High praise had already accumulated to a very deep level for Iowa City West RB Greg Coleman entering the 2002 season as a junior running back. His counterpart, 5'8 185 Jason Scales, did not receive the same attention before August.
Those who followed the 2002 prep season quickly found out why now in February of 03, some are beginning to turn the the labeling of the state's top runner over to West Des Moines Valley's tailback. Will Jason be watching closely over Greg's recruitment before making a decision of his own?
"Both of them are good running backs; some of the finest the state has seen," Valley Head Coach Gary Swenson said. "What Greg does in his college choice will not affect Jason. He knows that there will be good backs in competition where ever he chooses to go. He will first look to the school that best fits him academically, and then tie in the fact of the quality of the program."
At 5'8 185, the only negative on Scales has been the fact his size is not comparable to 6'0 210 Greg Coleman. In the case of the two backs, does size matter?
"Its going to depend on what schools are looking for in their back. With some of the more elite programs, I'm sure a few will find Jason's size as a reason not to offer. However, he plays much bigger than his size, and has a great leg drive. Jason is not going to run you over, but he has good foot speed, change of direction, and elusiveness."
So how is the speed of the 1st Team Class 4A State running back?
"He is consistently timed in the high 4.5's on a good day, and low 4.6's on a bad day. That very well could change this summer, though, as he entered his junior season much quicker and faster than the previous year. If I had to guess, he will break the 11.0 barrier in the 100 meters in track this spring. He is a not a track guy, but he can run. The best attribute of Jason's is the fact he does not slow down when putting on pads, much different than most of those who say they run 4.4's and 4.5's."
So has the coach advised or mentored the idea of an early decision for Jason?
"I do not like to get too involved in the recruitment of my players, in case it turns out to be unfortunate. I'm not sure when Jason will make a decision, but I will tell him the same I told all my former players, which is to follow his gut. He will consult with his family and make a well advised decision; I'm sure."
Jason, whom has already been offered by in-state programs Iowa and Iowa State, is also receiving interest from multiple programs. Could more offers soon be on the way?
"I certainly believe so," Coach Swenson added. "He is among the finest I've seen in Iowa, and we play in a good league for the size of our state. I'll have a much better indication come May when schools are able to stop by and evaluate, but at this point I'm sure he will receive national looks."
People across the state of Iowa, the midwest, and the nation, will have to make sure to keep an eye on RB Jason Scales in 2003!