Turning The Corner

OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM
Jeff Scott

OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM
Jeff Scott
OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM

Oct. 15, 2013

By Lauren McMillin
Ole Miss Athletics Media Relations

One minute and seven seconds remain. Defeat is palpable. Regardless, the Rebels continue to play, determined to drive the ball down the field. Quarterback Bo Wallace takes the snap and hands the ball to running back Jeff Scott, with plans for Scott to run out of bounds to stop the clock. The next thing he knows, however, Scott is sprinting along the sidelines, dodging Commodores and refusing to put on the brakes until he prances into the endzone. Ole Miss has risen above Vanderbilt and the Commodores are stunned. Thanks to Scott, victory is in the hands of Rebel Nation.

Scott is key to the Rebel offense, but his lightning-quick speed and power did not emerge overnight. Scott’s ability has been a work in progress over the years, going all the way back to his early stages in life.

“My dad told me when I was around three years old, I used to run around the house all the time,” Scott said. “I think about age six, he took me out there to little league football, and that’s when I began playing football.”

A native of Miami, Fla., Scott began to seriously consider collegiate football at the start of his ninth grade year. Like many young athletes, he dreamed of becoming an NFL star, but he knew the path would be difficult.

“I always dreamed of playing in the NFL since the age of six, and to get to that route, you’ve got to go to college,” he said. “So I’m here.”

When it came down to choosing a college, Scott had options. “I had about six offers in total, and Ole Miss was my only SEC offer,” he said. “I just wanted to play in the best conference. I watched Dexter McCluster my senior year, and I saw we were pretty much similar backs, and I pictured myself doing what he was doing. So I was like, okay, that’s where I want to go.”

His first two seasons with the Rebels, Scott played under then-head coach Houston Nutt. At the start of his junior season, however, Scott and his teammates faced a new head coach (Hugh Freeze) with a new system, a drastic change that would turn around the Ole Miss program.

Scott had more adjustments to make than a new offense. In order to succeed, Scott knew he had to make his own changes.

“The difference between last year and this year is my decision making,” he said. “I watched film a lot this summer and (during) the spring. I saw a lot of mistakes that I made. Last year was my first time running this offense, so I wasn’t really familiar with the blocking schemes and the passing schemes.  This year I not only know what I have to do, (but also) what the receivers have to do and the offense has to do.”

Working with running backs coach Derrick Nix has helped propel Scott to success.

“It’s been huge, he’s been here since my freshman year, and he recruited me,” Scott said. “He’s like a second father figure to me, and I can go to him and talk to him about anything. He taught me and helped me and took my game to a whole new level. He’s a big reason why I’m successful now.”

While Scott has made improvements on the field, his new outlook has also helped him improve in the classroom, a change that was necessary if he wanted to remain with the Ole Miss program.

“I was struggling with academics,” he said. “When you first come to college, you’re wide-eyed, and everything is just so new to you. I’d never been so far from home by myself, and you just have to grow up. I think I have, and Coach Freeze helped me. Coach Freeze cares about the little things, whether you’re one minute late to class or one minute late to tutoring, and he’s right, he’s correct. I think once I noticed what I wanted to do and where I wanted to go in my life, I had to get my priorities right. Once I got my priorities right, I just started getting more successful.”

Setting his priorities straight has allowed Scott to move into a leadership position with the team.

“When I first came in as a freshman, I looked up to all the older guys, people like Brandon Bolden,” he said. “I know once he left, I had to fill some big shoes. The freshmen, they always look up to the older guys. That’s what I did when I first came in. I think that’s very important that you lead those guys down the right path. I’m always constantly giving advice, so they won’t make the same mistakes that I made when I was a freshman.”

As a senior, Scott hopes to leave his mark on the Rebels football program. “I would love to finish as the all-time leading rusher,” he said. “From what I was told, I would need about 926 yards. I probably want to take back maybe a couple more punt returns this year, but most importantly, I just want to win.”

Although this is his last year as a Rebel, Scott has big hopes for the team’s future.

“I know the program’s going to be successful,” he said. “It’s only going to get better. Coach Freeze, he’s running a great program. He changed the program around in a matter of a year, and so far, he’s started off the year pretty good. We still have a young team, so it’s only going to get better.”

With a general studies major, Scott hopes to have a chance to play in the NFL, but his ultimate desire is to give back to the people and communities that have given him so much over the years.

“I just want to coach one day,” he said. “Just get back to my community, whether it’s coaching in little league football or coaching high school, maybe one day I think I’d be able to coach at the college level being a running back coach.”

With two major runs at Vanderbilt and Texas, Scott is feeling optimistic about his final season. “It really motivates me a lot. I’m not satisfied, and as a team we’re not satisfied. We just have to continue to go out there and keep playing hard.”

Ole Miss Gear
    Facebook
    Twitter
    • Loading Tweets...
      1 second ago
    Blog
    • Freeze, Rebels Focused on Auburn Showdown

      Thursday, October 30, 2014 - Football

      Not only will Saturday's matchup between No. 4 Auburn and No. 7 Ole Miss feature the first-ever meeting of top-10 team in Oxford, but it will feature half of the top four of the College Football Playoff Top 25 rankings... read more

    • The Season: Ole Miss Football Episode 9

      Wednesday, October 29, 2014 - Football

      The Season: Ole Miss Football - Episode 9 -LSU (2014) from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo.... read more

    • Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review (Oct. 20-26, 2014)

      Monday, October 27, 2014 - Athletics

      Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewOct. 20-26, 2014Football- Ole Miss took its first loss of the season with a 10-7 defeat to No. 23 LSU in Baton Rouge.- The Rebels held LSU to 10 points and created four turnovers (two... read more

    • Observations from the Best Seat in the House -- Oct. 26

      Sunday, October 26, 2014 - Athletics

      In this week's edition of Observations from the Best Seat in the House, Metz Camfield and I teamed up to give you our thoughts and opinions of the week that was in Ole Miss athletics. I was able to travel... read more

    • Rebels Fall Short in Death Valley

      Sunday, October 26, 2014 - Football

      BATON ROUGE, La. -- Ole Miss had its chances. The Ole Miss defense made seven points stand up for the better part of four quarters, forcing four turnovers and limiting LSU to just three points on its first three trips... read more

    • Three and Out: Ole Miss-LSU

      Saturday, October 25, 2014 - Football

      Three areas to watch as No. 3 Ole Miss travels to No. 23 LSU for an SEC West Showdown on Saturday. Stopping The Run Not just this year, but throughout head coach Les Miles' tenure, LSU's running game has been... read more

    • What They're Saying: Ole Miss-LSU Pregame

      Friday, October 24, 2014 - Football

      Ahead of a rivalry renewed on a national stage, complete with a visit of ESPN's "College GameDay" and the mystique of a Saturday night game in Death Valley, here's link roundup of videos and stories from local and national media... read more

    • Extra Emphasis on Special Teams Play

      Thursday, October 23, 2014 - Football

      Extra Emphasis on Special Teams Play Through the years, special teams play has provided a winning edge in the Ole Miss-LSU rivalry, and and you don't have to go all the way back to Billy Cannon's 1959 Halloween run. In... read more

    • The Season: Ole Miss Football Episode 8

      Wednesday, October 22, 2014 - Football

      The Season: Ole Miss Football - Episode 8 - Tennessee (2014) from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo.... read more

    • Freeze, Miles Talk Ole Miss-LSU Rivalry

      Wednesday, October 22, 2014 - Football

      Highlights from Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze and LSU head coach Les Miles on the SEC teleconference Wednesday, ahead of Saturday's game in Baton Rouge.For the full SEC teleconference, go here.Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze (starts at 1:06:12... read more

    • Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review (Oct. 13-19)

      Monday, October 20, 2014 - Athletics

      Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewOct. 13-19, 2014Football- Ole Miss rode its dominant defense to a 34-3 homecoming win over Tennessee on Saturday to improve to 7-0 overall and 4-0 in Southeastern Conference play.- The Rebels are 7-0 for just... read more

    • Observations from the Best Seat in the House -- Oct. 19

      Sunday, October 19, 2014 - Athletics

      It's Sunday, so that means it's time for this week's Observations from the Best Seat in the House. There was no shortage of observations surrounding the Homecoming festivities this weekend. Let's get into it:1. When "College GameDay" visits Baton Rouge,... read more

    • Winning Formula for Rebels is No Secret

      Saturday, October 18, 2014 - Football

      The winning formula revealed itself as it has throughout the season: a dominant defense and a mistake-free offense. The Ole Miss defense forced four turnovers, while the Ole Miss offense did not commit a single turnover in a workmanlike 34-3... read more

    • VIDEO: Ole Miss-Tennessee Motivational

      Saturday, October 18, 2014 - Football

      Ole Miss vs Tennessee Official Team Motivational from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo.... read more

    • Three and Out: Keys to Ole Miss-Tennessee

      Saturday, October 18, 2014 - Football

      Three areas to watch as No. 3 Ole Miss faces Tennessee for Homecoming on Saturday.'Third Down for What'Tennessee is very dangerous, Ole Miss football head coach Hugh Freeze said, because its talented, particularly if it gets momentum and confidence during... read more