(Edmonton) The Edmonton Eskimos have acquired non-import kicker Brody McKnight from the Montreal Alouettes in exchange for non-import kicker Derek Schiavone and 1st and 4th round picks in the 2013 CFL Draft, the club announced today.
McKnight played his college football at the University of Montana, and was Montreal’s first round pick in the 2011 CFL Canadian Draft; following the draft he returned to Montana to play his senior season. In his senior year at Montana he converted 21 of 28 field goals and punted 53 times for an average of 42.8 yards and also averaged 62.4 yards on kickoffs.
Montana coach Robin Pflugrad commented on McKnight, "When you're co-MVP with Chase Reynolds and the great career that he had here, that's saying a lot. Brody is kind of going that with his career, with a tremendous ability to play both spots as a punter and a kicker, plus he kicks off for us too. Some teams have three different players handling those duties. To be drafted in the first round in the CFL, what an honor for him. That tells you what they think about him up north. He will have his chances there after his senior season. However, I think he's going to get a chance to play in the National Football League if he's as consistent as he was last year. He's in good condition and can handle all of those duties, and he becomes very marketable by doing all three things."
Edmonton Eskimo General Manager Eric Tillman says, "After Burke Dales, who was leading the CFL in punting, suffered a serious injury (recently placed on the nine game injured list), Kavis and I agreed that asking Grant Shaw to handle all three elements of our kicking game wasn't fair to him in the early stages of his development. As such, we felt that Brody would be the perfect complement to Grant."
"Some will ask why simply not go forward with Derek Schiavone and Grant as a combo, but, we felt Derek's greatest strength was on shorter field goals, as opposed to punting, which was obviously a need after Burke's unfortunate injury. That said, we respect Derek and believe he has a solid future in our league. In football, it's often a matter of being in the right situation at the right time. And, speaking of timing, via this trade, we feel Brody and Grant will give us one of the best young Canadian kicking tandems in our league."
In five seasons with the Esks, Schiavone played in 12 games and converted 39 of 45 field goals for an 86.7 percent rating. He also punted 33 times for 1301 yards, averaging 39.4 yards per punt.
Born: October 20, 1989 – Vancouver, BC
Ht: 6’0” Wt: 204lbs