One of the big storylines heading into the 2015 D3 football season was the state of BR-1 Mount Union. After back-to-back-to-back trips to the finals, the Raiders lost their offensive cornerstone in quarterback Kevin Burke.
Burke was a master, an amazing athlete who left behind a legacy that no other could possibly fill … or could they?
Meet Taurice Scott, a 5-foot-10 quarterback turned wide receiver turned back to quarterback, who now commands Mount Union’s high-octane offense. Last season, this versatile athlete put up over 1,000 receiving yards and 12 touchdowns. He posted four 100-plus yard games, accumulated over 400 return yards and 54 rushing yards. All told, he had more receiving yards than passing yards at the college level entering his first start under center. So why did he suddenly look like Russell Freaking Wilson?
Scott delivered a virtuoso 206-yard, three-touchdown passing performance against BR-137 Bethany, adding 85 yards on 11 rushes and a touchdown to boot.
“I expected him to play well and I have high expectations for him so it would be tough for him to impress me because I know how good he is,” said wide receiver Roman Namdar, the recipient of five of Scott’s catches in Week 1. The 6-foot receiver turned those grabs into 125 yards and three touchdowns. “He and I have been working together since last season.”
The rest of the team felt similarly about their QB and named him team captain.
“He deserves it,” Namdar continued. “That’s a testament to the kind of player he is. He’s a leader and he’s playing a position that requires leadership. We feel very good out there with him at quarterback.”
For Scott, the opportunity to don the QB mantel once more was a dream-come-true.
“It was like I knew what I was doing again,” he said, “because I took like three years off from being a starting quarterback […] I enjoyed being a wide receiver, but there’s still the quarterback inside me.”
Scott played QB at Alliance High School in Alliance, Ohio. During his time there he amassed over 4,300 yards, 40 touchdowns and just 17 interceptions and was named an All-Ohio, all-district and all-conference in the process.
He entered college in 2012 and played his first season behind Burke, enjoying a National Championship in the process. He played in just three games, completing three passes for 20 yards.
“That was an incredibly humbling experience, because we had so many good players that season,” said Scott. “I never thought I would get to go to the Stagg Bowl as a freshman. It was an experience I will never forget.”
Consider this: Scott has never not gone to the Stagg Bowl in his college career. Though his position fluctuated wildly.
As a sophomore, Scott played in eight games, accumulating 327 passing yards and five touchdowns, plus 99 rushing yards and two touchdowns.
His coach opted for something different his junior season — receiver. Scott enjoyed a breakout year, accumulating over 1,000 yards and 12 touchdowns. He took the position switch naturally.
“I thought it was pretty easy making the change from QB to receiver because you only focus on yourself and your patterns or blocks,” said Scott. “When you are the quarterback, you are in control of the whole field and you have your teammates depending on you.”
Still, despite his success at wide receiver, Scott longed for a chance to play in his old role once more. And so when the opportunity arrived, he pounced.
“Taurice has earned the spot with his hard work and dedication,” said head coach Vince Kehres. “Not just this year, but during his four years here. He’s done everything that’s been asked of him.
“I’d say he exceeded expectations and that’s saying something because I had every high expectations for him. Offensively, the thing that stood out to me was the quarterback play.”
And what did Burke have to say about all of this?
“He told me to just keep my poise and realize I have 10 other guys out there helping me out (on offense),” said Scott. “He’s been a great person to have around and has made a world of difference for me. I’ve been very blessed by all of the support I’ve received since being here at Mount Union.”