16-year-old sprint phenom Erriyon Knighton is going pro.
According to Track and Field News, Knighton has decided to sign with Adidas and forego his remaining high school eligibility. Knighton will no longer compete at Hillsborough High School in Florida.
“I know I can maximize to the next level,” Knighton said. “I’ve got to see what I can do. I want to win against the top athletes, but I know they’re not going to make it easy on me, so I’m going to have to train real hard.”
Knighton is currently both the sophomore national class and AAU Junior Olympic 200m record holder. Former pro sprinters and current Stellar Athletics agents Ramon Clay and John Regis will reportedly represent Knighton.
In addition to his track and field career, Knighton was also a star on the gridiron for Hillsborough as a four-star wide receiver according to 247Sports with offers from Florida, Florida State, Illinois, Iowa State, Tennessee and Toledo.
“Knowing that I grew up around football my whole life, and receiving a lot of D1 offers, it was a tough decision, but it was also a no-brainer,” Knighton said. “In track, the success of my career is fully in my hands, and I know that I can do it.”
Knighton is just the fifth high school sprinter to turn pro since 2015, but the third to do so in the last year.
“More athletes, they’re trying to make that jump early,” Adidas professional coach Gary Evans told flrunners.com. “As of right now, we’re 0-for-2 on that. So now we have the next three: Tamari [Davis], Briana [Williams] and Erriyon. I’m hoping one of these athletes can change that, that they can come straight out of high school and be pro. I’m hoping one of these next three can change the perspective.”