On the day the Citadel football team started its spring practice, the team's 2014 recruiting class grew. South Aiken's Jordan Scott signed his letter of intent to join the program on Tuesday afternoon. The defensive back chose the Bulldogs over Wofford, Georgia Southern, Mercer and Charleston Southern.
For Scott, the decision was made easier by the fact he already has some friends on The Citadel roster. Scott's best friend and former teammate DeAndre Schoultz signed to The Citadel last year and has spoken to him about life as a Bulldog. Scott said he's ready to start working immediately in order to make a big impact when he heads to Charleston.
“I'm going to go ahead and start working tomorrow,” Scott said. “I'm already ready to get working with coach G (William Griswould); he's the track coach and the strength coach here. He's an amazing coach, and I know he'll have me ready for The Citadel.”
Another big part of Scott's decision was the attitude of first-year head coach Mike Houston. The coach comes to The Citadel after leading Lenoir-Rhyne to the Division II national championship game.
Houston has made it clear that he plans bring the same level of play and compete for championships at The Citadel, a possibility that has Scott excited.
“Coach Houston is fired up, and he's ready to win,” Scott said. “I'm just ready to go down there and be a part of the great program that's about to be set this year.”
South Aiken head coach Jeremy West also feels Scott will be a good fit for the program.
“It's nice for us to finally get kids down there. It took a while to get kids to be able to have a chance to go play at The Citadel, and now we've got three from this school alone, and there's a bunch from the CSRA down there,” said West, who graduated from The Citadel himself. “I think everybody we've sent down there is going to do a good job and Jordan is no exception.”
One of the main attributes Scott will bring to the Bulldogs is his versatility. Scott, at 5-foot-11 and 180 pounds, was a vital part of the Thoroughbreds' defense over his years with the team. He lined up at various positions on the field, including some time on the offensive side of the ball. He finished the 2013 season with 74 tackles and forced some fumbles with his hard hitting.
“He's a flexible player. He can play corner. He can play safety,” West said. “He'll be physical coming downhill hitting someone. ... Watching games last year, when I went down there (The Citadel), I thought they were missing that in the secondary. He can help bring some physicalness to their secondary.”
West said he will miss Scott and the defensive back's work ethic. Scott mentioned that though West is an alumnus, the coach didn't try to sway him toward the military academy. Scott said West, despite his love for the Bulldogs, told him to focus on academics first.
“Actually Colgate came down, and it's a very high academic school. (West) was like, ‘Jordan, I'm going to tell you this, you know I'm a big Citadel fan, but I want you to get the best education you can while playing the sport.' That's how I was brought up in my household,” Scott said. “That's what I'm going to do.”
As far as cadet life goes, Scott seems to be embracing the challenge.
“I'm ready to be a knob. I mean I've heard all kinds of stories,” Scott said with a smile. “Schoultz talks to me a lot, also Paul Brown too. They're just great guys and very hard working. They say knob life isn't that hard. I'm just hoping ... I know I'll make it actually; there is no ‘I hope.'”
Eric Russell is a USC Aiken graduate with a degree in communications.
Staff Photo by Eric Russell Jordan Scott, front row second from right, signed to play football at The Citadel. Looking on are, front row from left, his sister Aysha, his mother Nell and his father Randy. On thesecond row, from left, are South Aiken Principal Brian Skipper and athletic director Bob Polewski.×