Kurt Knoff

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Kurt Knoff
No. 25
Safety
Personal information
Date of birth: (1954-04-06) April 6, 1954 (age 60)
Place of birth: East Grand Forks, Minnesota
Career information
College: Kansas
NFL Draft: 1976 / Round: 2 / Pick: 43
(By the Denver Broncos)
Debuted in 1976
Last played in 1982
Career history
Career NFL statistics
Interceptions 11
Sacks 1.0
Fumble recoveries 1
Stats at NFL.com

Kurt L. Knoff is a former American football safety who played in the National Football League for the Denver Broncos, Houston Oilers and the Minnesota Vikings.

A graduate of East Grand Forks High School in East Grand Forks, Minnesota, Knoff was named the Minnesota High School Athlete of the Year in 1972. He attended the University of Kansas, excelling in football. He was a 1975 All-American, who also played both baseball and basketball for the Jayhawks. He was named to KU’s All-Time Best Football Team by the Lawrence Journal-World.

One incident associated with Kurt Knoff is a play he made known as "The Hit". In a game against Oklahoma State at Lawrence in '74 Knoff came from the defensive backfield running full speed. Alfred Nelms was also running full speed up the side-line as he had swept around the defensive line of KU and appeared headed for a touchdown, when suddenly Knoff bolted up the field and ran head on into Nelms in a horrible collision. The entire stadium gasped all at once when the impact occurred. If you couldn't see "The Hit" you could hear "The Hit". When the players separated on the field there lay both Nelms and Knoff. They were both knocked-out from the impact. They both got up shortly after that and Knoff played out the remainder of the game, but for KU athletics, it was a moment defined. "The Hit" went on to signify for future fans and players, what 'leaving it out on the field' and 'giving it your all' signify.

Selected in the 2nd Round of the 1976 NFL Draft by the Denver Broncos, he did not sign with the team due to health concerns related to his knee. He eventually signed with the Houston Oilers, and played for the team in 1977 and 1978. He was picked up by the Minnesota Vikings during the 1979 season, and intercepted a pass on his very first play with the team. Knoff spent a total of four years with the Vikings, retiring before the start of the 1983 season.

During his professional football career, Knoff spent his summer pursuing an MBA degree from the University of Kansas. He was able to parlay this degree into a successful post-football career as a commercial real estate broker in Minneapolis – Saint Paul.

Sources[edit]

  • Ballew, Bill. Tough Enough to be Vikings: Minnesota's Purple Pride from A to Z. Asheville, North Carolina: Old Norse Publishing, 1999. (page 192)
  • Black, Sam. "Preparation Pays Off for Former Viking Knoff." Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal. June 21, 2004
  • Toplikar, Dave. "KU's All-Time Best Football Team." Lawrence Journal-World

External links[edit]