When I was 10 years old, I enrolled at Clement Middle School in Redlands, CA. This was a pretty sweet deal for me, because I had grown up with the same kids in elementary school.
My first week of school, I met one of my future best friends: Josh Scott. There was nothing too unusual about him then, except for the fact that he was over 6’0” as a sixth grader.
In our middle school years, I watched my lanky frame grow at a normal rate while Josh’s grew amazingly quickly. By the time we entered high school, he was already 6’3”.
Scott burst onto the Redlands East Valley High School freshman football team as one of the biggest players out there. By the time summer was over, he was also one of the fastest and strongest. He made a huge impact during the season, so it was no surprise when coach Kurt Bruich decided to let him get a few reps on the varsity squad his sophomore year.
By the time 10th grade started, Josh was more than ready for football. He played primarily on the JV squad but also received playing time in several Firday night games. He was considered an outside linebacker-defensive end hybrid. He could rush the passer while on his hands and knees or on his feet or could drop back into coverage.
He ended his sophomore year with four tackles and one fumble recovery. The stats, however, were not the important factor. He received valuable playing time that would help set him up for his remaining two seasons at Redlands East Valley.
Josh came prepared for his junior year, lining up opposite Andre Ferguson, a prospect that would eventually commit to the University of Idaho. The two were similar in their style of play, and both were considered dominant at their position.
Scott clocked a 40-yard dash time of 4.6 seconds his junior year and was benching over 300 pounds with ease. He was easily one of our top athletes and had become a physical freak of nature: Standing 6’5” and weighing 210 pounds, he looked more like a receiver than a linebacker.
He was all muscle and could outmatch nearly any offensive lineman he came into contact with. His junior season ended with 62 tackles (32 solo) and eight sacks.
Josh’s stock skyrocketed the summer between his junior and senior year. Redlands East Valley was poised to be one of the state's top teams, and my man was easily one of the most athletic and versatile players on the defense.
At a local combine, Scott ran a high 4.5 in the 40 and benched 185 pounds 19 times. UCLA recruited him as a tight end, not a defensive end, even though he had never lined up in the position before. Boise State, Colorado State, Idaho State and UTEP also showed interest in him.
When the 2008 season began, Josh was the premier linebacker for our team. He assumed his old role of OLB/DE but played off the line more and more frequently. The team, led by a dominant run game and bone crushing defense, went deep into the playoffs.
In a very memorable game against Norco High School, Scott intercepted the ball twice, returning the first to the one yard line and the second for a touchdown. He also made nine tackles that game. It was the best game of his high school career, and I’m sure it opened the eyes of many recruiters.
Though the REV Wildcats’ season ended a game later against Corona Santiago, the '08 iteration was considered the best team in school history. Josh finished the season with 80 tackles, 38 of them solo, and three sacks.
On Feb. 6, 2008, Josh signed his Letter of Intent to play football at the University of Texas-El Paso, where he stayed in his same position of combo OLB-DE. He started the UTEP workout regiment while enrolled in high school so he would have an easier time adjusting to the workouts.
He redshirted his first season as a Miner but is expected to contribute in the upcoming season as a full-time outside linebacker. Because of the size of typical college offensive linemen, the coaching staff has asked Scott to try and add more weight to his 220-pound frame so that he can withstand the constant wear and tear of the trenches.
Scott has all of the tools to become an amazing college athlete, whether it's as a defensive end, linebacker, or tight end. I believe that he can excel at anything he puts his mind to. As long as Josh remains consistent, smart, and committed, I see no reason why he won’t succeed.