A taste of both worlds

Last season, Charles Scott broke out as one of the Southeastern Conference's premier running backs. The senior also saw time at fullback, and with a depleted depth chart at the position this spring, Scott finds himself back at the spot once more.

First, it was the loss of Quinn Johnson to graduation. 

 

The senior had started ten games for the Tigers in 2008, and his departure made way for the highly touted Stevan Ridley to finally put on his dancing shoes.

 

Unfortunately, the Natchez native suffered a torn ACL just days into spring workouts.

 

Richard Dugas, who had worked out at center for the Tigers during time with the squad team, made the move to fullback to replace Ridley. Not long after, the 6-foot-1, 275-pounder had suffered a spring-ending injury as well.

 

Now, head coach Les Miles was down to a rather bare cupboard.

 

While sophomore walk on James Stampley has seen a number of carries in place of the injured Tigers, a familiar face has once again been tested at the spot.

 

"We have had Charles out there doing some things for us, and I like what I see," Miles said. "He is a big physical back and he still made some great cuts in the scrimmage, so certainly he is going to be playing."

 

Scott, who is stuck in a playing time battle three year's old with teammates Keiland Williams and Richard Murphy, said that having a hand in two positions is not as tough as some might think.

 

"At first learning more than one position is tough, especially because I was still learning a lot of things about tailback," Scott said. "Once you master one and start the other, or at least get used to the rhythm, things will start slowing down for you."

 

While most college athletes with the talent of Scott, who passed on the NFL draft this year to up his stock during his senior campaign, would shy away from accepting a less flashy role on the team, the senior said that becoming the best fullback he can be is the least he could do.

 

"Why wouldn't I want to play fullback too," he said. "I think that when you have a guy that can do more than just run or block, you bring a lot to the table. It really keeps the defense on their heels."

 

How does the 5-foot-11, 233-pound back keep his focus when juggling both positions on Saturdays?

 

"I just don't think about it," Scott explained. "That is all you have to do. I go out there and don't think about what position I am at, I just do what I have to do. I am getting down there at fullback and I am thinking about fishing."

 

As for the offense's slow start this offseason, Scott said that the week off for spring break should allow the group a chance to get their minds right before taking to the spring game on April 18.

 

"I don't want to say we are that far behind the defense, but we just have not matched their intensity," he said. "We have gotten called out for it, from coach Miles down to [strength and conditioning coach] coach [Tommy] Moffitt. We have to get it right, because this is one team. We need to be on the same page."

 

While the return of Dugas and Ridley combined with the arrival of freshman Dominique Allen will afford the Tigers a number of fresh fullbacks by the fall, Scott said that he is not going to shy away from the headman when he looks his way on a fullback assignment next year.

 

"It is fun getting to block, so I love it," said Scott with a smile.



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