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Knott A Part of Tennessee Valley
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January 18, 2005 - Huntsville, AL-The Tennessee Valley Pythons will head into the inaugural 2005 United Indoor Football season with a "Destroyer" leading their defense.

Former Vipers defensive back David "The Destroyer" Knott officially became the Pythons first player when he signed on Monday to play for coach Dick Adams during a media gathering at the Huntsville Athletic Club.

"I just love the Huntsville fans and the organization,’’ said Knott, 32, who serves as a personal fitness trainer at HAC.

"Everyone here at the gym, all the people I’ve coached and trained, they’ve really got my enthusiasm going. It’s my family, the Tennessee Valley football family and the Huntsville community that got me back interested in playing." Tennessee Valley owner Art Clarkson said that Knott’s signing was the perfect start as his franchise gets set for a challenging UIF season.

"As we start down a new path, David is the type of quality player that we will have to sign in order to be competitive in UIF,’’ Clarkson said. "With seven of the 12 teams having played for five years, it’s a new league with veteran teams that have successful track records. To meet that challenge, we must sign players the caliber of David Knott."

A former Ole Miss standout, Knott (6-foot-1, 205 pounds ) signed a free-agent contract with the Detroit Lions prior to playing for Adams and the Madison (Wis.) Mad Dogs during the 1998 Professional Indoor Football season. He then played for Mississippi in the Regional Football League prior to joining Tennessee Valley for the 2000 campaign.

"I just feel close to this team in knowing owner Art Clarkson and general manager Joe Stroud, and having played for coach Adams. I sat out last year and it was tough just watching the team or listening on the radio, but now I’m ready to play and try to keep moving up. If I’m going to give it a go – I’m going to give it a real go."

Knott was one of the main reasons Tennessee Valley battled its way to the 2000 ArenaCup. He set a team-record with 107 tackles and had nine interceptions with 90 return yards and one touchdown on his way to second-team league honors at defensive specialist.

"David has played for me before and I think he’s a good football player,’’ Adams said. "He has a tremendous work ethic and I think with his experience it’s going to be like having a player/coach out there helping the guys. I’m excited about him being here and he’s one of the key guys we were wanting to get back here from teams past."

Knott played for the Birmingham Thunderbolts of the XFL in 2001 and twice he was the team’s Defensive Player of the Game before suffering a season-ending knee injury. From there, he attended camp with the Dallas Cowboys and played for Winnipeg of the Canadian Football League. He rejoined Tennessee Valley late in the 2002 season – making 19 tackles in three games - and led Peoria with 72 tackles and five interceptions during the 2003 campaign.

Free-agent camp set: Tennessee Valley will host a free-agent campon Saturday, Feb. 5 in the Von Braun Center’s South Hall. There is a $40 fee for early registration and a late day-of fee of $50. For more information contact Adams at 256-551-3240 or 256-513-2956.

Tennessee Valley opens training camp March 1 and starts the season March 18 on the road against the Evansville Bluecats. The Pythons then travel to Ohio to face the Dayton Warbirds on April 2 before opening their home slate April 16 against the Tupelo Fireants. Kickoff at the VBC is set for 7:30 p.m.

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