Sam Webb: First of all, this was a very long process. Derrick seemed like he was having a lot of fun in the beginning and then the media attention seemed to get a little overwhelming and it sounds like that’s when Mom stepped in and was the buffer a little bit, is that how it went down?
Fran Knight: “Yeah, definitely, when you saw a child who’s starting to get overwhelmed, as a parent, you want to protect them and make sure the process doesn’t become overwhelming for him, so that’s when I stepped in.”
Sam Webb: Now he said all along, that the relationship with the coaches was going to be a huge deal. Turns out, he said it wasn’t just a huge deal for him, it was a huge deal for Mom too and he talked particularly about his relationship with Fred Jackson, talk about your impressions of Coach Jackson.
Fran Knight: “Oh, I love Coach Jackson, I just look at the longevity of him coaching at Michigan and regardless of the head coach changes, they’ve all decided to keep Coach Jackson, so that speaks volumes about the type of person that he is.”
Sam Webb: That is the guy he’s going to spend the majority of his time with obviously is his position coach, but there were other guys in there. You had Coach Montgomery, who was the point man and then Coach Hoke, so tell me a little bit about Coach Montgomery, your impressions of him.
Fran Knight: “Oh we love Coach Montgomery. He’s been recruiting him for about two years now, so he’s like part of the family for us. He comes over to the house, eats and talks football. I just loved Michigan’s passion. Their coaches really love their football players and that’s important to me.”
Sam Webb: Ok and then Coach Hoke, I know when you guys went the first time, Derrick told me that Coach Hoke wasn’t there. He was away with family. He said it was a big deal to get back and meet him and when he came out of that meeting with Coach Hoke, it really seemed to cement how he felt about Michigan. What about you? What did you think of Coach Hoke?
Fran Knight: “Well, it speaks volume about Coach Hoke. When we went, he wasn’t there. His dad had just passed but I was amazed how, even though he was going through the situation with his father passing, he still took the time out to call Derrick and let him know that he really wanted him there and he really wanted to be there, but he was looking forward to meeting him, so that spoke volumes to me about the type of person he was.”
Sam Webb: Alright, so now give us a little insight into your baby. I mean, we see the guy with the football in his hands, we see the guy who speaks to the media, what don’t we see, what don’t we know about Derrick Green that you do?
Fran Knight: “Well what you see is what you get. He’s a fun loving young adult. I couldn’t ask for a better child to be honest, I’m not just tooting my own horn, so what you see is what you get.”
Sam Webb: Alright, so what will we see on the football field when he gets to Michigan?
Fran Knight: “Oh, we think he’s coming to do some great things at Michigan. We’re trying to put Michigan back on the map and Go Blue baby, so we’re expecting some great things from him.”