When Joe McKnight was at Curtis he was the number one ranked player in America.

At Curtis, McKnight played everywhere, including cornerback, offensively as a receiver and on special teams as a return man. He was terrific in all of those roles, easily one of the top players in the area of the last 20 years.

In 2006, after Katrina, McKnight actually stayed and lived at the home of Curtis coach J.T. Curtis.

After Curtis, he played at Southern Cal, following in the footsteps of return man/ offensive dynamo Reggie Bush, who filled a similar role.

He was a fourth-round pick in 2010 and he played three seasons with the Jets and then with the Chiefs.

Tyrann Mathieu, another former prep star from the New Orleans area who found stardom in the NFL, said via Twitter that while most players in the country wanted to be the next Reggie Bush, local players wanted to run like Joe McKnight.

One of the most memorable games in McKnight’s tenure at Curtis came when he and the team traveled to face the nation’s top-ranked team – Hoover, Alabama – on ESPN. Curtis, just a year removed from Katrina’s effects, topped the nation’s top team, breaking a long winning streak in a game where McKnight caught a long TD pass and returned a kick for a score.

McKnight was 28.