East’s Scott turning heads

Alex Hider

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It’s been a busy summer for Blaine Scott.

After just one year of high school football, the East sophomore lineman is already generating interest from college coaches across the country. On May 5, he received his first official offer from Ohio University. In the weeks since, he’s been crisscrossing the Midwest, attending college camps and visiting campuses.

On May 31, he was in Athens for Ohio’s camp. On Sunday, he stopped by Purdue. He’s scheduled to hit Virginia Tech, James Madison, Toledo and Ohio State all within the next two weeks. East football coach James Gifford hopes that James Madison and Toledo will officially extend scholarship offers during the campus visits.

“It definitely is overwhelming,” Scott said. “I’ve been really confident trusting in (Gifford)…It’s just coming a little earlier than I expected, I guess.”

College coaches are drawn to Scott’s huge 6-4, 295 pound frame, but are even more excited about his potential. As a sophomore with just three years of football experience, Scott could be in store for a growth spurt or two. And though he hasn’t even attempted to max out his bench press, he estimates he could lift as much as 265 lbs.

In addition, Scott has already proved to be versatile enough to play anywhere on the line. After starting as the Tartans’ center for first half of the 2014 season, he moved out to right tackle to fill in for injured senior Nick Basham. Gifford plans on keeping Scott on the outside this coming season.

“That’s what I had him doing last year, playing center so he could get a year of experience, with the thought in mind that I would end up moving him to tackle,” he said.

With a 5.5 40-yard-dash time, Scott has the footwork to play right tackle. But that hasn’t stopped him from identifying other areas to improve for this upcoming season.

“Just being a smarter overall player, taking the right steps and being able to know what to do in the right situation,” he said.

Scott shouldn’t have a problem picking up the mental part of the game, either. Gifford says Scott is a 4.0 student, and has heard from some of the county’s most prestigious academic schools, like Duke.

Scott is the second East lineman in as many years to garner attention from college football powerhouses. Last summer, tackle Tyler Gerald committed to Ohio State prior to his junior season. After another stellar season with the Tartans, he transferred to IMG Academy, a prep sports boarding school in Florida. He’s since received offers from Alabama, Penn State and Florida State.

“It gives a lot of credibility. Tyler has paved the way for other (Tartans),” Gifford said.

“It’s putting Sciotoville on the map,” Scott added.

Scott has stayed in close contact with Gerald, and continues to learn from his former teammate.

“The biggest thing (Tyler helped me out with) is confidence,” Scott said. “He just helped me out with being confident going into camps, talking to coaches, being able to compete with the best players in the nation.”

Gerald has helped spread the word about Scott — with college coaches and his coaches at IMG. Scott says that he was offered the chance to play for the Ascenders with Gerald this fall, but he didn’t feel a move to Florida was right for him.

“Me and Tyler, we have two completely different situations. I don’t think it would benefit me as much as if benefited him,” Scott said. “Right now, my plan is to graduate at East, become a heck of a player and help lead the team to a state championship.”

Scott is also excited to see Gifford at the helm of East. The long-time offensive line coach is entering his first season as the Tartans’ head coach this fall.

“To me, Coach Giff is the best O-Line coach in the nation, flat out,” he said. “You just don’t get better than him.”

It’s been a hectic summer break, but Scott wouldn’t have it any other way.

“To go on to play college football, you really have to love the sport. You have to be on the grind every single day,” he said.”But, I love every single second of it: The sweat, the grind, the blood, the tears.”

Reach Alex Hider at 740-353-3101 ext. 1931 or on Twitter @PDTSportsWriter

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