(WHTM) — Rams Safety Nick Scott would do whatever it took to get on the field. Dating back to his high school career, Scott’s versatility made him an asset at almost every position.
Playing at both Brookline (Mass.) High School and Fairfax HS, Scott saw time at running back, quarterback, wide receiver, linebacker, safety and even returned kicks. Whatever it took to be on the field was what Scott was going to do.
“That’s pretty much who I am,” Scott said. “I love the game of football. I just love the opportunity to be on the field.”
Born and raised in Lancaster until he was 11 years-old, Scott spent his afternoons playing football with his older brothers, Irvin and Leon.
“They’re two of my biggest supporters,” Scott said. “I fell in love with the game because of them. Growing up I think they made me tougher, stronger just a better football player.”
That versatility and strength proved vital in his Penn State career. His time in Happy Valley came with a choice: give up playing running back and switch to defense in the secondary.
“I was playing so much special teams and making tackles and making plays,” Scott said. “The coaches would kind of joke around about me moving to safety. I wasn’t really open to the idea, until after my redshirt freshman year. I actually went to them on my own and I said that this was a move I was willing to make. I think I could help the team in a better way if I’m on the defensive side of the ball.”
By the time he would graduate, Scott was a two-time captain and won the team’s Captain Award and the Bob Mitinger Memorial Award as an “ultimate teammate who exhibits courage, character and social responsibility.”
“I kind of reflect back to that time and see where I’m at now,” Scott said of the decision to switch positions. “At this point, there’s nothing I can’t overcome. Over the course of my career so many people would say I have no business being where I’m at right now, so I just feel like whatever I face at this point isn’t too big.”
It was the competition in the Penn State defense that pushed Scott to a new level. In the room with him was Steelers DB Troy Apke and Lions DB Amani Oruwariye. Under James Franklin and then-defensive coordinator Brent Pry, the Penn State defense has sent 25 defensive players to the NFL.
“It was definitely interesting being in that room and being with guys that you were so close with, training and competing for the same spot,” Scott said. “It’s just the nature of the game and I learned a lot about competing and what type of competitor I am. which has obviously all led to this point.”
“I take a lot of pride in it,” Scott said. “When Coach Franklin took over that era, he really changed the program. We’ve always had a lot of guys going to the NFL and big names, guys that really showed out. But we’re starting to have six or seven guys in a single class go which is really impressive.”
He was drafted in the seventh round of the 2019 NFL Draft to the Rams. Head Coach Sean McVay said he expected him to turn into a great special teams player, but his prowess on defense was an added bonus.
“You originally draft him out of Penn State with the visions of him being special teams player, and all he’s really shown is, ‘Hey, I’m a great football player that has the ability to contribute on special teams. When I get my ops on defense, I can be a really productive safety,'” McVay said. “He does an excellent job in the deep part of the field. He’s really closed out three games for us if you look at it. Closes out the Indianapolis game making a great tackle on the far sideline, ends up having the interception against Seattle, and then last week the interception (against Detroit). So he’s been the closer for us. He’s done a great job.”
Scott has compiled 48 total tackles and two interceptions this season, including the Wild Card game. Los Angeles is 13-5 after winning the NFC West title and beating the Cardinals in the Wild Card round 34-11. The Rams face the Buccaneers in the NFL Divisional Round on Sunday, January 23 at 3 p.m.