Stop and Stare

Jeff Scott certainly knows how to make a memorable first impression.

Now entering his third full week as a member of the Ole Miss football team, Scott, a true freshman, already finds himself climbing up Ole Miss' depth chart at running back.

He consistently draws praise from third-year head coach Houston Nutt, as his lightning-quick speed has added a unique dimension to an otherwise crowded backfield.

Jeff Scott

"I've been doing the best I can do," he said. "I'm trying to catch up on my plays. That's where I'm having a lot of trouble. I'm trying. I'm doing my best right now."

Ole Miss held its second full-pad scrimmage of fall Saturday, where Scott was the leading rusher. Scott carried six times for 43 yards, including a 20-yard touchdown run. It marked the second week in a row that Scott has found the end zone in a scrimmage.

"I think I did pretty good, but all the glory goes to the offensive line," Scott said. "They're the ones out there doing all the hard work. I just find a running lane and hit it."

Scott wasn't highly-recruited out of high school, chiefly due to a lingering injury that limited his playing time as a senior. He was rated a three-star prospect by, holding offers from Ole Miss, Colorado State and Florida International.

But in the eyes of the Ole Miss coaching staff, Scott was cut from the Dexter McCluster mold. He was small at 5-foot-8, 170 pounds, but deceptively fast vertically. So Ole Miss took a flyer on the oft-injured running back, hoping Scott could return to form.

He has. And now Nutt and company are reaping the rewards.

"Jeff Scott has a different gear," Nutt said. "He's fun to watch. We just have to make sure his ball security is good. He reminds me of a couple of guys we used to coach."

"I definitely think I'll be able to get into the rotation," Scott added. "That's why I'm trying to learn my plays right now, because I know once I get my plays right, I'll definitely be in the rotation."

Scott isn't the complacent type.

Jeff Scott

While attending Archbishop Carroll High School in Miami, Fla., Scott was never taught in the every-day nuances of his position. Pass-protection, at least to Scott, is an almost foreign concept.

"Since I came out here, we've been going over it every day, be it in film or on the field. I'm learning how to get my blocking skills back right," he said.

Like any attentive newcomer, Scott has been attached to the hips of the veterans ahead of him. He wants to get better. And the only way he can is to pick the collective brains of Brandon Bolden, Enrique Davis and Rodney Scott.

Well, that, and continuing to break those long touchdown runs.

"Every time Coach Nutt calls a play and I'm not too sure, I don't want to go to the coaches," he said. "So I'll walk over to Brandon or Rodney to get help with this play or that play. That's what they've been doing. They're brothers to me."

"Because of his speed, I think Jeff is going to force his way onto the field this fall," Ole Miss running backs coach Derrick Nix said. "He's done some good things and makes things happen."

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