ELF: Rhein Fire Sign American Playmaker Kelvin McKnight

The defending European League of Football champions, the Rhein  Fire, have made another major addition to their already strong roster with the signing of wide receiver Kelvin McKnight.

A native of Bradenton, Florida, the 5’9″, 190 pound McKnight played college football for the Samford Bulldogs (NCAA Division I FCS) level.  In his freshman season of 2015, he caught 57 passes for 616 yards and a pair of touchdowns, while also rushing for a touchdown and returning a punt for a touchdown.  He was named the Southern Conference’s Freshman of the Year for his efforts.  In 2016, he caught 70 passes for 896 yards and 9 touchdowns.

In 2017, McKnight exploded for 86 receptions for 1,179 yards and 12 touchdowns, and was was awarded First Team All-Conference and Third Team All-American honors.  In his senior season of 2018, he had his best year yet, catching 100 passes for 1,453 yards and nine touchdowns.  He was once again named to the First Team All-Conference list, as well as the Second Team All-American list.  He finished his time at Samford as the school’s all time leader in receptions, receiving yards, and touchdowns.

Following his collegiate career, McKnight was signed by the Denver Broncos as an undrafted free agent in the 2019 offseason.  He was waived before the start of the regular season, but spent most of the 2019 season on the team’s practice squad.  He also spent a brief period of time on the New England Patriots practice squad.  

After the COVID-19 pandemic, McKnight signed with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the Canadian Football League for the 2021 season.  Appearing in eight games, he caught 15 passes for 96 yards as the team won the Grey Cup that season.  He stuck around with the team in the 2022 season, but did not see much game action.  In 2023, he played for the Seattle Sea Dragons of the XFL.  In nine games, he caught five passes for 37 yards, and also returned 30 punts for 235 yards.

McKnight is a small but shifty playmaker who is hard to tackle in open space.  He should fit in nicely in a stacked Fire offense, which includes quarterback and 2023 MVP Jadrian Clark and perhaps the best running back in the league in Glen Toonga.  He also reunites with the Fire’s American defensive back Omari Williams, who played with McKnight at Samford from 2015-2017.

A current student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Carter played football in high school and has been a lifelong avid football fan.