EDITOR'S NOTE: Boston Scott rushed for 1,040 yards as a fifth-year senior for Louisiana Tech last season. The former walk-on who had just one carry as a freshman in 2014 is now preparing for the 2018 NFL Draft, where he is expected to be a third-day pick or undrafted free agent. This is Part 3 of an NFL Draft Diary that chronicles Scott's time between his final college game in December and draft in April, as told by HERO Sports feature writer Andrew Doughty with extensive quotes from Scott. Scott is one of several players who will periodically break down what it is like to be an NFL Draft prospect.
PART 1: Picking an Agent, Getting Advice and Following Faith
PART 2: Honing His Craft, Improving Testing Times
PART 4: Recapping Pro Day and Bengals Workout
PART 5: Strength Coach Kurt Hester Joins Podcast
Louisiana Tech safety Kentrell Brice was not invited to the 2016 NFL Scouting Combine. Despite a productive four-year career that includes 211 tackles and three interceptions, the 5-foot-11, 200-pounder was not high on the radar of many NFL teams. Then he exploded at the Bulldogs' Pro Day.
Brice ran a 4.44-second 40-yard dash and registered a 42-inch vertical leap, 11-foot, 1-inch broad jump and 21 repetitions on the 225-pound bench press. Compared to defensive backs at the Combine, his numbers would’ve ranked first in the vertical, second in the broad jump and second in the bench press.
He was not selected in the 2016 NFL Draft but was signed the following week by the Green Bay Packers and has 41 tackles and four starts in his first two seasons. Without the Pro Day numbers, it’s possible — if not highly likely — Brice wouldn't have reached the NFL.
“It was a very pivotal point,” Brice told Scout of his Pro Day. “I tried to calm myself down and go out there and do what I know I can do. I just had fun with it. I didn’t try to stress about anything.”
Two years later, Brice’s former teammate, Boston Scott, is employing a similar approach, saying Pro Day is “huge” and “life-changing” but something he’s not stressing about.
“I’ve been preparing, and I know on that day I'm going to perform to the absolute best my body is capable of performing,” he said before Louisiana Tech’s Pro Day on March 22. “I've surrendered to the outcome. But in the process, I'm going to do everything I can to prepare for the outcome I desire.”
MORE: Post-Combine Mock Draft
The desired outcome is clear: Earn a spot on a roster, just like he did five years ago as a little-known running back from Zachary, La., who had zero scholarship offers and accepted a walk-on opportunity at Louisiana Tech.
“A lot of people would say, 'Boston Scott is [lucky to be] in this situation today.' I know what I’m capable of and know where I’m going,” Scott says, reiterating that the NFL has always been the plan, not a far-fetched goal.
“I’m not going to stress myself out. I know its a huge opportunity and I’m going to treat it that way. The game of football, I love it and it’s fun. I’m going out there with the same mindset. I’m going to work as hard as I can and be dialed in, but if you’re not having fun — it can’t be all stressful, all uptight — that decreases your performance. I’m going in relaxed, locked in and will have some fun.”
Scott is chasing fun but he’s also chasing a few goals he believes will pique the interest of scouts. He’s aiming for a 40-time in the 4.3s, 10-split between 1.45 and 1.5 seconds and a vertical of at least 39 inches. No running backs at the Combine had a 40-time in 4.3s or 10-split in the 1.4s. And only three recorded a vertical of at least 39 inches.
“We do a lot of plyometrics,” he said in late February. “The biggest part of the 40 is the start. If you can start as explosively and powerfully as possible, most likely you'll have a good time. That's why we do a lot of plyometrics because that’s where the explosiveness comes from.”
FILM ROOM: Boston Scott's Elusiveness
He’s not focused on particular drills and won’t sit out anything or deny any requests. And though the stakes are obvious, he won’t do anything different on Thursday, sticking to his same routine and diet.
“I’ll do receiving routes if they want me to. I want to show them at any point in time I can play in any situation. I can play any down and anywhere on the field.
“I don't have any superstitions. Like I've been doing, just been preparing. None of that is really a factor if you prepare the right way. You’re always going to have the butterflies in your chest. But being nervous and doing something different than you’ve always been doing. That, to me, is a lack of preparation.”
Scott has remained at Louisiana Tech to prepare for the draft, working with Bulldogs’ strength and conditioning coach Kurt Hester and alongside former teammates and fellow NFL hopefuls who have similar hopes of following in the footsteps of players like Kentrell Brice.
“I’ve always had a dream and vision from the start but it definitely helps to see guys ahead of me and be successful in the league. It gives you that extra motivation. I know I have that ability go and do it but it’s just extra reassurance knowing I can do it too.
“We built a culture. We built something around this program where guys are getting genuine looks from NFL scouts.”