Scott to be secret weapon?

He's a senior and he has world-class speed. Those factors should make Leonard Scott the leading candidate to be Tennessee's second receiver this fall ... but Scott is taking nothing for granted.

''I'm very excited about this season. I believe an opportunity has arrived for me,'' he said recently. ''But I'm still going to compete to the best of my ability, as if I've got to go TAKE the job. Personally, I think it's still out there ... until I prove, to myself and everybody else, that I'm worthy of saying that I'm the second receiver.''

Scott's work in preseason drills has been solid. He has improved the two areas that limited his playing time in the past -- route-running and pass-catching -- and drew mention from head coach Phillip Fulmer for his progress. Still, Scott knows the competition for playing time is stiff and he cannot afford to become complacent.

''I've got great receivers around me, so if I mess up, they can always put somebody else in who can do the job,'' he said. ''I know that, and that's why I'm never going to say, 'My fight is over. I've done it. I'm a star now.' I have a lot of work to do. I realize that and the coaches realize that.''

The fact he realizes he must work harder than ever to earn a job suggests Scott may be ready to scratch his extraordinary potential. His blinding speed could make him a mind-boggling threat if he ever puts everything together.

''That's what it all boils down to,'' he said. ''This offseason basically was preparing myself mentally, preparing the hands. By not being able to run that well (due to a hamstring injury), I got a chance to better understand the routes and what I have to do here and there.

''When you can't run much, all you do is stand around and catch balls. You can be the fastest man in the world but if you don't have the hands or can't get open, you're no factor.''

Scott was one of Tennessee's most ballyhooed prospects when he reported as a freshman. After three relatively uneventful seasons, however, he has drifted into obscurity. Perhaps he will emerge as the ''secret weapon'' this fall.

''I hope so,'' he said. ''I'm trying to work towards that. By working hard like I've been doing, competing every day, I hope will work to my favor and I can be a special weapon.''

''We'll see.''


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