Scott family has unique perspective

CLEMSON - Jeff Scott proudly remembers holding Aaron Hunt's winning field goal in the 2000 Clemson/Carolina game.

However it wasn't long before that game when Scott would have been pulling for the Gamecocks.

In 1999, Scott's father, Brad, joined Clemson for his first-year on staff under the newly hired head coach Tommy Bowden. It was just a season after the elder Scott had been fired from the same position at South Carolina.

As he held the kick that gave Clemson the 16-14 win nine years ago, there's one moment in particular that stands out to Jeff.

"Your mind kind of has these snap shots, one of those snap shots I have was Rashad Faison going to block it," he said. "I remember looking eye to eye--looking right at him. He was one of my close friends while we were at South Carolina."

It was "unique" as a player, battling on the field against guys that he knew. Now, as wide receivers coach/recruiting coordinator, he finds himself often competing against South Carolina coaches on the recruiting trail.

Winning the state championship adds to the ammunition Jeff stockpiles while on the recruiting trail.

"It definitely gives you a year's worth of positive things, as far as a recruiting stand point in state," he said.

For a guy who's been a part of the rivalry on both sides of the fence for 15 years, Jeff really enjoys Clemson/Carolina games.

"This game, he's pumped about it," said Xavier Dye. "He's ready to go down there right now. It means a lot to him."

With part of his childhood around Florida State/Florida, Jeff had an early understanding of a rivalry game's importance.

"South Carolina's rivalry is just as strong, maybe even stronger because these are the only two major universities in the state," he said.

Now in his 11th year as an assistant at Clemson, the game doesn't take on quite the same emotion Brad felt during his first few seasons with the Tigers.

"Not that you didn't want to do well, but you just knew all those kids and their families. It was a little different game than it is now," he said.
Brad won't call the South Carolina game "just another game." Having coached at both of universities, he understands how much it means to their respective fans.

"Both fan bases look at this as the game of the year. Even though we're both in different conferences and certainly trying to achieve conference championships, throw all that out," he said. "This is a true rivalry game in a state that takes a lot of pride in their football."

In his first of five seasons at South Carolina, Brad's Gamecocks beat Clemson. He finished with a 2-3 record versus Clemson.

"I've always said you didn't know how big the rivalry was until you lost it the first time," he said.

One of a few people who can say they've won and lost as both a Gamecock and a Tiger, Brad was hoisted onto the shoulders of Clemson players after the 1999 win in Williams-Brice.

"We were fortunate to win the game. Tommy set me up and had those kids pick me up on their shoulders," he said. "If I had any friends left in South Carolina, I lost them that day. That was his whole reason, if you know how Tommy was. He said, ‘I got you now. If you weren't 100 percent Tiger, then you are now.'"

11 years removed from five years in Columbia, it's safe to say the Scotts are 100 percent Tiger--all in too.

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