Scott has change of plans
by Joey Martin - posted Wednesday, January 16th, 2013 @ 3:10 pm
De'Vante Scott has always been known as one who could make lemonade out of lemons.
He's been doing quite a bit of stirring lately.
"My life has had a lot of ups and downs," Scott said. "I could feel sorry for myself or give up, but I've always taken the other route. I pray a lot and do my best to keep my head up. That's the way I've always been taught."
The former Ferriday High All-State wide receiver planned on playing college football at Mississippi State after a banner career as a Trojan running back/quarterback/receiver/cornerback and kick returner.
But Scott come up just short on his required ACT score after receiving the scholarship offer from Mississippi State and signed with Copiah-Lincoln Community College, where he was named to the Mississippi Association of Community & Junior College All-State second team after his freshman season at Co-Lin.
But a serious knee injury in which he tore his ACL and MCL last September in Copiah-Lincoln's upset win over Hinds Community College led to State rescinding its scholarship offer and Scott looking elsewhere.
Scott is undergoing knee therapy at the University of Alabama-Birmingham after signing a football scholarship with the Blazers.
"My knee is almost at 50 percent," Scott said, conceding he will have to sit out the spring. "But it's getting better. I'm in rehab once, sometimes twice a day, working on it. I'll be ready to play this year."
The 5-foot-10, 180-pound Scott had 16 catches for 158 yards and three touchdowns this past season before going down returning a punt in the fourth game of the season in an upset win over Hinds Community College.
"When it happened I heard it pop," Scott said. "There was some pain, but I was thinking it would go away. I tried to get up and walk, but I fell back down. That's when I knew it was serious. When I got to the sidelines it was swelling up even more. It was really hurting then. They put ice on it and numbed it up."
Scott spent the remainder of the season on the sideline.
Co-Lin won the Mississippi Association of Community and Junior College state championship before losing to Garden City's (KS) in the 5th Annual Mississippi Bowl. Co-Lin (9-3) finished the 2012 season ranked No. 14 in the final NJCAA poll.
"It was tough watching, but I was happy we were winning," Scott said. "Some things happen for a reason," Scott said. "It's all about having a positive attitude."
Scott led the Wolfpack his freshman year in receiving with 19 catches for 386 yards (20.3 yard average) and 3 touchdowns.
As a return specialist, Scott was second in the state returning six kickoffs for 182 yards (30.3 yard average). He returned 16 punts for 119 yards (7.4 yard average).
Scott rushed for 1,434 yards as a senior at Ferriday, and had 24 catches for 341 yards and 721 return yards.
Scott also had 75 tackles on defense, four sacks and an interception his senior year at Ferriday.
But more adversity came Scott's way when Co-Lin head coach Glen Davis told him Mississippi State rescinded his scholarship offer.
"I was like, 'Really?,'" Scott said. "I couldn't believe it. I went up there the week after my injury so they could look at my knee and I never heard from them again."
Scott sent highlight video to coaches at Louisiana-Monroe, Louisiana Tech and Louisiana-Lafayette, but did not receive an offer.
"I really wanted to stay in state," he said. "I was disappointed not to get an offer."
Alabama Birmingham, South Alabama and a Division II school in Texas offered a scholarship to Scott despite the injury.
"I feel real comfortable here (UAB)," Scott said. "I know I have a lot to prove. I just want to be a team player."
Scott has no doubt he will be suited up and ready to play when UAB opens its season at Troy on August 31.
Certainly when the Blazers travel to Tiger Stadium on September 7 to face LSU.
"That will be exciting," Scott said. "I know I will be ready."
And coming with a positive attitude, thanks to a lot of people throughout his life.
"I had a lot of good people helping me growing up," Scott said. "My family told me what I was doing wrong until I was doing it right. In junior high, Kale Davis and Coach (Donnell) Newsome taught me a lot about football. In high school, Coach (Freddie) Harrison taught me a lot about life and football. And I've always been taught to keep my head up. And I will continue doing that."
Alabama-Birmingham is coached by Garrick McGee, a former Oklahoma quarterback, was a leading force behind Arkansas becoming one of the country's most prolific offenses in recent years.
In his first season as the offensive coordinator in 2010, the Razorbacks earned the school's first BCS appearance in program history as the season culminated at the Allstate Sugar Bowl in New Orleans.
In 2011, Arkansas paced the Southeastern Conference in total offense and ranked No. 29 in the NCAA at 438.1 yards per game.
The Razorbacks also ranked first in the SEC and 13th nationally in passing offense (300.7 ypg) and were first in the league and 15th in the country in scoring offense (36.7 ppg).
"I really like Coach McGee," Scott said. "He believes in me. I like his offense, as well. He likes to open it up and throw the ball a lot."