DEMAREE: Scott ready to fill crucial need

On teams that are competitive in a league like the Southeastern Conference, there have to be players waiting in the wings to be plugged into positions vacated by graduation and attrition. Eric Scott of Kentucky is one of those players.

Matt McCutchan was the starting center for the 'Cats. After regaining a year of eligibility, the "old man" of the team was a six year senior. His departure left a void at that had no replacement with playing experience.

Right after Scott committed to UK, one of the local radio sports talk shows did a telephone interview with Scott. He articulated his points well, and displayed an impressive maturity and intelligence. He said he had a personal trainer working with him and rattled off about four telephone numbers where he could be reached. Our thoughts were perhaps UK could be getting an outstanding player.

"Yeah, I do remember that interview," Scott said in laughter. "That was my first over the radio interview and it was different from a personal interview, pretty interesting."

We asked Scott if he actually had a personal trainer? "I did but it was more like a team thing. We had a gentleman that would come out three or four days a week and work with us but it was nothing like what we go through here. Now that I look back, that was petty."

Scott had played at the tight end spot and moved to the defensive side and played some defensive end but always as a backup. He said that coach Phillips had been constantly trying to persuade him to move to the offensive line but no move was ever made on it until the offensive line got into some depth and injury difficulties.

Scott made that move last season and got his first true audition when the JV played a game against Hargrave Military Academy. Hargrave is a prep school who always has a bevy of talent earmarked for major football universities. Scott, weighed no more than 265-pounds and was handling the guys that lined up in front of him. He not only opened the eyes of the coaches but himself, also. Scott's weight at the time of the Music City Bowl game was 270-pounds and from that time to now his weight has increased to 292-pounds. Coach Rich Brooks says that he expects Scott to play at around 300-pounds during the season.

"I think I've taken a compilation of everything I've learn in basketball and the various position moves in football and it's helped me to be a decent o-lineman," Scott explained. Did the experience and the defensive side of the ball help on the o-line in an area of natural aggressiveness? "Yes, you have to have a different attitude when you go into the trenches. Even at defensive end you had an outside free, there's not someone on the left and right of you, but when you go into the trenches, I'm blocking Myron today, I'm blocking Corey Peters and you've got people coming from all sides and you can't see them. I guess that's what the trenches are all about."

Scott has been going against Pryor in scrimmage and in one-on-one drills and winning his share of the battles. He said Myron is one of his boys. Scott explained, "We pretty much know that we both have a chance to be really good players so we just decided that we are going to bust our butts and we are going try to work with each other. A lot of the time you can come out here and go against one of the younger guys and get wins but for me to except a win in pass rush is to go against one of the best d-linemen we have. I think Myron is one of the best in the SEC."

"Eric is probably one of the best athletes out there," offensive line coach Jimmy Heggins said. "When you are right in the middle of the field at the center and one of your best athletes and one of your smartest guys, that going to mean a whole lot for us. He is taking on a role and listening to us and that parlays into leadership."

Scott now wishes he had made the move sooner. Perhaps a guy like sophomore Zip Duncan, who has been move to the offensive line, can use the Eric Scott model and capitalize.

AllWildcats Top Stories