Leroy Scott: 2011 Texas Recruiting Spotlight

Vitals

Name: Leroy Scott

Position: Cornerback

Height: 5-10

Weight: 190

Speed: 4.4 40-yard dash

High School: South Houston

Rating (Rivals): Three out of five (5.7)

Overview/Recruitment

Appearing on the recruiting radar in the spring after his sophomore season, Scott was one of the first identified targets for the Longhorns and his love of the program was apparent from the start:

The school I'm favoring right now is UT. I favor UT a lot because just to be a Longhorn, with just the history of UT I want to be maybe another Aaron Ross or something like that maybe, maybe better. I just want to come in as a true freshman and set the whole scene on fire.

In fact, Scott started as a freshman and was one of the few players to attend a Texas Junior Day as a sophomore in 2009, making it to the spring game as well. Add to that the summer camp and an unofficial visit in the fall and Scott had spent plenty of time on the Texas campus and with the Texas coaches and players so the Junior day was hardly unfamiliar territory. Oh yeah, and in October, Scott told IT that "Texas has my heart ($)."

Such a comfortable environment and reciprocated feelings easily and inevitably led to a commitment from Scott at JD1 and ended his recruiting process basically before it even really began.

Quotes:

Scott's coach, CL Whittington, on his commitment ($):

He's from Texas, then watching Texas and what that program has done around the nation and in the Big 12, all those things just attracted the young man to wanting to play at the next level. He looked at those factors, what they were doing, and above all, the educational value of going to the University of Texas.

Offers

  • Texas (committed 2/13/2010)
  • Baylor
  • Houston
  • LSU
  • TCU
  • Tulsa

Scouting Report

From his high school coach:

Leroy can play off, he can play bump and run, he's solid on the run force and he does a whole lot of things from the outside. Leroy had some big hits this year. Big hits and cornerbacks are a rarity these days. I feel like he's a complete corner. All of the intangibles are there. He's still constantly working on technique. He has the raw ability. He's doing much better with his bump and run press coverage and that is what he likes to do. The different things technique-wise are what he needs to work on. The athletic ability is there, the body is there and the speed is there.

From Scout.com ($):

Leroy Scott has been a man-child ever since he first set foot on a high school football field. He has great coverage abilities and has the strength and power to jam his man up on the line and the speed to recover if he is not able to slow him up on the jam. He takes very good angles when making a tackle and is not afraid to get inside the box and light up a ball carrier. Scott does an outstanding job at sticking with the receiver and making plays on the ball. Corners who can cover and play the run like Scott are a rarity.

From ESPN ($):

Expect recruiting to heat up for this guy during the spring evaluation period; Scott is a smooth, multi-faceted athlete with a high football IQ. Lean but long with good height to match up with taller wide receivers. Has good foot-quickness, loose hips and flexibility. Body control and balance is very good as well; overall, he flashes BCS-level movement skills. With his height and great transitional skills he will likely get recruited at corner. Versatile; shows great ability and an understanding of both zone and man skills. Flips his hips quickly and transitions out of his pedal smoothly. Quick and sharp out of his breaks and is difficult to create separation on. Flashes good stop-start quickness and footwork to mirror and stem. Has the speed to run stride for stride and maintain proper inside positioning with faster receivers at the high school level. He is the type of corner you can lock down on an island; he forces quarterbacks to make perfect throws to beat him. Great leaping and ball skills, really times his jump well to break up a lot of balls in deep coverage. Plays with good field awareness in zone schemes. Soundly anticipates the pass and times his break. Closes the cushion fast often undercutting routes. Drives hard showing good burst and strength driving through on contact.. However, his ability to press, play bump-and-run and set the edge on run support are question marks when projecting for the major college level. Appears quicker than fast and lacks an explosive extra gear that could be exploited at the next level. Overall, Scott still appears to have a lot of upside and room for physical development to help in some weaker areas. He is a naturally gifted athlete who could get looks on either side of the ball and be a factor as a return in the kicking game.

From Jeff Howe ($):

Scott is a textbook bump-and-run, in-your-face cover corner. When in true press situations (as he was against Sam Rayburn) he did a great job of getting in his man’s chest at the line of scrimmage and bringing the fight to the receiver.

Body wise he is built similarly to Adrian White and Scott has outstanding hips and recovery speed. He has an excellent backpedal and does a tremendous job of being able to flip his hips to get into a receivers’ hip pocket.

His speed dynamic and hips also show on offense. With the offense bogging down against Sam Rayburn the South Houston offensive staff put him in at running back. On his second carry of the game he made saw the cutback lane and made a great cut to hit the seam and used his speed to pull away from the defense on a 42-yard touchdown run.

Scott also does a great job at tracking the ball and is one of the best defensive backs I have seen in the past two classes at being able to go get the ball at his high point. His closing speed is tremendous and he isn’t afraid to make a play on the ball in traffic.

There is no doubt that Scott is the top tackling defensive back in the class. He shows good tackling form in getting his head across the bow and wrapping up on a consistent basis. Without trying he can make big hits because he is fundamentally sound and does a good job of being able to drive off his back foot and get into a ball carrier.

Leroy Scott Highlights (via 247SportsStudio)

Strengths

  • Press coverage/physicality -- There's nothing that Scott likes better than to get up in the face of a receiver and jam at the line of scrimmage.
  • Recovery speed -- Even the best press cornerbacks get beat off the line sometimes by good receivers, so the complementary attribute has to be recovery speed and Scott has it, though not quite at an elite level like Sheroid Evans.
  • Strength -- Continuing the theme here, it takes upper body strength to handle larger receivers and Scott has always been mature beyond his years in this area. One of the reasons he started for four years at South Houston.
  • Hips/transition ability -- Part of what endeared Scott to college scouts so early was his ability to sink his hips in his backpedal, then transition out of it without sacrificing speed. His hips are fluid, he can break on the football, and he has strong balance.

Weaknesses

  • Ball skills -- 2010 commit Adrian White was considered to have poor ball skills when he came out of DeSoto last year, but his problem was more about turning and finding the football. Scott seems to do that well, the consistent problem for him over the years has been his ability to finish plays with interceptions. Defensive backs are often known for having poor hands and Scott fits that stereotype -- he can go up and target the football, he just has trouble securing the picks.

Target Weight -- 190-195 pounds. Scott is as class to his target weight as any commit in the class and that means that he's ready to contribute physically on the college level at any of the three cornerback positions.

Verdict

Much like DeSoto's Adrian White last year, who was tabbed as the state's top corner early in the process before dropping down to a three-star ranking despite a strong performance in the Under Armour All-American game, Scott burst onto the scene early and then had his recruiting ranking drop by the final evaluations. The question is whether he dropped because of what you might call exposure fatigue -- the fact that he had been on the radar for so long and there was so much time for his weaknesses to get picked apart everyone soured on him a little bit, or whether he simply matured early before hitting a plateau in his development.

Like White, Scott has questionable ball skills at times, but has all of the physical talent necessary to succeed in college as a lock-down corner. The thought here is that the services downgraded him significantly both because of exposure fatigue and because of his lack of ability to finish plays limits his upside.

On the positive side, Scott's a strong tackler, so he won't have to go through the same learning process as guys like Curtis Brown before he will play physically in run support -- Scott is already a strong tackler and that's an excellent sign for him as he enters the program.

With both Browns and Aaron Williams leaving the program, Texas is going to have a lot of new faces at cornerback in 2011 and there's a good chance that one of the freshmen will have a chance to earn some playing time in the competition with guys like Carrington Byndom, Bryant Jackson, Eryon Barnett, Kenny Vaccaro (nickel), and White. Quandre Diggs has the jumpstart on the rest of the 2011 class because he's already on campus and Scott figures to be in the mix with Josh Turner as the other two most likely to contribute as freshman, even if it's only on special teams.

Impact ETA: 2014. The odds are generally against cornerbacks playing significantly as freshmen -- aside from freaks like Aaron Williams -- particularly at top programs, so Scott probably won't really get his chance until 2012 at the earliest. The issue that he's going to face is that he won't get on the field unless he passes some players in the classes in front of him (like Bryant Jackson and/or Eryon Barnett) and can beat out the guys in his own class. Tough task. Most likely Scott will redshirt in 2011 and could conceivably have to wait until 2014 when White and Byndom graduate to see major playing time.

Read past Texas recruiting spotlights.

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