Interceptions were flying all around in the matchup between Harbor City (Calif.) Nathaniel Narbonne and Los Angeles (Calif.) Senior. The teams combined for eight picks, but the highest rated defender on the field, 2018 outside linebacker Raymond Scott couldn’t get one.
“I was reaching for it,” Scott said with a smile after Narbonne won 13-6 last Friday. “But they weren't throwing it to who I was sticking, so it is what it is.”
Scott did finish with six tackles and had a blocked extra point that kept the game tied, 6-6, in the middle of the fourth quarter.
L.A. High may not have throw at Scott, but several colleges are throwing their best sales pitches. But just as Scott couldn’t get his hands on a pass, colleges are struggling with Scott because he has already committed to USC. Even though the Trojans struggled to a 1-3 start this season, Scott called himself a “strong commit.”
“I keep in touch with the coaches every other day,” Scott said. “I keep in touch with Tee Martin, [Johnny] Nansen. Great coaches. Great coaching staff. I just love the program.”
But the conversation with the USC coaches isn’t necessarily about his on-the-field abilities.
“We don't really talk about football. It's more of our personal life because they know my situation. I'm going through some stuff, but it's been good.”
Scott said he is grateful to have Martin and Nansen to be able to talk through the personal issues he has been going through off the field that he chose not to elaborate on.
Nansen has been working with USC’s outside linebackers and is in line to be Scott’s position coach at USC. But that could change. Scott is used more as a cover outside linebacker by Narbonne. He is always aligned to the wide side of the field, giving him much more ground to cover than the other outside ‘backer in the Gauchos’ scheme. The coaches trust him in space, whether he is covering a receiver or coming up to make a tackle on an outside run.
But at USC, the outside linebackers have different responsibilities. The Trojans’ SAM and Predator positions are used as edge rushers that are essentially defensive linemen. A move to inside linebacker or potentially even being used in the nickel position could be possibly once Scott is on campus.
“I'm not 100 percent,” Scott said of his future position. “Seeing different outside linebackers over there, I think I could compare myself and put myself in that position and play pretty well. I'm shooting for the outside position, but wherever they put me, I'm going to play to my best extent.”
Scott is confident in his ability and the coaching staff at USC. Even before the blowout victory over Arizona State, he was expecting a dramatic turnaround.
“You know they had a tough start, but that's football. That's all it is. I believe throughout the season, they'll overcome their mistakes and do what they've got to do to finish off the season.
“I expect them to go undefeated from now on. It's a lot of pressure on them, but they'll pull it through throughout the season.”
His confidence comes from attending USC practices and seeing the intensity and passion the players have and the atmosphere the coaches have built.
“Once they get a downfall game like that, they pick themself up and come stronger the next time.”
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