After scoring 27 touchdowns and rushing for 1,512 yards during his junior year at Norton High School in Norton, Oh., Tyler Scott knew he could play Division I college football. Problem was, the college football world didn’t seem to know who Scott was.
There were no recruiters from big-time programs showing up at his games. There were no colleges asking him to come to campus on recruiting visits. There were no calls or e-mails to gauge his interest. There were no offers.
There was silence. And frustration from Scott.
Norton was not a football hot bed. Scott’s coach, Kevin Pollock, was young, in his first year at Norton, and neither knew the recruiting ropes nor had the connections to get Scott the attention he deserved.
So, Scott did it himself.
“I just took matters into my own hands,” he said during an appearance on the ‘Valentine’s Views’ podcast.
Scott made a highlight film, set up an e-mail address where he could be reached, did some research online to figure out who he should be sending his film and information to, then started e-mailing Division I college football offices.
He sent his information to more than a dozen schools. The first to respond was Rutgers and, while he was certainly thrilled, Scott did not jump at the offer.
“From there everything just kind of snowballed,” Scott said. “Ended up getting quite a few offers and ended up choosing to go to Cincinnati.”
Pollock remembers that Scott “did a ton of his own recruiting.”
“That whole thing was a whirlwind for me,” Pollock said by phone recently. “He was the first guy that I ever coached that was that big-time.
“The entire recruiting process was brand new to me. I told him I would do anything for him, but it terms of the knowledge and the connections and stuff, I just didn’t have it and I felt bad for him because we were pretty sure he could play.”
Scott got to be part of a Cincinnati program that blossomed and reached the College Football Playoff during his sophomore year.
“The crazy thing is I actually saw it. I saw that process beginning to take place when I was getting recruited, which is the reason why I ended up choosing Cincinnati,” Scott said.
“From the first day I was there [watching spring practice) I was like, man, this is just different’. The intensity. The way things ran.
“After that every place I went to I was comparing to Cincinnati and no one reached that level.”
Even after signing Parris Campbell in free agency and bringing back Darius Slayton, the Giants figure to use at least one of their 10 selections in the 2023 NFL Draft on a wide receiver. The 5-foot-10, 177-pound Scott is a speedster who figures to be available on Day 2 and could fit the Giants, who are trying to upgrade a passing attack that produced the fewest explosive plays in the NFL in 2022.
Scott had a formal interview with the Giants at the 2023 NFL Scouting Combine.
“The meeting went really well. Really loved the staff,” Scott said. “They’re different compared to a lot of different teams that I met with. Just as far as their energy that they bring.”
Scott said his meeting with the Giants was “more open, more free” than other meetings he had in Indianapolis.
“You could tell they all really gel with each other,” Scott said. “They were laughing, joking around with each other. It’s an interesting group, and you can tell Brian Daboll has changed that culture.
“I really liked them a lot. It went great.”
Speed is Scott’s calling card, and the 4.44 40-yard dash he posted at the Combine was a disappointment. Some thought Scott might threaten John Ross’s 4.22 combine record in the 40.
Scott said he is “definitely” faster than the time he posted in Indianapolis, and will run the 40 again at the Cincinnati Pro Day on Thursday, March 23 to try and show it.
“The combine is one big show. That’s TV time. TV time over the years has shown to be fairly inconsistent,” Scott said. “We’ll see what I get there [Pro Day].”
Scott has drawn comparisons to slightly built but highly successful receivers like T.Y. Hilton and Tyler Lockett.
“One thing about those guys that I do notice is they’re route savvy,” Scott said. “That’s what I would like to pride myself on and one area that I would love to continue to improve my game on. That skill to be able to manipulate DBs, which I think T.Y. Hilton and Tyler Lockett do very well.
“They just know how to get open and where to be and how to do it.”
Pollock is not surprised Scott is on the cusp of the NFL.
“Did we know for sure? No. It’s the NFL,” Pollock said. “He’s gotta get bigger, he’s gotta get stronger, those are the only issues. Athleticism, you guys already know he’s a freak.”
Pollock said it’s Scott’s thirst for knowledge that could separate him.
“In terms of football knowledge and a hunger for wanting to know everything you possibly can about the game he’s going to be at the same level if not above anybody he’s going to play against,” Pollock said. “He wants to know the why, he wants to understand every stinking reason for every scheme, every defense, every set up.
“That’s what evens the field for him.”
Give the full podcast a listen below. The interview with Scott begins at the 15:30 mark.
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