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 2 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 3: Preparing for Pro Day
PART 4: Recapping Pro Day and Bengals Workout
PART 5: Strength Coach Kurt Hester Joins Podcast
Boston Scott had 348 touches during his college career. He never lost a fumble. Ever. And he intends to keep it that way if he makes it to the NFL.
“Holding a kettlebell like a football and doing planks. That emphasizes ball security. Keeping it high and tight, it trains your arms to get used to holding something heavier, so whenever you are carrying the ball it's a lot lighter.”
Neither Scott nor backfield mate Jarred Craft put the ball on the ground once last season, a remarkable level of reliability he credits to running backs coach Tony Ball and strength and conditioning coach Kurt Hester.
“You can never work your craft too much. As you get onto the level of the elite, everybody’s the same speed. Everybody’s big, everybody's strong. It comes down to fundamentals.
“I believe being great is not necessarily being a freak athlete. That definitely helps, but those on the highest level consistently are those that can turn to their fundamentals under pressure. It's easy to do it right at practice or on your own. Those that stay in the NFL are those that can do it during the biggest situations.”
DRAFT DIARY: Richie James Talks NFL Combine Invite
Scott trains alongside six former teammates and fellow NFL hopefuls, including Craft, six days each week in preparation for the 2018 NFL Draft, Monday through Saturday. Hester, in his fifth year at Louisiana Tech, preaches fundamentals, technique and progression.
“Mornings are dedicated to stretching, mobility and prehab. [For example], on Mondays, we focus on start technique, running mechanics and overall explosive movements when outside. And then have a full-body workout inside, which targets all the major muscle groups.”
“Each week we start at the very beginning, the basic fundamentals. Each week we add more to the fundamentals because it really comes down to technique to get your time down. [Hester] is teaching technique when it comes to the 40, the 5-10-5 shuttle, the three-cone drill.
“We do a lot of plyometrics. 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.”
Scott is hoping that explosiveness leads to a 40 time in the 4.3s for Louisiana Tech’s Pro Day on March 22, even though he hasn’t been timed this winter.
“We’ve been doing shorter. For me it's more about the 10-split than anything. I would like for it be anywhere from the mid 1.4s to 1.5. 1.45 to 1.5. Pretty close to that.
“We’ll do different variations of jumps, box jumps. We’ll do weighted jumps, jumps for speed and jumps for height. We recruit those fast-twitch muscle fibers. That’s what improves your explosiveness. The least amount of time on the ground.”
While the 1,000-yard rusher is laser-focused on improving testing times to earn an NFL shot, he’s not neglecting training to improve on-field skills, such as pass protection or cuts.
“I usually do skill work on Tuesday and Thursday. That leaves Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday to dedicate to the drills, the 40 and stuff like that. I’ll set up a pad in the weight room and work on hand placement and, once again, be as explosive as possible to stop the bull rush, a big linebacker rushing the quarterback.
“You got change-of-direction bag drills, variations of that. Shuffling in and out, going over the bags. Being able to limit the amount of shuffle steps in between your cuts because that's what allows you to separate from defenders.”
Scott averaged 6.4 yards per carry for his career, including better than seven yards per tote as a sophomore and junior in 2015 and 2016, respectively. He had at least one 20-yard carry in seven of their 13 games and three of his 20 receptions went for at least 20 yards.
And he never lost a fumble. Ever.
“Can’t win the game without the pill!”