Meet the Early Enrollees: Josiah Scott
In high school, Josiah Scott watched the "No Fly Zone" -- Michigan State's famed secondary that led the nation in pass efficiency defense in 2013 en route to winning the Big Ten Championship and Rose Bowl -- and wanted to be a part of it.
Now, he will look to add his name to the legacy of defensive backs under head coach Mark Dantonio.
Scott, a native of Hamilton, Ohio, also wanted a jump start on the process. So he enrolled early for the 2017 spring semester at Michigan State and will participate with the team in drills at spring practice.
He met with the media last week on National Signing Day to talk about how winter conditioning has gone thus far, and why he decided to attend MSU.
"It's been real fun just to get out there and run with the guys," the 5-10, 175-pound cornerback said. "Just getting in the playbook early and getting myself established on campus and get to know my classes, to get a head start before anybody else. It's been real cool just being out here knowing that I'm finally a college student, finally playing Division I football."
A three-time All-Greater Miami Conference First Team selection at Fairfield High School, Scott recorded 48 tackles, 10 pass break-ups, five interceptions, four tackles for loss, two fumble recoveries and one forced fumble as a senior.
He's also the fourth member of his family to play college football -- but the first at a Big Ten school. Older brothers Isaiah and Joshua helped Mount Union win a Division III National Championship in 2012, and his brother Elijah is currently a sophomore at Mount Union who helped the Purple Raiders to the 2016 Division III semifinals.
"Josiah possesses outstanding toughness; he will not back down," said Dantonio. "He's all about business and getting the job done. He has excellent ball skills, good change of direction, and can return kicks. He has displayed an outstanding work ethic thus far in winter workouts."
Below are additional quotes from Josiah Scott at National Signing Day:
On how the adjustment to college life has been...
The players really took me under their wing and introduced me to people around campus. The first week was kind of tough, just learning my way around things with classes and workouts, balancing my new everyday life. Now that I have been here, it is getting easier.
On what his workout regimen has been like...
It really has been a big difference from high school workouts, but not anything I can't handle. I feel like the first day of conditioning, when we were running and we kept running. In high school, you might sometimes see players behind in the workouts. In college, you keep going. That is what I have to do, because the mentality is that they aren't going to stop for anybody.
On what it means to him to have his skill set compared to former All-American Darqueze Dennard...<
It is crazy. I was just watching him on TV the other day, just knowing he is in the league and was a two-star player coming out of high school. Then he came to Michigan State and now he is a big-name player. He plays tough, he plays physical, and I feel like I have those traits just like him. Having that comparison to him is great.
On how much player development of former MSU players played into his decision to come to Michigan State...
It was huge. This is the dream school for a DB. Coach (Harlon) Barnett is a heck of a coach and I wouldn't want anybody else to coach me. He's been real with me throughout the whole process.
On what lured him to Michigan State...
The No Fly Zone. That and the family atmosphere is the biggest thing. Coach D takes care of his players. Same with Coach Barnett. I look up to them a lot. He's been in the league, he's produced DBs, so why not come here?
On how special this moment is for him and if he was able to sleep last night...
I was able to sleep, but it was kind of rough. I didn't go to bed that early like I usually do because I was just thinking about this moment and that it was finally here. I have been dreaming about this my whole life, so today was huge for me and I am ready to go.
On the conversation between him and the players...
Just to come in and get after it. We can't have a bad season. We have to come in and be ready to work.
On if he had ever watched MSU play growing up and if that's what made him want to come here...
That is exactly what it was. We sat there and watched all of the time. We were aware of Coach Barnett and the No Fly Zone, so we would sit there and say, `Man, I want to play there one day.' It is a surreal moment to think about.