Great Scott: Former FHS standout overcomes, finds groove again

Published 12:02 am Sunday, December 14, 2014

Devante Scott leaps into the end zone for a touchdown during his senior season with the Southeastern Lions. Inset below, Scott returns a punt for Southeastern. (photo courtesy of Southeastern athletics)

Devante Scott leaps into the end zone for a touchdown during his senior season with the Southeastern Lions. (photo courtesy of Southeastern athletics)

FERRIDAY — Devante Scott wasn’t himself.

The boy who electrified Ferriday High School fans in 2010 grew into a man that suffered from a torn ACL and would later wear gold and black knee braces his junior season with the Southeastern Louisiana Lions in 2013. Scott was bound for Mississippi State after his stint at Copiah Lincoln Community College in 2012, but his injury caused Mississippi State to withdraw its offer, leaving Scott unsure about his future.

Scott prayed. He found a new path, but it wasn’t a perfect one. Southeastern accepted him with open arms in 2013, but he was far from the LHSAA District 2-2A offensive MVP. Coming off the bench, Scott produced 157 total yards and one touchdown, a long ways off from his 1,831 total yards and 28 touchdowns in 2010 with Ferriday.

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“I wanted to get back to being me,” Scott said. “So I worked hard in the offseason (in 2014). I said (to myself), ‘I can ball, and I’m still what I was in high school. I’m going to make a name for myself.’”

Southeastern head coach Ron Roberts observed Scott’s transformation in the spring. Going into his senior season, Scott’s leg grew stronger, and suddenly, Southeastern’s practice field started looking like Melz Field on a Friday night four years prior.

“We knew,” Roberts said. “We could see it coming. We should have redshirted him his junior year, because he wasn’t able to run full speed. But in the spring, he showed he was going to be a dynamic player.”

Then, the season came. Scott surpassed his previous season’s total for receiving yards in just three games. He electrified on returns, showed his bursts on long receptions and produced at least 74 receiving yards in four of his first five games. After three 100-plus receiving yard performances later in the year, including 196 yards against Nicholls State, Scott had amassed 1,064 yards and six receiving touchdowns on the season.

“He was such a huge part of the offense,” Roberts said. “He had nationally ranked numbers offensively, and he became the go-to guy in our receiving corps.”

Looking back on his college career, having an MSU offer dropped and unsuspectingly ending up at Southeastern, in a way Scott was thankful for the adversity he faced.

“It’s awesome when you think about it,” Scott said. “I was down and out, and I didn’t even know if I wanted to still play football. God gave me a different route, so here I am. I’m thankful for every time I got to step on that field and play.”

The path Scott was forced on created a newfound respect for the former Trojan, and on Saturday, Scott’s college path ended with him receiving his diploma as he graduated with a degree in general studies. The road back into the spotlight tested Scott’s character, made him work harder than he ever has in his life, but it also made him the man he is today. For Scott, that’s made his climb back on top worth the journey.