UCLA gets another key defender back with Qwuantrezz Knight’s return

UCLA defensive back Qwuantrezz Knight keeps an eye on Cal quarterback Chase Garbers during a game.
UCLA defensive back Qwuantrezz Knight keeps an eye on Cal quarterback Chase Garbers during a game at the Rose Bowl last season.
(Katelyn Mulcahy / Getty Images)

One of the most lively, energetic voices will continue to carry through UCLA’s football practice facility in 2021.

Qwuantrezz Knight is coming back.

The graduate transfer nickelback known for encouraging teammates and coaches alike will capitalize on NCAA rules granting all players an additional season of eligibility, allowing the Bruins to keep one of their most disruptive defensive players.


“I want to take this year to better myself and work towards being a complete player and better man,” Knight wrote on Twitter on Tuesday while announcing his return. “I can’t wait to get back to work with my teammates for one last ride.”

Playing a position known as a “striker” that coach Chip Kelly equated to a nickelback in UCLA’s new 4-2-5 defense, Knight became one of the team’s top playmakers, collecting 40 tackles, including 4½ for loss, to go with one sack, two quarterback hurries, two pass breakups and one fumble recovery.

The 2021 season will be Knight’s sixth in college. He spent 2016, 2017 and 2018 at Maryland before transferring to Kent State, where he starred in 2019 while becoming defensive most valuable player of the Frisco Bowl.

Knight becomes the second Bruins defensive player with NFL aspirations to announce his return, joining safety Quentin Lake. Defensive lineman Osa Odighizuwa said he would declare for the NFL draft, ending his college career.

The “We Are United” movement showed unpaid college athletes without a union could speak up for themselves and be heard while asked to play during a pandemic.

Dec. 26, 2020