A longtime, high-value target for Tennessee, Scott became critical after Michael Oher of Memphis Briarcrest Christian declared for Mississippi last week. Oher, rated the No. 5 offensive linemen by Scout.com, appeared to be leaning to the Vols before unexpectedly changing course. Scott’s decision, which was announced on “Countdown to Signing Day,” offsets the loss of Oher and enables UT to regain recruiting momentum with the finish line in plain sight.
Not only is Scott a great addition to a Tennessee team looking to replace two starters in the offensive line, he’s also a case of addition by subtraction since his list of finalists included: Georgia, Florida and LSU. At times each of those SEC powers appeared to be in the lead for Scott who favored home-state Georgia early, then LSU and finally Tennessee. However, the Gators made a strong run after Urban Meyer got on the job, getting Scott’s last official visit as well as last in-home visit.
“I just felt more comfortable there,” Scott told Scout.com’s Scott Kennedy. “I like the ability of the coaching staff. Coach Fulmer, Coach Atkins and Coach Stephens were all offensive line coaches. With that much coaching, you’re set up for success.”
Tennessee’s cause was enhanced by the chance for Scott to reunite with Lovejoy High School offensive line mate Anthony Parker, who signed with the Vols last year and redshirted. However, the biggest factor in UT’s favor was probably a stable coaching staff with a track record of success.
“They do a great job of getting players to the next level,” he said. “They have a great strength program with coach (Johnny) Long. He does a great job of getting their players ready to play on Saturdays.”
They also do a good job of getting big-time prospects into big orange uniforms. Their persistence and patience paid off with Scott, who kept his cards very close to his chest throughout the recruiting process. Scott soured on LSU after Nick Saban’s departure, but became interested in Florida after Meyer’s arrival. In final analysis: Phillip Fulmer had more decades at Tennessee than Meyer had years at his last three coaching stops.
In Scott the Vols are getting a powerful lineman with quick feet, long arms, outstanding technique and good mobility. A student of the game who plans to study engineering, Scott has the versatility to play either guard or tackle and will likely see some service at both positions for Tennessee, although his best potential is probably as a tackle.
With visits from U.S. Army All-Americans Slick Shelley and DeMarcus Granger on tap this weekend, the Vols are also still in contention for No. 1 safety prospect Kenneth Phillips among other recruiting prizes.
There are still many miles for UT’s staff to go, but with Scott in the fold Vol coaches will sleep better.