MULE': Scott is the real thing

Considering the crowded roster at running back – with proven commodities as Justin Vincent, should he return to his freshman form; Alley Broussard, should he again resemble the runner he was before his season-ending injury of a year ago; or Keiland Williams, the prep school phenom should he be okayed by the NCAA Clearinghouse – it was a reasonable question.

Is there any thought to red-shirting Charlie Scott, the baby of the litter and a true freshman who might be of infinite value in seasons down the road when LSU might not be as loaded in the backfied?

   

He himself wouldn't mind. "I'd wouldn't be upset at that,'' Scott said evenly, and with a maturity not often seen by a kid who was a week into his college experience. "I'd use a redshirt year to get my feet on the ground academically and to learn everything about the offense.''

    

So what about it? Is that reasonable conjecture? Wouldn't that be the smart decision?

    

"Noooooooo,'' said Tiger offensive coordinator Jimbo Fisher while shaking his head at the absurdity of the notion. To emphasize the fact that Scott will just not sit and learn, the man who will have to rotate all those athletes to maximize their abilities and skills reiterated: "Nooooooooo.''

    

The unspoken but clear message is that Scott may be just too good to keep out of the lineup. In fact, and this is saying a mouthful, Scott, a 5-11, 220-pound power runner, may turn out to be the best of the lot.

"Charles is going to be a great one,'' Fisher told the media. "He's one of those guys that when you give him the ball he makes the cuts, he sees, he feels, he's gone. But he's also a very conscientious kid. Most young backs just want to be handed the ball, but Charles has done a great job in pass protection, which is a hard thing to learn.''

    

Despite the numbers of the more experienced backs, Scott has more than caught the eye of head coach Les Miles, too. "Charles might be a guy that has the maturity and the physical capacity to step in there and play big,'' Miles said. "He's a very capable, very strong, very physical back.''

     

He's not a fancy-Dan runner. "I'm a power-runner,'' he said in a matter-of-fact characterization. "When we get down there, I want to be the guy who pounds it in.''

    

The kind of guy, in other words, who leaves his calling card.

    

Kind of lost in the recruiting hoopla, because Scott, who played at Jonesboro-Hodge, committed early to the Tigers after weighing the pros and cons between LSU and Southern Cal, while Williams became a prize target.

 

"I just wanted to get (his final  decision) over with,'' Scott said. "I was looking forward to Keiland being here. We'd talked about competing against each other.''

    

There's no such thing as a "can't miss'' prospect. The landscape is littered with kids who had immense potential and never made as much as a dent as a collegian. But Scott may be as close as anyone can get. He ran for 2,039 yards and 28 touchdowns as a senior, averaging 8.2 yards per carry, was All-District in basketball and baseball as well, not to mention being making his All-District as a defensive back as well as running back. So Scott is definitely an athlete.

    

Oh, yes, one other thing: he hung a 3.7 grade-point average for his high school career.

      

If there is anything in football that can be called the real deal, Scott may be it. As Fisher said, Scott shows abilities "You just don't expect a guy his age to show.''

      

The LSU backfield may be brimming with talent and potential, but somewhere along the line – starting with Louisiana-Lafayette on Sept. 2 – should Tiger fans be surprised to see Scott leaving an imprint on the 2006 season?

     

Noooooooooo.          

 

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Marty Mule' can be reached at MJM981@Bellsouth.net.


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