The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

College Sports

May 12, 2014

Marshall OL Scott ready after being drafted by Seahawks

HUNTINGTON — Two of the 32 NFL teams that sent personnel people to Huntington this spring put Garrett Scott through private workouts.

One of those teams drafted the former Marshall offensive tackle Saturday ... the defending Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks.

At 4:45 p.m., Scott’s name appeared as the 199th pick in the 79th NFL Draft, a sixth-round selection for a 6-foot-5, 307-pounder that many experts were projecting as a seventh-rounder at best, or perhaps a post-draft free agent signee.

Scott’s selection came just a few hours after he received his MU undergraduate degree in commencement ceremonies at Big Sandy Superstore Arena, with his parents, Rev. Randolph and Tina Scott, in attendance.

The Douglas, Ga., native became the 39th player in Marshall history picked in an NFL Draft. The first was Everette “Boot” Elkins, a back selected in the 17th round in 1939 by the Chicago Cardinals. One round later, guard Frank Huffman went to the same club.

The first NFL Draft was held in 1936.

Scott, an All-Conference USA second team selection in 2013, was the 23rd pick in the sixth round. The Seahawks acquired the pick from Cincinnati for trading back from the 11th pick to the 23rd pick in the fourth round.

Scott said Saturday evening that he got the call notifying him of his selection from Seattle General Manager John Schneider. He later spoke with Seahawks Coach Pete Carroll, and his whirlwind continues Sunday when he travels from Huntington to Seattle for meetings to begin his “new” football life.

“It’s a dream come true, definitely,” Scott said. “Graduation, the NFL Draft, and tomorrow is Mother’s Day. It doesn’t get any better than that. It’s all special. I’ve had a dream of playing in the NFL since I was a little kid. It’s a great day.”

Scott said he will always appreciate playing for the Thundering Herd, a situation that provided him the chance to reach his dream.

“I came to Marshall and worked hard and got an opportunity,” he said. “What this shows is you can accomplish anything you want, no matter where you are, when you put your mind to it and put forward the work. I’m proud to be another guy taking the Marshall name on to the NFL.”

Scott said that in his personal workout for the Seahawks, “I honestly didn’t think I had a great day. I thought I did OK. But I guess they must have seen something they liked, and I’m glad they did.”

Seattle lost right tackle Breno Giacomini and guard/tackle Paul McQuistan via free agency, so the offensive line was viewed by many as a unit the Seahawks would try to restock through the draft.

Scott selection marks the fourth straight year Marshall Coach Doc Holliday’s program has had an NFL Draft pick, following tight end Lee Smith, defensive end Vinny Curry and wide receiver Aaron Dobson from 2011-13).

Scott is the 18th Marshall player selected in an NFL Draft since 1998, when wideout Randy Moss and offensive lineman John Wade were selected. Scott is only the second Herd offensive lineman drafted since Wade was picked, joining Steve Sciullo in 2003.

He played more than 1,000 offensive snaps for the Herd in a 2013 season that ended with a 10-4 record and a Military Bowl victory over Maryland. He allowed only one-half sack and graded out at 99 percent (assignment) and 82 percent (success).

Scott said he built his draft profile with confidence instilled him by the Alex Mirabal, the offensive line coach who joined Holliday’s staff in January 2013.

“Coach Mirabal pretty much told me just to work and it would work out for me,” Scott said. “He said, ‘There’s nothing you can’t do,’ and that’s how I approached it.”

Scott said NFL personnel staffers told him they liked his athleticism and versatility, and “that I could fit at tackle or guard.”

He made 35 career starts for the Herd, and in his senior season moved from right to left tackle at midseason.

“Garrett’s a tremendous athlete and that shows on film,” Mirabal said Saturday evening, adding that Scott’s Pro Day performance in mid-March at MU was a salesman’s dream for the Herd alumnus. “He has a great work ethic, and with his season, he had the film to show that.

“On our Pro Day here, his broad jump and vertical jump were tremendous and teams went back and watched film and saw that. The Seahawks and Chargers came back here and worked him out, and when you talk to him, get to know him, it’s obvious he’s a first-class human being.

Scott ran a 5.04 in the 40 at MU’s Pro Day and had a 33.5-inch vertical leap.

“The league is big on character these days,” said Mirabal. “As you know, Garrett is a class guy. The Seahawks obviously liked him, and what they saw paid off for him.

“I’m doubly proud, too. One of my former linemen at FIU (Mirabal’s previous job), Caylin Hauptmann, signed last year as a rookie free agent with Seattle and got a Super Bowl ring.

“I’ve already called Caylin and told him to watch out for Garrett and help him out any way he can.”

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