Kansas State once offered a football scholarship to a defensive tackle from a Maine prep school named John Knott.
He never played a down for the Wildcats after arriving in Manhattan in January 1996, but if he had, he would have suited up under a fake name.
Why? The player, whose real name is Jarryn Avery, was a high school star in Maryland but couldn’t qualify academically to college despite several major offers from football powers. So, as the story told by Dave Sheinin of the Washington Post goes, Avery took the name of his best friend and used his transcripts to get into prep school and later Kansas State.
But Avery felt like the real identity of Knott would be discovered in Manhattan — “You start to get a sixth sense — like, ‘Someone’s going to find me out,’” he told the Post — and he returned to Maryland after spring practice.
Kansas State coach Bill Snyder did not comment about Knott/Avery in the story, which said Snyder was unavailable.
Going by his real name after leaving K-State, Avery played one season at Potomac (W.Va.) College and three seasons at Rowan (N.J.) College, where he was a two-time Division III All-American, according to the Post.