East senior offensive lineman Blaine Scott has committed to play football at the University of West Virginia, where he will enroll early.
Scott, who graduated from East High School last week, will begin classes at WVU in January.
The recruiting process is all wrapped up for Scott, who says it’s finally hit him that his high school days are over. Though, he will miss the family he had in Sciotoville.
“There’s so many people that have helped me and supported me along the way, the staff up there and the students,” Scott said. “I’ll tell you what I’ll miss most of all is walking in the building and seeing the big smile on everyone’s faces and knowing everybody is so tight up there. Everybody knows each other’s stories and knows what everybody has been through.”
For Scott, his story might just be beginning, but the writing began on the page a long time ago through all the hard work and dedication it took to become a division one prospect.
“I would say I average two to four, sometimes five, workouts a day depending on how school goes,” Scott said. “Normally I get at least an hour or an hour and a half of lifting in, and then I normally get a good 30 minutes to an hour of cardio in, and then 30 minutes to an hour of footwork, speed, and agility [training] in, and a lot of times about 30 to 45 minutes of skill work.”
That routine isn’t anything new, he’s been sticking by his workouts since middle school.
“It’s been a thing since about eighth grade,” Scott said. “It was geared more towards basketball back then, I would shoot a bunch and do all the workouts.”
As Scott’s passion for football grew, he began spending more time to prepare himself for the future on the football field.
“Since football became my passion and what I want to do later on, it’s been just about an everyday grind,” Scott said. “On holidays, running on Christmas Day, New Years, birthdays.”
“Finding a pool somewhere to get laps in last year when I was injured in my junior year. So, I mean, it’s been about an everyday process and there’s not too many days off.”
The “no days off” approach is something that Scott enjoys, but doesn’t broadcast to his peers.
“A lot of guys say it, and a lot of guys love posting on their Snapchat and Instagram about how good of a workout they got in,” Scott said. “I’ve really never been that type, I go in and do my stuff and hopefully a lot of people can take note on the field Friday night and coming up soon Saturday nights.”
Scott is hoping people will take note of him and his fellow signees as well as the current West Virginia team, as the Mountaineers have a lot of talent on the table.
“My recruiting class I’m coming in with is the highest rated recruiting class West Virginia has ever had, we’re ranked top 15 in the country,” Scott said. “Our mindset as a recruiting class is if you’re not coming to win a national championship, please don’t come.”
Of course, Scott and West Virginia will be playing some top-notch competition as part of the Big XII Conference.
“We open up with Tennessee in Charlotte, we play at Oklahoma State, at Iowa State, at Texas,” Scott said. “Then we’ve got Oklahoma and TCU at home, and those are all really big games against good competition.”
Even better for Scott is the opportunity to compete for a starting job right away with the program.
“At the offensive line, there’s a lot of depth issues up there right now,” Scott said. “They lose both their starting guards and only have two guards on campus. So, when I get up there there’s only going to be three guards on campus getting reps in the spring.”
As an early enrollee, Scott will have an additional advantage in terms of learning the system and getting reps.
His former head coach at East James Gifford feels that this will be a great opportunity for Scott to perhaps earn a starting spot.
“It’s going to be huge,” Gifford said. “Number one, it’s going to give him an upper edge on the other freshman who aren’t getting there until July or August. I think Blaine is even going to be surprised with himself with how good he is.”
“For me being around football for a lot of years and playing at the college level, he is that good. He’s even better I think than what he realizes that he is. So, him getting there early, he’s going to adjust pretty quick and I think we’re going to see good things from him early.”
Unlike some kids, Scott will be going to play school as well as playing football. He is just as smart as he is talented on the gridiron, and hopes to major in chemical engineering.
“Blaine is a better student than he is a football player,” Gifford said. “He takes his academics very serious, so he will really excel in the classroom.”
During the recruiting process, Scott looked at more than just results on the field. He also worked to find the perfect fit for himself academically.
“Through his selective process of going to a school, it wasn’t all about the team and the facilities … for what his needs are academically going in to engineering, he felt like West Virginia was the best fit for the whole package academically and athletically,” Gifford said.
Despite Scott’s smarts, his former coach says he can’t beat him on “Trivia Crack,” or any cellphone games for that matter.
“I can beat him at Trivia Crack on the iPhone, me and him have a little battle going on on Trivia Crack,” Gifford said. “I beat him at all cell phone games.”
Scott denied those rumors, saying Gifford has never beaten him.
“Coach Gifford has never beat me at anything on the phone,” Scott said. “I am the greatest of all-time when it comes to that.”
“He’s a little bit full of it sometimes. I think he’s getting a little older and he can’t read the phone right, and I don’t think he can see that I’m up 6-0 in Trivia Crack.”
The Daily Times was unable to confirm who the actual winner was.
Still, that story is the perfect example of Scott’s competitive spirit that he will bring with him to Morgantown.
In his high school career, Scott had a lot of motivation to fuel him in his football success.
“I always wanted to make sure when I was grinding and working out to get to the next level was to help my parents out and support them, because they helped me out along the way,” Scott said. “As far as competition wise and as a competitor, I always wanted to be better than Coach Gifford.”
Scott also was able to catch a glimpse of what it was liked to be recruited as a division one prospect in his freshman year of high school, as his teammate committed to a big-name school.
“There was another guy who went on to play at Ohio State, Tyler Gerald, who was there my freshman year,” Scott said. “You would get to see Urban Meyer walk in, or Virginia Tech’s [coach].”
“It was always a motivator to see those guys walk in and hoping they were coming to see me next.”
Watching as a freshman, Scott hoped that would be him in the recruiting spotlight down the road.
Three years later, that became a reality when Scott signed with West Virginia.
Gifford is confident that Scott will leave his imprint on the university and the football program in his time with the Mountaineers.
“I told Coach [Dana] Holgorsen by the time Blaine graduates, he’ll be one of his all-time favorite players,” Gifford said. “I mean that not only as a player, but as a person.”
“He’s going to make the school better, he’s going to make the locker room better, he’s going to make the team better, and he’s going to make the community better. He’s that much of a rounded person.”
While he hasn’t played a snap in college just yet, one thing is for sure: the story of Blaine Scott is just getting started.
Reach Benjamin Spicer at (502)264-7318 on Twitter @BSpicerPDT or at Facebook.com/ReporterBenSpicer