April 24, 2013
by Adam Gonzales
Matt Scott had one of the most tumultuous college careers in Arizona football history. He came out of high school rated as a four-star recruit by Rivals.com, with a lot of hype as a freshman playing behind Willie Tuitama. He played in six games his first year. Scott's final numbers were 7-for-11, 84 yards and a touchdown, and 23 rushes for 188 yards and two touchdowns. As the projected starter his sophomore year, his experience as a true freshman was nothing short of valuable.
Scott came into fall camp with now Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles. Scott, a native of Corona, Calif. ended up winning the starting job after camp ended. He started the first three games of the season but that was it. The year did not go as planned, and he would be the first to tell you.
"My fundamentals were horrible," said Scott.
After the Wildcats lost to Iowa, 27-17, Foles took over the starting job, and he wouldn't relinquish it until he graduated. Scott would see some action over the next two years but only in emergency situations. He started two games his junior year after Foles suffered a knee injury in the Washington State game. Scott would start against UCLA and Washington, both resulting in victories.
In 2011, Scott redshirted so he could be the starter as a fifth-year senior. That ended up being one of the best decisions made in Arizona football history.
Scott produced one of the finest seasons an Arizona quarterback has ever had. His final stats included 3,620 yards and 27 touchdowns. He also added 506 yards on 113 carries and six touchdowns. He couldn't have been the starter at a more important time, the first year of the Rich Rodriguez era, and Scott fit perfectly into his system. The Wildcats finished the year at 8-5 with one of the most unbelievable comeback wins over Nevada in the Gildan New Mexico Bowl, where Scott led the offense down the field twice in the final two minutes.
Normally, when the season ends, players take some time off to heal after the long season but not Scott.
"As soon as the season ended, I took about a week off and then I went to the East-West Shrine Game," said Scott. "After that I got ready for the NFL Combine and pro day."
Scott is one of the few Arizona quarterbacks to participate in the NFL Combine, and he took complete advantage of it.
"It was a great experience," said Scott. "To have that many great players in one place, and to be able to work out with them was awesome."
After the combine ended, Scott started to prepare for his pro day. Many NFL coaches came to Kindall Field/Sancet Stadium to watch Scott work out with many other former players.
"It was nice to be able to come back to school and see the old faces that I used to see every day," said Scott. "I think the combine might have been a bigger deal because I was honored to be one of the few players that was invited."
Scott has nothing but thanks for how much the staff at Arizona helped him to prepare for the NFL Draft.
"They helped me out a lot," said Scott. "They told me what teams would want me to do in the offseason and they put my name out there. I give nothing but thanks to the staff and the university."
Even though there are many people and coaches who helped him through his career at Arizona, there was one that really stood out to him, former UA quarterbacks coach Frank Scelfo.
"Coach Scelfo really elevated my game," said Scott. "He really helped me with my fundamentals when I got here which was huge for me."
If you turn on the TV and tune in to ESPN this time of the year, within 10 minutes you will see experts like Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay talk about players that are going to be drafted.
"I don't listen to any of it," said Scott. "At this point, I could end up anywhere. Watching that stuff won't help me at all."
Since the quarterback position in the NFL is rapidly changing with the emersion of players like Colin Kaepernick and Robert Griffin III, Scott can have a big impact for the teams that are interested in him.
"I've taken trips to the Eagles, the Bills, the Browns, the Broncos, and the Seahawks came to my high school to watch me work out," said Scott. "I don't have an ideal place to go. All I want is someone to give me a chance. I think I can make a big impact because the offenses are changing because of the new quarterbacks, and I think I can come in and make just as big of an impact."
Scott will not be attending the NFL Draft like most players, but he will be at his home in Corona, Calif.
"I'll watch it at home with my family in Corona," said Scott. "I won't be around the TV though, I'll just be waiting for a call. Maybe I'll go shoot hoops at the park."
Like any player that is getting ready for the draft, Scott is a little nervous but is having the time of his life.
"I'm a little stressed because I don't know where I'm going," said Scott. "It could be on the east or west coast and it's just a long process. It's tiring but I really can't complain. There isn't a better situation I could be in right now."