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bam certainly had a good game.  some of his pass receiving was also pretty darn good.  i suspect he was in because of the way the bears were playing.  and at the end of the game there's nothing like having a back who can get 4-5 ypc to close out a game.  i think in the fourth qte the bears knew the game was over. 

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How did NC State football RB Zonovan 'Bam' Knight get his nickname? It's a cute story

David Thompson

The Fayetteville Observer

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RALEIGH, N.C. — Every nickname has an origin story. 

For N.C. State running back Zonovan 'Bam' Knight, the Wolfpack's leading rusher over the last two seasons, his moniker was earned at an early age — and it has nothing to do with football.

Imagine Knight in toddler form, surrounded by countless toys in a playpen while his mother and uncle visited in the next room.

"I was banging on all the toys," Knight said. "And as my uncle walked in, he said, 'that's all you hear is bam, bam, bam'... It kind of just stuck after that."

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For years his family called him 'Bam Bam' but as he entered football in the fourth grade it was shortened to 'Bam'.

"I guess it was easier to pronounce than Zonovan," Knight said.

When Knight entered high school and created a Hudl account for his highlight reel at Southern Nash, he entered the name Zonovan "BAM" Knight. His highlights were viewed nearly 50,000 times as he rushed for 5,073 yards and 71 touchdowns during his high school career, adding even more notoriety to his nickname. 

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"I like it now," he said. "I like the feeling behind it."

'Bam' enters his junior season with his name on several preseason watch lists, including the Doak Walker Award (top running back) and Maxwell Award (top player in college football). Like last season, he'll share carries with fellow running back Ricky Person, Jr.

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Knight ended the 2020 season with at least one touchdown in the final six games while averaging 5.49 yards a carry, the best in N.C. State history. He missed spring workouts after undergoing shoulder surgery in the offseason but said he's feeling healthy during the first week of fall camp.

"I just have to get used to the tempo and stuff since I've been out," Knight said. "I need a little bit of conditioning and then I'll be back to normal."

David Thompson is an award-winning reporter for the USA Today Network covering NC State and Duke athletics. He can be reached at dthompson1@gannett.com, at 828-231-1747, or on Twitter at @daveth89.

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