Looking back at Rutgers’ 2017 season, one of the most integral parts of their game was the Scarlet Knights’ running game. With just under 1,800 rushing yards this season, Rutgers’ rushing attack was ranked one of the top in the nation. Led by graduate transfer Gus Edwards, along with senior Robert Martin and freshman Raheem Blackshear, Rutgers had one of its better seasons in the Big Ten, having defeated three conference rivals in Purdue, Maryland, and Illinois.
It is a bittersweet feeling seeing this running game succeed this season as the Scarlet Knights are set to lose Edwards and Martin to graduation, with both backs combining for 1,155 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns on 258 combined carries.
If Rutgers wants to maintain consistency in the backfield, they will need to find a back that can not only have just as much of an impact as either Edwards or Martin but can play harder than both backs combined.
Enter Stevie Scott III.
According to his 247 Sports profile, the 6’1, 240-pound back out of Syracuse, New York is a punishing, quick power back, who “gets through the line of scrimmage quickly…”. On his Hudl.com game tape, Scott is a tough player to take down.
As mentioned before, Scott is a punishing power back, meaning instead of trying to spin or juke his way out of a tackle, Scott will lower his shoulders and hit you hard, like a charging rhino. One play, in particular, Scott was almost tackled in the backfield for a loss, but he instead ground his way out of the defenders’ arms, stiff-armed another tackler in the backfield, and weaved his way through a crowded scrum for a large chunk of yardage.
The typical power back is seen as bulky and slow, since they rely more on their strength and momentum to get yardage. Scott, on the other hand, is strong enough to break tackles and fast enough to outrun defenders right after. Scott’s ability to pick up speed quickly not only makes him a danger in the running game but a major threat in the passing game. He’s capable of taking a screen pass for major yardage or break the defense’s coverage for a long gain off of a post, fade, or streak route. That kind of motor and determination is exactly what Rutgers will be needing come next year. Scott provides a perfect complement to Blackshear’s speed back tendencies.
Taking a break from Scott’s physical attributes, his intangibles are indicative of athlete that puts just as much importance to his education as he does to football.
In an interview with NJ.com, Scott said he chose Rutgers because, “…it was close to home and I felt comfortable playing for the coaches and living in the area,” Scott told NJ.com. “I feel I can be a game changer for the school and get a good education.”
Scott announced his commitment to Rutgers back in early August, which didn’t surprise many as he told nj.com that Rutgers was always on top of his list. He said that the main reason he announced his commitment early was to that he can turn his focus on his final season and his senior year, hoping to accomplish enough to achieve early enrollee status.
Scott’s head coach, Christian Brothers Academy’s Casey Brown, told nj.com that Scott is not just a model student-athlete, but a model citizen as well.
“Great kid, very loose, very personable, great smile,” Brown told NJ.com. “He really has enjoyed being a leader. He’s just a really personable kid. He’s very coachable. CBA is a high academic school and he’s had to learn how to readjust his study skills to be successful at CBA…. Bubbly and he’s an inspiration to our younger kids.”
Scott is a bright and welcoming addition to Rutgers’ 2018 recruitment class. He comes in with leadership qualities that you would not normally see from a student-athlete unless it was a junior or senior. He is dominant and bold on the field, while studious and respectful off of it.
Cannot ask for more from an incoming freshman.
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