Scruggs a Hot Commodity (Part 1)

It's not uncommon to see late bloomers emerge this time of year, but it is uncommon to see one still in the midst of his first year of organized football. That, however, is the case with Cincinnati St. Xavier DE Greg Scruggs. He has piqued the interest of a number of major programs including Michigan. In part one of this two part feature, Scruggs discusses his quick ascent up the prospect charts.

You’ve turned a lot heads on the field this season in just your first year playing football. What was it that made you made until your senior year to put on the shoulder pads?

Greg Scruggs: “I was in the band. I’m in love with playing drums. I’ve been playing the drums all of my life. I played football in grade school a little bit. Freshman year I didn’t want to. Sophomore year I thought about it, but then I didn’t want to. Our football team won state that year, so I was having a lot of fun in the band. Last year I started working with the football team and then I stopped because it wasn’t for me at the time. Once nothing was rolling around with the band, I played a little bit of basketball, but there was nothing too big there. My coaches kept telling me, ‘man, if you want to be, you’re a division I football player. You just have to work at it.’ It took a lot for me to really trust that. My best friend is Darius Ashley. He and my other friend Stephon Ball were saying that I should come out and that it would be a great experience and that I would have a lot of fun. So I decided to do it. I really just wanted to get college paid for. That was my main goal. When I got my first offer I was pretty satisfied. Now I’ve got a bunch of offers and I can go anywhere I want to. It’s cool.”

What are your stats on so far?

Greg Scruggs: “Man, I don’t know (laughing). I know my football team is 10-0. To be honest, I don’t keep track. A lot of teams don’t run my way, so my stats aren’t really explosive like people that are five or six star recruits, or whatever it is. I know that my team is 10-0 and I’ve contributes to it a lot.”

Do you think you surprised your coaches with how well you are doing out there?

Greg Scruggs: “Coach Specht (The Coach at Cincinnati St. Xavier) had a lot of confidence in me from the get go. He kept saying, ‘you’ll have your pick of schools by the end of the season, but you’re only going to get out of it what you put in.’ So I just tried to keep working. The coaches weren’t really surprised. They knew what I was capable of. I was the one that didn’t know. They just had to get me to come out so they could expose it.”

Describe your game for people that haven’t seen you play before. Is there a player in college or the pros that you can be compared to?

Greg Scruggs: “I’m a 6-5 235-pound defensive end. My forty time is a 4.7. I’m not classified as a strongside or a weakside defensive end. I just kind of play wherever the strength is. That’s the way our defense is run
I would say I’m like Julius Peppers. Explosive. That’s who I try to model myself after. I’ve seen stuff on him… little video clips and things like that and I really model after the way he plays because he is explosive. He’s the kind of player I can see myself being at the next level; a great pass rusher as well as a guy that can stretch run plays out and hold his own against double teams. That’s really who I see myself as.”

At what point did you start hearing from colleges?

Greg Scruggs: “I got my first MAC offer after my first game. I went to Louisville’s camp over the summer and they said that they would be in touch. I also went to Cincinnati’s camp. Miami of Ohio… that guy was really feeling me. They were the first team to offer me after my first game. Then out of nowhere, North Carolina State came. I’m like, ‘WOW, North Carolina State! That’s big time.’ After that, I think Louisville was the next one. Then after that it was Tennessee I think. Then after that I started hearing from everybody. I started hearing from Michigan State, I started hearing from Michigan, and then I started hearing from Ohio State. Everything just kind of escalated. It really came out of nowhere to tell you the truth.”

So how many offers do you have on the table at this point?

Greg Scruggs: “Right now I have ten. Cincinnati, Louisville, Tennessee, Wake Forest, Boston College, Connecticut, North Carolina State, Miami of Ohio, Michigan, and Michigan State.”

Stay tuned for part two in which Scruggs sheds light on his interest in Michigan, the factors in his choice, his decision timetable, and more.

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