Undrafted out of FAMU, Cardinals Rookie DL, Padric Scott Interview
Former FAMU Nose Tackle, Padric Scott was prepared for this year’s 2013 NFL Draft. Without a NFL Combine invite, he was still hoping for his name to be called on the third day of this year’s NFL Draft. Unfortunately, his name was not called, but he most recently signed a free agent contract with the Arizona Cardinals. He originally played for Stanford out of high school, but transferred and decided to play for the Florida A&M Rattlers and Coach Joe Taylor for the rest of his collegiate career. I hope that you enjoy our exclusive interview.
Max Strauss : Just to start things off, what do you bring to the Arizona Cardinals?
Padric Scott : I bring a hard nosed, physical specimen whose going to be an anchor in stopping the run and collapsing the pocket. They are getting someone whose always been at the bottom as an underdog who knows only how to fight to the top. Someone whose hungry, grateful, humble, and ready to contribute in any way possible in order to improve the organization.
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Strauss : How do you connect with your fans?
Scott : Just a very personal guy and with a great smile. Being from Tallahassee the majority of the people wearing the orange and green who have support me I’ve either known my entire life or they knew my parents, so I embrace them like family.
Strauss : What are you involved in off the field?
Scott : Off the field I am a youth minister at my church of Mt. Zion in Lloyd, Florida. Currently I am enrolled in my Master’s Program at FAMU majoring in Biological Research with a concentration in Physiology where I currently have a 3.8 G.P.A. I am also a member of my great fraternity Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. in which I became a member at Stanford University, the Lambda Nu chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi. I also do motivational speaking at local schools at programs whenever called upon.
Strauss : When did you first start playing football?
Scott : I first started playing organized football at the age of 5 with flag football. I was the starting quarterback and kick returner, two positions I have no chance of playing right now.
Strauss : What was your recruiting experience like out of high school?
Scott : It was a great experience. At first it was slow, because I was playing out of position. I started at center for two years and then left tackle my senior year all out of need and success of the team. However due to my aggression, power, quickness, and athletic ability blocking downfield, a lot of college teams began to take notice senior year of my ability and projected me to defensive tackle despite not starting at it since my freshman year. At the time there was a different staff at FAMU and I didn’t think I wanted to stay in Tallahassee for college so I was looking at places away from my home city during the time. I had offers from teams such as Vanderbilt, Ole Miss, Northwestern, Minnesota, UCF, USF, Stanford, and Iowa to name a few. My final decision came down to Stanford, Iowa, South Florida in that order.
Strauss : Why did you leave Stanford and head to Florida A&M? Do you keep in touch with anyone that you met at Stanford that is now in the NFL?
Scott : I left due to a strained relationship with coach. At the time, I had some maturing to do and I know that now. However after a few events I just didn’t feel comfortable there anymore and decided to relocate. I had friends who were at other major programs who wanted me to transfer there, however God had already put on my heart where He wanted me to continue my career. The place clearly was Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University. Needless to say it was one of the most blessed decisions of my life.
Strauss : What is the most important thing you learned from Stanford?
Scott : Football is a business. Like any job you have to put your full attention and effort into it because you are constantly being evaluated. Anything short of your best won’t cut it.
Strauss : Do me a favor… Compare and contrast former Stanford, current 49ers Coach Jim Harbaugh and your FAMU Coach, Joe Taylor.
Scott : The two are truly alike in so many ways. They are fiery and very passionate about the game. They believe in all phases of the game being successful with great attention to special teams play. Both believe in winning the off-season with early morning conditioning to test your mental toughness and push you to your limits. They are both no-nonsense kind of guys who expect your best everyday. The only difference I can probably tell is that Coach Harbaugh was very hands on with the offense and executing there, while Coach Taylor was an all-around managerial style kind of guy.
Strauss : What was it like to come home and play for FAMU?
Scott : I mean it was truly a blessing. Stepping back on the Hill in 2009 I knew I had finally found the right place for me. Here I met like minded young men that I befriended and we pushed each other in every walk of life. That bond led to such a great college experience with guys like Brian Tyms, Brandon Hepburn, and John Ojo to name a few. To step on the field of battle with those guys was nothing short of a gladiator like experience, fighting to the death with my brothers to bring FAMU a victory. Coming back to play for FAMU was the best decision of my life, and I thank God for it.
Strauss : What is your favorite memory from playing football at FAMU?
Scott : I think 3 stick out to me. One being the 2010 game against Bethune in which we came back from a 20 plus point deficit to win the game and have a share in the MEAC championship. The second being our comeback against Southern in the Atlanta Classic. The majority of our fans had left the stadium thinking we lost and our defense just started making so many plays, interceptions and forced fumbles leading to a quick turnaround in such a short time span. I got a killer sack on the quarterback to force a third and long which led to an interception the next play. And finally my last homecoming against NCCU. It was a nail biter but we pulled it out, I had 6 tackles, 2 sacks, and a forced fumble in that game.
Strauss : FAMU is in your family. It’s where your parents went to school, where your grandparents went to school. Describe to me what its like to be a legacy and contribute.
Scott : I mean it truly was a blessing to step on the field of Bragg Stadium and contribute. I grew up on those sidelines looking up to FAMU greats like Earl “Hitman” Holmes and Quinn Gray. I never missed a home game, and even used to travel with the team to away games because my father is the team dentist. So to be able to step on that field and give four strong years to my family’s alma mater, it was truly a great honor. I mean before seasons would begin, my grandma would always call me and tell me to bring home the victory, as well as my mother would tell me I couldn’t come home if we lost so Rattler Pride is something the Scott’s do not play about.
Strauss : The stereotype is that football players are “not smart guys.” Explain to me separating yourself from that stereotype…
Scott : To me that stereotype is just ignorant, because I feel I can step into any classroom across America and standout. To be honest, school has been the easiest obstacle on my plate. It took much more time and effort to place into my football craft than it did school because I was blessed with critical thinking skills and a photographic memory. I graduated from FAMU Cum Laude with a degree in Molecular Cell Biology and that was while balancing a full load of football day and night. Currently my grad school GPA sits at 3.8 so I could never understand how one could simply call someone “not smart” because they were blessed with the ability to play football. I find it funny when people are shocked when they here my academic accolades, because you already know it’s because they’ve labeled you as a “dumb jock” at first glance. People should never judge a book by its cover. My parents raised me to excel at everything I do, with school coming first growing up or I wouldn’t have been allowed to play. So for me in my mind I wanted to be the best at everything, not just one walk of my life.
Strauss : If scouts were to ask you to compare your game to someone in the NFL today is there someone you would say you compare your game to?
Scott : I would probably have to say Casey Hampton is someone over time I can say I play like, especially according to my coach Earl Holmes who played with the Steelers. Having played in a 3-4 normally lining up over the center, whether a 0 or shade technique, I was always the center of attention of the offense. I love how disruptive he plays and the attention he draws from other lineman, freeing up his guys to make plays as well as making plays himself because of how dominant he was or is rather up front.
Strauss : How would you describe your playing style?
Scott : I would describe my playing style as aggressive and complete. I sat out to dominate every play whether it was a run or pass, I wanted to disrupt it and make the offensive linemen in front of me fear for their life. I love to bring the blow to those in front of me to let them know that this is going to be a long game blocking me. I would take whatever was given to me to win the battle up front. I believe in speed to power. As much power as I may have, I pride myself in my first step and quickness off the ball, so if I could beat a guy with a quick move I would, and if I could get them on their heels with my burst then I would use my power to place them into the backfield and disrupt the play. This led me to normally being double teamed and often triple teamed by center and two guards.
Strauss : How often were you double-teamed in college? Was your job to command a double team?
Scott : I was double teamed about 85% of the time, the rest I was triple teamed or faced slide protection on pass plays. Offensive Coordinators would game plan for me. I know this because after games OC’s and head coaches would come find me and tell me so. That’s the point of the 3-4. You want a dominant nose tackle who draws the attention of the offensive line freeing up linebackers like Brandon Hepburn to come in and make plays.
Strauss : Are statistics overrated for a nose tackle like you?
Scott : For a 3-4 nose tackle your worth isn’t measured by stats, but about the attention the offense pays you. If you are dominating and respected by the opponent, they will block you often with two players on pass and rush plays, sometimes even three, which makes it hard to be in on a tackle. However that really never bothered me because I knew my teammates were left with one-on-one’s as a result. Also it made making plays that much sweeter when you beat double and triple teams to get in on plays so my numbers that I do put up carry a lot of weight. Stats are more prevalent for a D-Tackle in the 4-3 which I can play as well.
Strauss : You put 39 reps on the Bench Press. That’s something can’t go unnoticed by scouts and teams. It shows off your work ethic throughout your years. How important was it for you to perform in this environment of over twenty scouts?
Scott : I mean for me it was definitely something that carried immense importance. Coming from a small school NFL teams love to question your level of competition that you played against game in and game out. However, one thing that holds true across the board are your numbers and performance in an environment such as the Combine or Pro Day. There you are thoroughly evaluated and they want to see if what they see on field matches up with numbers, and to see if you have the potential to play with the best of the best.
So for me, I just wanted to do to my best, knowing my best matches up with anyone else in the country if not better. It was about showing what I could do without letting my nerves getting the best of me. I’ve been working hard since freshman year of high school, pushing myself to the limit always so it wasn’t about if the preparation was there. My training was more so about cleaning up some things and just becoming confident with my surroundings in order to perform at an optimal level, which I was blessed to do. My major thing going into pro day was running the fastest time possible because I knew the bench would be there. Thankfully, I ran sub 5.0 both times between 4.89-4.94 and for a guy 310 pounds at the time that was major.
Strauss : What’s your training process been like and your workouts? What has the process been like the last few months?
Scott : I think the best way to describe this entire process was disciplined. Every facet of my training regiment was well thought out and if it didn’t involve my goal of getting better then I was thrown out. I believe the biggest adjustment came in beginning a proper diet to transform my body in order to get the most out of it performance wise, a eating plan that I’m still on right now because I am truly loving the results and want to continue the positive development into my NFL career. The second major change came in just learning how to run right for the forty. This was emphasized everyday both on the field running and in the weight room lifting as everything was about explosion and running the right way. There were many early mornings and late evening workouts involved in the process but it has all paid off greatly.
Strauss : If you could describe yourself as any ice cream flavor, what would you be and why?
Scott : Cookies and cream because it is my favorite, and probably is the toughest to chew of all other ice creams as the rest are just plain soft.
Strauss : Do you have a mindset or a quote that you live by?
Scott : “The Pain of Sacrifice or the Pain of Regret, which are you willing to pay?” I’d rather sacrifice being comfortable now, blood, sweat, sleep, and tears in order to get where God has planned for me to go than to pay the heavy price of regret, wishing I should’ve done this or I could’ve done that. I never want to be one of those guys who had the potential but let it go to waste and regret it down the road.
Strauss : Is there anything else you want to share with your fans that we haven’t talked about?
Scott : Just that God is great and without Him, I wouldn’t be here right now.
Strauss : Thank you so much your time. I greatly appreciate it.
Scott : Thank you.