Despite his frame, Knapp is still very young. He turned 17 years old this past August, which only raises his ceiling. "Jason has a ton of potential," said UNC head coach Mike Fox. "He is a big kid with a strong and quick arm. His fastball is terrific and he has a good feel for his off speed pitches."
Knapp's upside drew interest from college coaches across the nation, but he narrowed his list to three schools, UNC, Virginia, and Vanderbilt, before eventually deciding on the Tar Heels. "I've been a North Carolina fan most of my life so it's a great opportunity for me to be able to play there," said Knapp.
Compared to most of the nation's top players, Knapp made his college commitment relatively early in the recruiting process. "It was April of my junior year," he said. "I went down on a visit that winter and then a while later the coaches came to watch me pitch and then I committed to them on the phone after."
While Knapp is widely regarded and was highly recruited for abilities on the mound, he also excels at the plate. "He was the best hitter on the team last year," said North Hunterdon head coach Parker Snare. "He had a lot of big clutch hits."
Whether Knapp will ever swing a bat in college remains to be seen, but his coach is confident that he'll be successful no matter how UNC intends to use his skills. "He's big, strong, and a hard worker," Snare continued. "He throws hard, keeps the ball down, and he's a good competitor. He really works hard in the offseason in the weight room and conditioning."
Knapp understands the importance of maintaining this kind of work ethic before he suits up as a Tar Heel. "I'm going to work as hard as I possible can," said Knapp. "I'm going to keep lifting weights, conditioning, and working on mechanics."
Like most of his future teammates, Knapp is focused on one major goal when he gets to UNC. When asked what he hopes to achieve as a Tar Heel, he responded with one simple, straightforward answer. "I want to help the team win a National Championship."
|Seth Baldwin||OF||Forest City (N.C.) East Rutherford|
|Derrik Gibson||SS/OF||Seaford (Del.) High|
|Matt Harrison||SS||Henderson (Nev.) Green Valley|
|L.J. Hoes||OF||Washington (D.C.) St. John|
|Jason Knapp||RHP||Annandale (N.J.) North Hunterdon|
|Garrison Lassiter||SS||Clemmons (N.C.) West Forsyth|
|Tim Melville||RHP/3B||Wentzville (Mo.) Holt|
|Jimmy Messer||RHP||Hudson (N.C.) South Caldwell|
|Quinton Miller||RHP||Medford (N.J.) Shawnee|
|Jacob Stallings||C||Nashville (Tenn.) Brentwood|
|Jeff May||C||Creedmoor (N.C.) South Granville|
|Brian Goodwin||OF||Rocky Mount (N.C.) High|
|Levi Michael||MIF||Lexington (N.C.) North Davidson|
|Chris Munnelly||RHP||Lewisville (N.C.) Forsyth Country Day|