Scott Starts Over At Cornerback
When Alabama signed B.J. Scott out of Vigor High School in Prichard in 2008, almost no one knew if he would be an offensive player or a defensive player in college. He had been an outstanding athlete and Scout.com listed him as the number seven defensive back prospect in the nation. But there was also a chance he would play offense, and in his freshman season he was a back-up slot receiver.
Following his freshman year, Crimson Tide Coach Nick Saban discussed Scott experimenting as a defensive back in the spring. "I think every year he wants a group of guys to try different positions," Scott said. "He felt good about moving me to defense, wanted to try it out. We talked about it, and I decided to stay on defense."
Scott redshirted last season as he learned his new position. He will be a sophomore in eligibility in 2010.
"Last spring I was just moving over," he said. "This spring I feel a whole lot more confident about what I know. I still have a lot to learn, but I know a whole lot more than I did last spring."
Cornerbacks at Alabama are a special group because they are coached in practice by Saban.
"I'm getting A-1 coaching," The 5-11, 193-pound Scott said.
Scott said moving from offense to defense is a matter of learning. "It's all football," he said, "but you have to learn the playbook." He had it with him, a thick three-ring binder.
Scott was asked if the playbook was hard to understand.
"It's not simple," he said. "The thing about the defense is you really can't make a mistake. One mistake is crucial. Everyone has to know what he is doing. We have a reputation of playing sound defense, hard-nosed defense, here at Alabama. Coach Saban is real critical on everything. You have to put everything in it. You can't have one leg in, one leg out."
Alabama is halfway through spring football practice. Bama will have its first scrimmage of the spring Friday. The final practice of the spring will be the April 17 A-Day Game.
One of the more important tasks of the spring is finding cornerbacks. Alabama lost both starters, Kareem Jackson and Javier Arenas, as well as the cornerback on nickel situations, Marquis Johnson, from the Crimson Tide's 2009 national championship team. Scott is considered a top candidate for one of the starting jobs.
"It's a long way to try to call a starter," Scott said. "We don't have a depth chart right now. We have to continue to work hard, and I have to keep working hard, continue to get better. I still have things to work on."
Saban said, "He's made a lot of improvement. He needs to play with more consistency. He's a great competitor, but he sometimes gets lost in the moment instead of doing his job. We talk to them about doing their job. You can't guess. You can't under cut and try to make an interception and let the guy run for a touchdown. But he's made a lot of progress. He's playing with more consistency. It'll be interesting to see how he goes out and competes in the scrimmage."
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