Former Bills FB Corey Knox: Exclusive Interview
Fullback Corey Knox grew up a Bills fan in Buffalo, played football at the University of Buffalo his senior year, and was signed by the Bills last offseason. He was cut from the team before he could even get into pads which is a shame because he never got a chance to prove himself during contact drills.
Here at the BuffaLowDown, we wanted to catch up with the Buffalo native and check in to see how his attempt to make it with an NFL team is going. If at the end of reading this interview, you can conclude that you’ve ever wanted anything in your life more than Corey wants to be an NFL player and more specifically a Buffalo Bills player, we’d love to hear your story.
So read on Bills fans. Knox has some great stories to tell!
BuffaLowDown: What was your childhood like growing up in Buffalo?
Corey: I didn’t exactly have the most “normal” childhood. I think a big part of who I am was really built while I was growing up in Buffalo. I know plenty of people on this earth had it worse than my brother and I but it was still a very challenging time given our situation at home. We had two parents that separate were very great people but when combined were incredibly toxic.
A big part of our childhood was spent in the midst of drug and alcohol induced fights that regularly resulted in the cops visiting our home. We saw and heard a lot of things that kids shouldn’t. We dealt with situations that were incredibly traumatizing and unforgettable. We spent a lot of time at friends houses and at our grandparent’s place.
We were lucky to have relatives and friends be there for us and we were lucky to have each other. I owe a lot to my big brother and the people we had around us because we never truly had a home. Even when the divorce came it was only a small step in sorting through the wake of a disaster that was our family. The next chapter of our lives was just as difficult. Custody battles, trips to prison to visit our father, and readjusting to our mother’s new marriage were all incredibly stressful situations that only built anger and rage within my mind. Both of our parents made selfish mistakes and no one is to blame more than the other.
That’s where football came into play for me. Especially in high school. It gave me the type of outlet and a platform to release my anger and rage that nothing else could.
Whether it was training in the weight room or filling a gap to make a tackle I brought every ounce of aggression and anger I had in my body that was built up from things I could never control. My second favorite football movie after Rudy was The Water Boy. I was affectionately named “Bobby Boucher” after my sophomore season in high school because of how angry and physical I played the game. Or perhaps it was just my coaches labeling my level of intelligence…either way, I loved it!
The anger and rage that was so evident eventually turned into a passion for the game. I think it saved my life in some ways because I was able to channel the pain, the emotional distress, and the anger I had into something positive. It was my “tackling fuel” if you will.
I’d like to be able to say that the fuel eventually ran out and things got better but in reality they stayed the same and at times got even worse. The only difference for me over the years was that I learned how to deal with it. College sports once again played a huge role in keeping my mental health and life on track. Even though almost everyone in my immediate family faced some form of substance addiction, my substance was training. My addiction was being successful in my sport.
Every time I was told I wasn’t good enough, every time I got knocked down, and every time I got cut, it reminded me of how our family failed. It reminded me how giving up, for my life, was never an option. It further motivated me to grow stronger both mentally and physically and never quit on myself no matter how tough the times were.
I wouldn’t trade my situation for anyone else’s. I’m thankful for the lessons I have learned and I don’t think I would have made it anywhere in life without them. Especially in sports. I try and love what I can about my family and try to remember that no family is perfect. I have them to thank for this ever burning fire of perspective, passion, and rage that has pushed me past the point of my wildest dreams and expectations. It has allowed me to grow and accomplish things that no one ever thought I could.
Getting signed gave me hope that maybe, just maybe, my parents could somehow be inspired enough to change their lives and improve upon our relationships so that we could enjoy the rest of our time on this earth together. Seeing the positive influence it had on my dad’s troubled life gave me even more motivation to succeed. The thought that me making that team could somehow help him get clean and live a more normal life was something I was willing to give everything I had for.
With that type of motivation alongside the heartache and pain of growing up a Bills fan, I find it hard to believe that there is anyone out there that wants to play for that team more than I do. There is no one that wants that team to win more than me and I will give everything in my mind, body, and heart to prove that.
Next: What are Corey's Thoughts on Rex Ryan?