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Sunday, April 5, 2020

Who is Josiah Scott, the promising cornerback college prospect eyed by the Detroit Lions?

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The rumor has been in the press these days that Josiah Scott, the (now former) MSU Spartan from Hamilton, Ohio, is on the list of attractive prospects that could soon fill a developmental space in the secondary. For the time being, we are still in the realm of football-betting speculations, but young Scott definitely deserves a closer look.

His announcement on Dec. 30 that he would forfeit his senior season at MSU and join the NFL draft came as a surprise to many. Josiah’s ardent desire, as a high school kid, was to be a Michigan State defender. A smaller kid donning a tall afro at the time, he raised eyebrows at the beginning despite being on scholarship. At 5-foot-10 he’s apparently too short even for a DB. And at 171 pounds, some have even dubbed him “skinny”.

But wait till you see him play!

Scott is a ball hawk, with seven interceptions, 25 pass breakups, two forced fumbles and 98 tackles in three seasons. He started 30 games since he started at MSU, in the spring of 2017. There he quickly moved up from starters to the ESPN’s Freshman All-America team. His teammates nicknamed him “The Gnat”. As a freshman he played in 12 games, recording 30 tackles, 10 breakups, two interceptions and forcing one fumble.  

His sophomore season was complicated by a knee injury while training, so he missed the first eight games of 2018. Scott managed to play in the final five contests, totaling two interceptions, seven breakups and 13 tackles on the year. 

As for his junior year, Josiah finished with 52 tackles, three interceptions, six passes defended, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery. Add to this the All-Big Ten second-team honors voted by the media. The final count of his Spartans career amounts to 95 total tackles, six interceptions and 22 passes defended. 

MSU coach Mark Dantonio, commenting on Scott’s draft decision, said that the talented cornerback has been “helping our defense become one of the best in the nation when he was on the field”. The cornerback thanked publicly Dantonio and the whole MSU coaching staff while admitting that “my lifelong dream is to play in the National Football League.” 

There is a family background to Josiah’s football passion. He is the youngest of four Scott boys, all of them football players. The two oldest, Isaiah and Joshua are now football coaches in the Cincinnati area while Elijah is a linebacker at Mount Union. All of them were trained in the backyard by their father, Oliver Scott, himself a remarkable athlete in high school days. Oliver, 59, got a scholarship for Ohio University but gave it up because of a conflict with the new coach of the Bobcats.

Training four strong boys to become football players was Oliver Scott’s “revenge”. His youngest, and smallest, could still turn out as the one with the brightest career in the coming years.



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