Instinct

It's almost impossible for the energetic Rodney Scott to stay still, but at the end of a particular play against Auburn last season, he instinctively knew he needed to. Read about it inside.

To this day, Ole Miss sophomore Tailback Rodney Scott does not fully understand why he didn't enthusiastically push Auburn Safety Zac Etheridge off of him at the bottom of the pile.

"God intervened," said Scott, recalling the incident when Etheridge lay motionless on top of him after what seemed like just another average hit. "My personality is normally to have pushed him off of me, but something strong inside of me told me to be still."

It's a good thing Rodney listened to his instincts or divine intervention, whatever drove him to that instant and correct decision.

Zac, you'll recall, had freakishly sustained a severe spinal injury and, later reports indicated, was perilously close to being paralyzed for the rest of his life had Scott made any aggressive moves.

"He was like dead weight on me and I knew something was wrong, but I didn't know what. It was just an ordinary hit, nothing overly violent, but it went down wrong," Rodney said.

The end result was Scott remaining motionless for what seemed like an eternity, and was actually about 10 minutes, as the Auburn and Ole Miss trainers gently moved Etheridge to a stretcher and secured his spine/neck.

Rodney Scott

Scott's quick thinking and subsequent lack of action probably gave Zac a second chance at football or, at the very least, "normal" use of his limbs for the remainder of his life.

For that, Rodney receiver the SEC's coveted Sportsmanship Award and is up for the NCAA Sportsmanship Award.

But what he really takes from that incident is a bond with Etheridge.

"We talk just about every week and he and his family are always thanking me. I tell them to thank God. He guided me. I give the credit to Him," Scott noted. "I'm just glad he didn't have permanent damage and is now on the comeback trail.

"I hope we get to play against each other again one day. That's what I am praying for. When we talk, I just tell him to stay strong and he will make it back. He's working out now. I hope he gets cleared to play."

Heroics aside, Scott is now concentrating on his own game and the Rebel team, mainly the offense.

"The talk in the SEC is that we don't have any offense," he noted. "We're working hard to prove that wrong. We are using it as motivation. We have playmakers on offense who can do a lot of things, maybe better than before, but we have to prove it on the field. We don't look at it that Dexter is gone and Shay is gone and we need a quarterback. We look at it that we can do it too.

"Personally, I'm working on my blocking, speed, my whole game. We all are."

Scott had a good spring, by most accounts, but he wasn't satisfied. It seems Rodney is his own worst critic.

Rodney Scott

"I didn't feel like I had a very good spring. I didn't feel like I did my best," he continued. "The coaches said I did good, but I wasn't satisfied. I thought I could have done better. It was just me feeling that way, nobody said anything bad about my spring, but I knew."

Last year, was a learning experience for the then true freshman. This year, he feels like he can turn loose a little more.

"Now that I know the offense and my assignments better, I can work more on getting better without having to spend so much time on learning," he explained.

Rodney resides at a crowded position, but that is fine with him. It's all about everyone doing their jobs and having a role.

"We all do our part to make a whole," said Scott. "We all feed off each other and whoever is on will get the ball. We all try to pick each other up and we all want everyone to do well. We have a good situation.

"If my time comes and I'm hot, I'll take the load of a lot of carries. I'd love that opportunity, but we all know we have to earn it. Like I said, the hot hand will get the ball."

Scott is right where he wants to be physically.

"I'm about 200 pounds right now and my strength and flexibility are better," he closed. "I feel real good and ready to go."

For now, Rodney Scott is best known for being still in a crisis.

When the season rolls around, he wants to be known for running around and over defenders.


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