Scott's journey took him to the NFL

Scott’s journey took him to the NFL

Small-town beginnings led to huge successes for Freddie Scott.

These early origins are additionally what helped earn him a spot amongst a few of the greatest athletes to ever contribute to the state’s sports activities business, and that claims quite a bit for a man who might not have regarded the half when his penchant for athletics started as a boy in Pine Bluff.

“I used to be a thin child who solely made groups as a result of my buddies have been enjoying,” stated Scott, who will probably be inducted into the Arkansas Sports activities Corridor of Fame Friday. “No matter sport it was, that is what I used to be enjoying. I bear in mind basketball, for instance, once I was in eighth grade, I might principally throw the ball on the objective as a substitute of simply throwing it. However I would not make the group in favor of a different man as a result of he was taller. He might not have been gifted like me however he was taller and that harm me.

“It harm me a lot that inside a 12 months, I rotated and was the start line guard. Once I graduated, I used to be all around the metropolis and all around the county in basketball.”

On Friday, he will probably be acknowledged as Arkansas’ all-time nice on the Statehouse Conference Middle in Little Rock when he and 7 different sports activities figures are welcomed to an esteemed group on the 2023 induction banquet.

However for Scott, who was a multisport phenomenon in highschool and went on to expertise nice success as a large receiver at Amherst (Mass.) School and within the NFL with the Baltimore Colts and the Detroit Lions, sports activities wasn’t the one factor which piqued his curiosity in these days.

The 70-year-old famous that he had lengthy had a fascination with the medical subject and aspired to be a health care provider. Moreover, Scott excelled academically in highschool and this gave him the instruments he wanted to excel exterior of sports activities. However he additionally had what it takes on the subject of athletics, and that did not go unnoticed.

Scott was born in Grady, a small city in Lincoln County that’s about 20 minutes from Dumas alongside US 65, however he and his household ultimately moved to Pine Bluff when he was 4 years previous.

“Once I consider Grady, I consider household,” she defined. “There have been filth roads and cotton fields, and we all the time performed collectively. It was enjoyable instances as a result of it was about household. Even lengthy after we moved, I saved going forwards and backwards to Grady and Pine Bluff through the years as a result of it is nonetheless like an extension of household and life for me.”

Life for Scott continued to blossom in Pine Bluff, significantly as a pupil at Southeast Excessive Faculty, the place he was part of the category of 1970, the final group to graduate earlier than the establishment consolidated with Pine Bluff Excessive Faculty. He was additionally effectively revered by his classmates and held numerous positions corresponding to pupil council and senior class president and was in quite a few organizations, together with the Nationwide Honor Society.

Nonetheless, when it got here time for Scott to carry out athletically, there weren’t many who shone brighter, particularly after he began enjoying soccer.

“Again then the most effective gamers got to probably the most proficient gamers,” he stated. “Thoughts you, I used to be nonetheless a thin child, so I ended up with shoulder pads hanging off my shoulders, a helmet that was too huge for my head, pants that got here all the way down to my ankles. If anybody noticed me, they have been most likely pondering, ‘Properly, that is solely within the group.’ However I bear in mind an expertise I had when, within the eighth grade, I stood in line and was informed to run 5 yards.

“I went for a run exterior, however was by no means informed tips on how to alter my physique so I did not slip on the reduce. So I ran full pace forward and slid down simply because the ball was bowled, however all I might do was increase a hand to catch it.This caught the eye of the coaches.

Scott admitted he did not play a lot till his senior season when he grew to become group captain. The truth is, his senior 12 months of highschool might have been his greatest as a result of not solely did he flourish in soccer and basketball, however he was additionally a stellar heart fielder and was a standout in monitor and subject.

Life for him, nevertheless, would leap even greater when he was accepted into Amherst School, greater than 1,400 miles from residence. That, in itself, made his journey that rather more intriguing.

“I thank God for being trustworthy, as a result of he used a conduit named Marion Humphrey to drive me to Amherst,” Scott defined. “He is a retired decide now, however he was once affiliated with a present known as A Higher Likelihood. I went to a summer time program sponsored by [A Better Chance], and Decide Humphrey was the one who chosen me and two others to go to colleges in Massachusetts, which have been Williams School, Dartmouth School, and Amherst. I used to be assigned to Amherst and had by no means even heard of Amherst.

“I attended that program the summer time earlier than my senior 12 months of highschool. Then I went again to high school, graduated No. 1 in my class and utilized to Amherst after I graduated and bought in. So it hadn’t been for l Honorable Decide Marion Humphrey and her affiliation with the [A Better Chance] program, who is aware of what faculty I might have attended. However I do know one factor: I would not have performed school soccer.”

Soccer was not on the forefront of Scott’s to-do listing in school as a result of he was a lot extra centered on his lecturers. In line with him, he wasn’t curious about enjoying and needed to be satisfied throughout his freshman 12 months to even come out for the group.

“I met a man named Terry Medley, who was an all-region linebacker, throughout that summer time program, and once I got here again to Amherst my freshman 12 months, he was there too,” Scott stated. “We have been fairly shut, and he had stated he would not play soccer both as a result of I did not need to play. However the [athletic director] at that second he approached me to get out, not for me however to get Terry out. If it hadn’t occurred, I would not have even performed soccer there.”

Because it did to the southeast, Scott thrived. He completed his Amherst profession with 143 catches for two,336 receiving yards and 27 touchdowns, all New England data. As a senior, he was additionally chosen to the Affiliate Press Little All-American group.

He would later flip all that success right into a strong NFL profession. Scott was 6-2 and weighed 180 kilos when he was drafted within the seventh spherical by the Baltimore Colts in 1974 and performed with the group till 1977 when he was traded to Detroit. He spent six seasons with the Lions, together with three seasons (1979-81) the place he was the group’s main receiver with 168 receptions for 14 touchdowns.

Even whereas Scott was enjoying with the Colts, he went to medical faculty and after his soccer profession ended, he went into different avenues, corresponding to educating, know-how gross sales, and enterprise improvement consulting.

As we speak he’s nonetheless concerned in lots of issues. Scott can be an ordained minister and only recently visited Wynne, which was hit arduous by a twister on March 31, to supply help as a part of the Arkansas Household and Group Engagement Unit.

Even so, Scott’s appreciation for all he is achieved nonetheless stems from his time as a child in Grady and Pine Bluff. In his eyes, it helped remodel him into not solely an excellent athlete, but additionally a revered man.

“I realized a scripture that talks concerning the time of seed and harvest in Genesis 8:22,” Scott stated. “He taught me that the phrases you say matter, and that what’s planted will come up at some point… However I respect every thing a lot, and this [Arkansas Hall of Fame] honor, it is just a little surreal.

“However via all of it, I can actually say I have been blessed.”

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