The Recruiting Guy:

Scott's move to South Carolina all about family

By: Richard Davenport
Published: Tuesday, January 22, 2019
Arkansas assistant coach John Scott Jr. speaks to his players Tuesday, March 28, 2017, during spring practice at the UA practice facility in Fayetteville.
Photo by Andy Shupe
Arkansas assistant coach John Scott Jr. speaks to his players Tuesday, March 28, 2017, during spring practice at the UA practice facility in Fayetteville.

The chance to spend more time with his kids helped fuel defensive line coach John Scott Jr.’s decision to leave Arkansas for the same position at South Carolina.

Scott, a South Carolina native, joined the Razorbacks staff under former coach Bret Bielema in 2017 after being with the New York Jets as a defensive quality control coach and defensive line assistant coach and was retained by Chad Morris for the 2018 season.

“First of all, I’m just thankful for the opportunity to be at Arkansas the last two years,” Scott said. “I’m thankful that Coach B gave me an opportunity from the New York Jets to come to an SEC school. I’m thankful that coach Morris gave me an opportunity to stay and I’m just thankful for the Razorback community that have helped me and my family since I’ve been here.”

He tutored senior defensive tackle Armon Watts, who had 49 tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss along with a team-high 7 sacks and 3 forced fumbles. The sacks total was the most by a Razorback since 2015.

Watts played in the East-West Shrine game over the weekend and is expected to be selected in the upcoming NFL Draft.

“Most of all, I’m thankful for the young men I was able to coach the last two seasons,” Scott said. “I really love those guys.”

He now has the opportunity to spend more time with his children, John Wesley Scott III and Juliette Scott.

“At the end if the day, it came down to the location of where South Carolina is,” Scott said. “It’s closer to my two kids. My son starts high school next year and one of the things we always preach here and talk about at Arkansas is family. I’m a family guy and I felt like this opportunity is too hard to pass up to be close with family. They’ll be closer and I’ll be able to see my son’s football games and have them more on the weekends instead of seeing them just twice a season.”

Scott said he wasn’t looking to leave Arkansas and passing up a chance to go back to the NFL recently proves that, but the South Carolina job wasn’t one he could turn down.

“I just wasn't looking to leave, I turned down the interview and I had an excellent chance of getting that job,” Scott said. “It wasn’t that I was wanting to leave Fayetteville. This opportunity was the right thing for me at the right time.”

When Scott informed his children he was taking the job with the Gamecocks, they were overjoyed.

“They were straight up excited and they were truly going nuts and I thought that was beautiful,” Scott said. “The first thing my son said was, ‘Oh, daddy, we can hang out with you more on the weekends now.' That meant a lot to them and it meant a lot to me.”

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