Scotty McKnight was once a promising young receiver who put up big numbers at the University of Colorado. He also spent some time in the NFL before injuries derailed his career. Nowadays, he’s pursuing another passion, and it might have touched your life in a minor way.
The former pass catcher is now writing for the popular CBS show “CSI: Cyber,” as Neill Woelk of cubuffs.com shared recently. McKnight actually has an entire episode to his credit after working his way into a top position with Jerry Bruckheimer Television.
Starting out as a researcher under writer/producer Pam Veasey, whom McKnight credits for teaching him “how to create a world, how to create characters — really, how to go about writing for television,” he quickly moved up the ranks.
By the time “CSI: Cyber” was renewed for its second season, McKnight had been promoted to writer’s assistant. Thanks to an endless string of hard work and research, his ideas started catching on with the higher-ups, and he earned a shot to write and then produce his own episode, “Flash Squad.”
“When you’re the writer of the episode, you are also the on-set producer for that episode,” McKnight explained. “I had the opportunity to not only go through the job of writing the script, but going through the notes with the network, the studio and with Jerry Bruckheimer Television — that whole process.”
He also was tasked with helping to cast the episode, which came with the perk of working alongside legendary television personalities like Ted Danson, Oscar winner Patricia Arquette, Kelly Preston and director Howard Deutch, per Woelk.
It’s just one example in a sea of others that show us that one door slamming shut doesn’t necessarily spell doom for one’s life and career.
McKnight was a seventh-round pick for the Philadelphia Eagles and was then traded to the New York Jets. But a devastating knee injury cost him a chance to turn his athletic talents into a lucrative NFL career. Rather than wallow in his misfortune, though, McKnight turned his attentions elsewhere and is now a burgeoning television writer.
Interestingly, he credits football for his current success: “I owe a lot to football and to my time in Colorado,” he said. “It’s a unique part of my background that has helped in a lot of ways.”
Keep an eye out for McKnight, who just might start appearing more often as a credited television writer. He and the rest of the “CSI: Cyber” crew are awaiting a decision by CBS to see if the show will be renewed for a third season. He’s also doing some acting in the meantime and is developing a pilot of his own.