It would have been difficult to blame Nick Scott for completely missing Penn State's season-opening 23-17 victory over Syracuse last Saturday. After all, his older brother, Irvin, was in action as a cornerback for College of the Holy Cross that same day.
Though Nick was actually at his brother's game in Rhode Island, he kept tabs on the Nittany Lions via his smartphone. In doing so, the PSU Class of 2014 running back commit from Fairfax (Va.) High made good on his vow to follow every Penn State game this season.
"I was real excited to see that they pulled off the win in a game that was pretty tight the whole way," Scott said. "That says a lot about the type of team we have this year."
By "we," he meant his future program. But before officially joining the Lions, Scott must take care of business during his senior campaign at Fairfax. That started last Thursday when he scored a pair of touchdowns in a season-opening 14-7 win over Woodson (Fairfax, Va.) High.
To Scott, the game probably should not have been as close as it was. he estimates had between 60 and 70 yards rushing to go along with more than 50 yard receiving. He scored both TDs for his team, one on a 50-yard reception and the other on 31-yard scamper. The latter, in the third quarter, proved to be the game-winning score.
"We won a low scoring game. I think the emotions were real high, and I think that was one of the reasons it was so close," Scott said. "I really think we have a great team this year, and we have a lot of guys coming back together.
"We have a strong senior class, and I'm excited to see what we can do. We have a lot of guys doing the right thing, and I think this could potentially be our best season yet. I'm hoping it's one of my best seasons to finish up with."
Scott committed to Penn State in February and said he has no intention of wavering from that pledge. Other programs have respected that fact, he said, and have not come after him or tried to gain his eye by showing strong interest or extending an offer. They know he's true blue.
A change in offensive scheme at Fairfax, from the Wing-T to a spread,/pistol morph, has given the Lion commit something to be seriously interested in. Scott described it as being an offense he is "really comfortable in," and more like Penn State's dynamic offensive scheme.
"I like how comfortable I feel with the level of play. We are sort of running something that is kind of a little less complicated version of a spread," Scott said. "My goal this season is to be a 1,000-yard rusher. Last year, I almost made it with more than 900 yards. That was on 83 carries, but I really want to break that mark this year.
"I want to break it for me, and prove to Nittany Nation that I am a big-time rusher."
With a 6-foot, 185-pound frame, Scott can do a little bit of everything, similar to how the Lions currently use top back Zach Zwinak in both the aerial and rushing attacks. He's also aware of redshirt freshman running back Akeel Lynch, and though he's never talked to the Penn State back, Scott hopes Lynch can one day mentor him.
Versatility is one reason the Lions, especially recruiting point man Larry Johnson, evaluated and offered Scott early on, and the duo still exchange messages. They spoke after Thursday night's game, and while details on the backs' performance were discussed first, they exchanged visit dates, too.
Johnson will be at Fairfax High for Friday's Week 2 clash with West Potomac (Alexandria, Va.), ahead of Scott's pending trip to University Park for State's Week 3 battle with UCF at 6 p.m.
It's the first time he will see the Lions in live action.
"That weekend will be my first Big Ten game that I watch in the stands. I've never been to a game with a Big Ten team, and I'm excited about the whole idea and what they can do," Scott said.