Defensive back Eric Scott Jr. a ballhawk for Southern Miss

Published: Oct. 5, 2022 at 12:07 AM CDT
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HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - Eric Scott Jr.’s made the most of his opportunities at Southern Miss.

Both of his interceptions this season he’s taken to the end zone.

“I saw No. 14, he had an opportunity to go get it and I had an opportunity,” said Scott, recalling his pick-six at Tulane. “Tips and overthrows, we gotta get those. So, I had to make sure I grabbed it. I saw I had lead blocker Jay Stanley. He took me to the promise land.”

It’s not just right place, right time. Scott’s taken his game to another level as a grad student because of the way he sees the field.

The 6-foot-2, 200-pound defensive back leads Southern Miss with three pass break-ups to go along with 11 tackles.

“Athleticism hasn’t been an issue for me,” Scott said. “But the mental side of the game – asking questions and nit-picking receivers and trying to get answers from their side of the ball. Any quick-twitch movements, he might run a route a certain way and you’ve seen it on film. When it comes game time and you see him line up a certain way, pulls his gloves a certain way, looks at the quarterback a certain way – the alarm goes off in your head, you know what’s coming. It’s all about learning.”

Scott didn’t have many scholarship offers coming out of Kansas City, Kansas but found his way to Hattiesburg by way of Butler Community College.

It’s been the best decision he could’ve made.

“If you’re ever around him, he’s the epitome of our culture,” said USM head coach Will Hall. “He really wakes up every day and chooses his attitude and chooses to respond the right way no matter what the circumstances are. He’s a kid that didn’t have a lot going on out of high school, made some bad decisions, ended up in junior college and totally has transformed his life.”

“Experience is the best teacher,” Scott said. “I’ve been to three different schools in the last six years and I’ve been able to experience a lot. I’m excited for everything that comes my way.”

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