NEW ORLEANS — Trevor Knight's favorite part of a game is not when his Sooner offense scores a touchdown. In fact, Knight gets a charge when the other team scores.
That means OU's kickoff return team is headed on the field. That means Connor Knight is in on the action.
“It's a dream come true,” Trevor Knight said. “To see him playing a little bit on special teams, it's the best part of the game for me.”
Blood is thick. Twins are thicker.
The Knight twins came to OU 18 months ago, one with a scholarship, one without. One is a household name throughout the state, one is not. One is a cornerstone of the Sooner future, the other is not.
But the Knights wouldn't think of attending college apart. When the recruiters came to San Antonio, chasing Trevor, and didn't flock to Connor, didn't matter. The brothers said they would go to school together. If Trevor chose Texas A&M, they'd both go to A&M. If Trevor chose OU, they'd both go to OU.
And now both are in New Orleans, prepping for the Sooners' Sugar Bowl against Alabama on Thursday.
Connor helps Trevor. Trevor helps Connor.
“Just having him there for me, through the ups and downs, it's been great,” Trevor said. “Knowing you have someone, run off the sideline and here's there for you, going to give you encouragement no matter what.
“Always having that backbone, somebody to turn to. Lot of these guys don't have family up here. Just to have that person you've known forever, that knows the ins and outs of you, it's nice.”
And Trevor encourages Connor, who as a walk-on tight end on a team loathe to play tight ends faces an uphill climb for playing time.
“He always pushes me,” Connor said. “He's a freak in the weight room, workouts and stuff. I always want to do just as good as he does. He really pushes me, encourages me. He'll come up, ‘you need to do that better, good job,' so on.”
Bob Stoops notices the magnetism. Notices that the Knights are drawn to each other by something almost cosmic. Stoops, the father of teenage twins, knows it when he sees it.
“The bond that's there, it's like no other,” Stoops said. “You see 'em pal around or walking out to practice together, just listening to 'em, they're trying to gravitate or do their own thing but they always end up little by little, gravitating back together, for the support they give one another. It's really special.
“I've got twins, and since the day they were born, they're next to each other, touching each other in the crib and on and on. Unless you're one, I don't know that you can know how tight that bond really is.”
Trevor was born a minute before Connor. They are not identical. At least not physically. Connor is bigger. Trevor is more athletic.
Connor long has been about 1 1/2 inches taller and 20 pounds heavier. Connor was the post man, Trevor the point guard. Connor the catcher, Trevor the shortstop. Connor the tight end, Trevor the quarterback.
And their video-game skills are vastly different.
“He can't play Madden or NCAA to save his life,” Connor said. “It's pathetic. But we're really a lot alike. We're typical twins. We do most of the same stuff.”
Still, it has to be tough, your twin in the spotlight, you in the shadows. Your twin offered a scholarship, you not.
“I never really looked at it as ‘oh, he's getting all the looks, I'm not getting anything,'” Connor said. “I've always looked at how blessed he is. He's a tremendously blessed athlete. It's just awesome, just seeing him succeed. When he succeeds, there's nothing that makes me happier. I don't want him to do bad just so I'll look better. I want him to do his best, and I try to live up to that, too.
“Just getting on the field was a goal at the beginning. Trying to further that into a tight end role is the ultimate goal. Right now, I'm pleased getting in on kickoff return, and being able to hit somebody.”
Stoops says Connor's attitude is not posturing.
“You talk about some great young men,” Stoops said. “They're incredible. Compliment their parents on how they've been raised. They're pretty special leaders.”
The Knights have an older brother who farms in south Texas. Stopped playing sports in the sixth grade. “Strong as a freaking ox,” Connor said. “He's awesome.”
The twins got their own bedrooms in third grade and their own places this very school year, when Connor moved off campus and Trevor moved into the new Headington Hall.
And the Knights have a little mental telepathy going on. As a twin myself, I can vouch for its existence.
“We've had a few instances where we have a little chemistry there,” Trevor said.
Maybe they'll show up wearing the same outfit. Or in high school, Connor might break off a route, and Trevor would know it was coming and deliver a pass.
“It's happened a few times,” Connor said.
Perhaps eventually, the Sooners will again embrace the tight end position and Connor will work his way into the rotation. Then the Knight-to-Knight connection can be revived.
When people ask the Knights what it's like to be a twin, they have two ready answers: 1.) It's great; and 2.) What's it like to not be a twin?
“Everyone always wants to know, but you don't really know anything different,” Connor said. “Just always someone there for you. Always someone there to play catch with. That's what we've always said growing up. You're never searching for a friend to go hang out with. You've always got somebody there for you.”
Said Trevor, “It's the best thing in the world. I hope I have twins some day, because I loved growing up a twin.”
Sounds like he loves being a twin, all grown up.
Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. He can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including FM-98.1. You can also view his personality page at newsok.com/berrytramel.