Ohio DE Soaking It In

The story of Cincinnati St. Xavier defensive end Greg Scruggs may be the most intriguing of all major D-I college prospects this year. A 6'5, 235-pound prospect with a 4.7 40, Scruggs went from playing drums in the band a year ago to one of the nation's elite defensive end prospects.

Until this season, Greg Scruggs had yet to truly play organized football. He was focused on one of his hobbies, playing drums, and being a part of the band at St. Xavier. All of that changed, however, after a friend convinced him to play football this season. "For me, this is really year one," Scruggs told DeaconSports Thursday evening. "I played in sixth grade but I never really played so I don't think that really counts. I was just a guy on the team. I was uncoordinated and hadn't really figured myself out yet."

Times have sure changed over the years. Now, after playing just one season of high school football, Scruggs has earned offers from the likes of Boston College, Tennessee, Wake Forest, Cincinnati, Louisville, Connecticut, Virginia, Michigan State, N.C. State, Miami of Ohio, and Michigan.

"What has happened over the past year has been a blessing for me and my family," Scruggs said. "I have college paid for and I can choose from a lot of different schools to go to. Over the past year, it's been exciting for me – with recruiting, the media, and all of that. As a band member, how much recognition do you get? It's certainly a lot different from getting recruited by the top schools in the country. A lot of people want to know my story and where I'm going. It's been exciting and fun. It's been really good for me and will help me mature, help me talk to people, and help me learn how to tell a college no when the time comes. All of that will help me in the future."

Not only have handfuls of schools offered Scruggs a scholarship, he has also had an incredible senior season as St. Xavier went 15-0 and won the state title. "It was a great experience," said Scruggs, who did not know his season stats off-hand. "The players around me, with it being my first year, they gave me confidence and said I should have no problem fitting in. I was fortunate to come in, start, and go 15-0 and a state title without losing a game."

With a state title under his belt, academics in check, and scholarship offers on the table, all Scruggs has left is to make his college decision. "I'm going to definitely take all five [official visits,]" Scruggs said. "It's just to what schools and when as the questions. I've been to Tennessee and I'm going to N.C. State this weekend."

Scruggs thoroughly enjoyed his visit to Knoxville and came away feeling comfortable with the program at UT. "It was a really nice campus," he said. "The people were great, very welcoming. I felt very comfortable out there and not like an outsider coming in. All the faculty, coaches, players and everyone accepted us as a part of the team already. I really liked talking to the coaches and all were full of energy...it was very comfortable."

He was also slated to visit Wake Forest this week but has pushed that visit back. "I cancelled that as I didn't want to do two visits in a row. Coach Grobe wasn't going to be there either and the students aren't in town so we thought it best to do the visit later. I rescheduled to go I believe the 20th and 21st, Martin Luther King weekend."

Although Scruggs has never been to Wake Forest, he is quite familiar with the program and is looking forward to his visit to Winston-Salem in just over a month. "I know that as far as coaches are concerned, people up here have nothing but great things to say about them. My gym teacher is best friends with Coach McCartney and he says they always care and look out for you now and in the long run. He's said that if I want good people, I need to consider them. Academics is the first thing that comes to mind with Wake Forest. It's a good education and it's a degree that means something. As far as the football program, I know they've had success. I don't follow college football too much, but I know the top 25 and I know they have a good program and I know, because I'm being recruited by them, of their success the last few years. I know everything I need to know -- I just want to see the environment on my official."

In addition to Tennessee, Wake Forest, and N.C. State, Scruggs may make visits to three other schools. "The three that I may visit are Michigan State, Virginia, and Louisville," he noted. Scruggs will likely officially visit Michigan State and Virginia and may make another unofficial visit to Louisville. He will also continue to research schools and keep in touch with coaches at each of his top six schools. "I'm looking at all the pros and cons at each school," he said. "I'm just soaking it in."

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