate High School in Ontario, Canada, got big news Thursday when the University of Missouri offered him his first scholarship.
“This feels great,” said Knevel, who attended the Tigers spring game. “Surreal man. It’s still surreal. I am so excited. What a great school to get my first offer from. They are just a group of great guys. It’s just awesome and so cool to get that [Division I] offer. Coming from up here in Canada is just different and this is huge.”
Knevel is a huge tackle prospect who measures in at 6-foot-8 and 285 pounds. He’s long, athletic and developing very quickly. Knevel first made a splash in the United States at the Under Armour Camp in Tampa last summer. He also spent time working with IMG in Bradenton.
Learning the game of football in America helped him immensely.
“It really boosted my confidence,” Knevel said. “It gave me exposure. I got to see what it felt like to go up against great competition. I learned so much. When I came back to Canada after last summer I was so much more confident and more knowledgeable. I could do more stuff on the field. I played last season better than I ever had before.”
Knevel also gained experience camping at Notre Dame and Iowa last summer and attended junior days this spring at Buffalo and Wisconsin. This summer, he hopes to catch at least three more college camps.
“I have been talking with Boston College and they want me to come to their camp,” Knevel said. “It’s weird because that’s how things started with Missouri and then they offered me. I may camp at Buffalo. I just want to see how May goes and see what schools show interest.”
Plus, Knevel is part of an all-star team, Team Ontario that will travel to the Lone Star State and play all-star teams from around the world in Austin, Texas, from June 22-July 8.
“Maybe I will check out Texas,” Knevel said.
Knevel insists he’s doesn't have any favorites but he certainly is thinking about Missouri.
“I am open but I have to say after Missouri offered I am leaning to them,” Knevel said. "I love Missouri and they love their football. Everyone loved it. I love the coaching staff and it’s a place that’s homey to me. The city reminded me of a warmer version of where I am from; a little country and a little city. The environment is like mine at home and that would be an easy transition.”
There’s also an air of excitement surrounding the program and playing in a new conference.
“They are very excited about the SEC,” Knevel said. “Everyone you meet there is talking about that. They got new uniforms just for the SEC. Everyone is pumped up with the move to the SEC.”
Missouri is planning to visit his school next Tuesday and once again at the end of the month.
Knevel will graduate this summer but plans on playing football for Pauline and Johnson this fall and attend some classes for what will be grade 13 for him. And just think; he’s still only 17 and doesn’t turn 18 until mid-October.
“The plan right now is to enroll in January,” Knevel said.