Staying in school, making statement

This defensive tackle, who talked to the Packers at the Combine, decided to continue working toward his degree rather than drop out of school to work on his 40-yard time. We introduce you to this three-year starter who Green Bay likes as a nose tackle.

There is more than one nose tackle in this draft.

The one everybody knows is Boston College's tower of power, B.J. Raji.

Clemson's Dorrel Scott is not B.J. Raji.

Raji was forced to sit out the 2007 season because of academic problems. Scott, on the other hand, elected to stay in school for the spring semester so he could finish work on his sociology degree.

Why? Why go to class when he could have joined so many other prospects in quitting school so they can improve their 40-yard times and bench press to impress scouts and better their draft stock?

"I was already in the mind-set of waking up and going to class, going to study hall," Scott, who is taking three classes this semester so he can graduate in May, told reporters at the Scouting Combine in Indianapolis last month. "I didn't want to have to leave and then come back and get back into that mind-set, so I can just go ahead and do it now and do it while I'm still in that mind-set.

"I didn't want to leave the job undone, especially when I was so close."

Scott, who told Packer Report that he visited with the Packers about playing nose tackle, started all 39 games of his final three seasons at Clemson. The 6-foot-3, 312-pounder apparently didn't need the specialized preparation for the Combine. His 40-yard time of 4.90 seconds just missed the top 10 among defensive linemen, and all of the top times were recorded by defensive ends.

That no doubt will help his draft stock, which took a hit during his senior season. After averaging 50 tackles and 3.5 sacks during his sophomore and junior seasons, Scott fell back to 39 tackles and one sack as a senior.

He could be an option for the Packers in the fourth round.

"Everybody's strong, everybody's fast, so the adjustment has to be technical," said Scott, who agrees with scouts that he could bulk up and be effective at about 330 pounds. "You have to be technically sound, because everybody's good."

Scott lists Warren Sapp as the player he patterned his style after. One of his hobbies is playing the popular "Madden" video game. Asked if he created himself to play in the game, Scott laughed and said: "No, because everybody says, ‘If you put yourself on it, you're cheating. You know how to soup yourself up.'"

When the next "Madden" comes out, Scott won't have to create himself. He'll be in the game. And if his stay-in-school work ethic carries over to the NFL, a team like the Packers will have a valuable player.

"I don't like to half-do things," he said. "That's not the type of person I am."

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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at packwriter2002@yahoo.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Lambeau Level forum.


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