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Bryan Scott, ‘Aaron Rodgers of Division III,’ ready to prove himself worthy of NFL

Bryan Scott is aware of the significance of timing.

It’s half of his job as quarterback: not solely serving to him throw correct passes to receivers, but in addition delivering them shortly sufficient so his offensive linemen do not exert themselves greater than they want on a given play.

It’s a easy, efficient half of his play model, one achieved by way of expertise and meticulous, years-long follow. But his best energy, Scott says, is how he elevates the play of these round him. That’s half of the rationale the previous Occidental College play-caller — as soon as tabbed the “Aaron Rodgers of Division III” — has his sights set on the NFL.

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“My goal is 100 percent to play in the NFL. And to play in the NFL, not just be a roster spot,” Scott instructed Sporting News. “It’s to play. And I believe in myself.”

Now, he’s ready for that point when a group will give him that likelihood.

Scott was as soon as a scrawny, 5-1 freshman at Palos Verdes High School (Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif.), and solely grew a couple of inches by the point he was a highschool junior. But he hit a progress spurt as a senior, springing to 6-1. His peak allowed him to compete for the primary time for the beginning quarterback place. He took full benefit, main Palos Verdes to an 11-3 season and the 2012 Southern Section California Interscholastic Federation championship — its first such title in 47 years.

That very almost was the final soccer season Scott ever performed — if not for an opportunity encounter along with his eventual faculty soccer coach.

“We won the state championship, and I was good. I was happy with it,” Scott mentioned. “And I played in this all-star game, and my head coach from college (Doug Semones) actually ended up being there.

“And he came up to me and said, ‘Hey would you like to take a trip up to Occidental and visit?’ I said, ‘I don’t know. I’ve never heard of Occidental,’ Scott recalled of the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference school. “I went up there and I loved it. I went to their practice. It was kind of fate.”

In simply the second recreation of his freshman season at Occidental, Scott was compelled to step in after the beginning quarterback was injured. He didn’t flinch beneath the circumstances: He flourished, incomes second-team All-SCIAC choice and the convention’s newcomer of the 12 months award.

Scott thought-about utilizing his early success at Occidental to switch to a bigger, extra seen program. Ultimately, he stayed with the group that gave him an opportunity.

Scott grew to become a first-team all-conference choice within the 2015 and ’16 seasons, incomes the SCIAC Player of the Year within the latter. That season, he additionally set convention data in profession passing yards (9,073), completions (763) and complete offense (9,475). He threw 77 touchdowns and 22 interceptions in 33 profession collegiate video games.

It was throughout this time that Scott earned the moniker “The Aaron Rodgers of DIII,” which he attributes partially to his fast launch, accuracy and skill to prolong performs along with his ft.

“And I got a little fire in me too, out there on the field.”

Just 11 miles south of Occidental, at USC, Scott participated within the Trojans’ 2017 professional day. By then a decent 6-2, 220 kilos, he threw to receivers resembling future NFL star JuJu Smith-Schuster, finishing 62 of 64 passes with one drop. He signed with the BC Lions of the CFL that April, however included a provision in his contract that he could be launched if given the chance to earn a spot on an NFL roster.

That alternative got here on May 1, 2017, when first-year Rams coach Sean McVay invited Scott to take part within the group’s rookie minicamp.

At the time, Scott mentioned, he was glad to be there. The hometown child had been handed up within the 2017 NFL Draft and was “just excited to go out there and compete.” His tune modified by the tip of camp.

“The biggest thing I took away from that, if I’m being honest, is that I felt like I could for sure play at that level,” Scott mentioned. “I stepped in and it went really well. And to be honest with you, I think it might have shocked the Rams a little bit.”

Scott mentioned the Rams known as him the most effective quarterback on the camp, however an invite to compete for his or her ultimate 53-man roster by no means materialized. Scott turned his consideration to The Spring League.

Bart Andrus had by no means heard of Bryan Scott earlier than the 2018 Spring League in Austin, Texas. Andrus, one of 4 TSL head coaches in that 12 months’s showcase, simply occurred to have him as one of his two quarterbacks. (The different was former Titans signal-caller Zach Mettenberger).

By the tip of the occasion, the previous Titans quarterbacks coach and CFL head coach thought-about Scott the most effective quarterback on the occasion. That contains Mettenberger and 2012 Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel. Moreover, Scott had demonstrated every little thing you need in an NFL quarterback: accuracy, confidence, poise and skill to prolong the play.

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“I had Steve McNair through Super Bowl 34. As a head coach in NFL Europe, I had Danny Weurffel and Shaun Hill,” Andrus instructed SN. “In the UFL I had Troy Smith and Eric Crouch on the same team; both won the Heisman Trophy.

“Bryan is in that class as far as his talent.”

(Courtesy of Bryan Scott)

Andrus wasn’t the one TSL head coach who noticed the potential in Scott at that occasion. Steve Fairchild — former Bills operating again coach and St. Louis Rams offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach — noticed an “NFL-ability arm” on the previous DIII participant.

“Every time we got in a team setting, he threw the ball well,” Fairchild mentioned. “But a lot of guys throw the ball well. But every time we got into some sort of competitive team setting, his game kind of rose.

“I’ve coached a little bit in the NFL. He could play at that level. He’s that type of talent.”

Scott earned The Spring League MVP honors in 2018, netting him tryouts with the Chiefs and Falcons. Neither exercise resulted in something long-term, so Scott signed a futures contract with the CFL’s then-Edmonton Eskimos in October 2019 for the 2020 season.

Once the league canceled its season as a result of of the COVID-19 pandemic, nonetheless, Scott opted out of his contract so he might showcase his abilities someplace — anyplace — with the objective of making an NFL group.

Scott once more turned to The Spring League, which mockingly came about within the fall of 2020. This time the occasion — which broadcast video games on Fox Sports 1 and FS2 — included six groups, extra video games and much more notable gamers. Among them: former Power 5 faculty soccer quarterbacks J.T. Barrett (Ohio State), Shea Patterson (Michigan) and Alex Hornibrook (Florida State).

No shock, Scott — whom Andrus drafted first off the board — outperformed all of them. As quarterback for the Generals, he earned the league’s MVP crown a second time. He accomplished 91 of 133 passes (68.4 %) for 1,125 yards and 13 touchdowns to one interception. He additionally led his group to a 4-0 report and the TSL championship.

That led to a exercise with the Colts in February, and two extra NFL groups Scott declined to identify. Now, as soon as once more, he’s ready for his shot at incomes his spot on an NFL roster.

“I want to show a team what I can do day in and day out,” he mentioned. “I want to show a team my character and what I can bring to their football team and how I can make their football team better. And whoever does sign me is just going to get a winner and a leader.”

Bryan Scott is aware of the significance of timing.

Perhaps he might need hit his progress spurt earlier in highschool. Maybe that will have led to a scholarship provide at a Division I college, the place he could be extra noticeable and his competitors much less scrutinized. Or, he merely might have chosen to depart Occidental behind in favor of a bigger program.

“Who knows where my life would be right now,” Scott mentioned.

But then, Scott wouldn’t be the identical participant or individual he’s at the moment — the one who has had to earn every little thing. He considers that mentality as a lot a energy in his relentless pursuit of the NFL as his arm expertise or athleticism. And he needs to prove proper everybody who has believed in him up to his level: associates, household, coaches and teammates.

(Courtesy of Bryan Scott)

That contains those that have labored with him in TSL. Andrus finds it “baffling” that an NFL group hasn’t taken an opportunity on Scott. Fairchild calls it “mind-boggling.”

Both perceive why some within the NFL would possibly hesitate to take an opportunity on Scott. Division III groups merely don’t produce NFL abilities like these in Divisions I or II. Only 10 former Division III gamers had been on NFL rosters in 2020, and none was a quarterback.

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And but, each Andrus and Fairchild contemplate Scott an “exception to that rule” — somebody whose pure expertise, aggressive nature and management qualities supersede all else.

“He sees himself as a starting NFL quarterback” Fairchild mentioned, “and he should. There’s no doubt in my mind.”

Said Andrus: “I think it’s a matter of time before somebody wakes up and says, ‘You know, we better give this guy a chance.’”

That’s all Scott has ever wanted.

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