2010 Stats: ATT: 240 / YDS: 2,614 / TDs: 29 / Rushed for over 2,200 yards as a senior



Quotable:


Scott, on leading the offense:

"I have a couple of years left. I'm taking advantage of it. I'm working harder and on the weekends. I'm training even harder. I don't want to go back and think ‘Well, man, I wish I would've done this, I wish I had done that.' With these two years left, I'm going to go as hard as I can and try to be a leader."

Scott, on his mindset:

"I definitely think I have something to prove. Every time I'm out there -- in the weight room, on the football field -- I have to go out there with a chip on my shoulder. They don't think I can run between the tackles. I definitely feel like I have to prove that, that I can handle it."


I'tavius Mathers
FOX Sports NEXT

Mathers, on Ole Miss:

"It just felt like home away from home. It reminded me a lot of my high school, and it's just a great environment. It's also close enough from home where my family can come watch all of my games.

"I just want to help get Ole Miss back to a bowl and then try and get us to Atlanta before I leave. That's my ultimate goal."

Running backs coach Derrick Nix, on his RBs adjusting to a new offense:

"The one thing they learned in spring is that they have to be in better shape to run this offense and it takes a lot mentally to learn because we are signaling all the plays in. We've gotten better in those areas, but this offense is so multiple and there is so much we can do out of it that we only learned about half of it in spring."

Nix, on Scott:

"Jeff's been our best guy. He's become a better person as well as a better player. He's taking care of his life off the field now and that has reflected in his play on the field. He's becoming more of a leader by example and he's starting to grasp this offense and what it can do for his production. He's just got to keep coming with his knowledge and improve his pass protection a little."

Strength and conditioning coach Paul Jackson, on off-season progress of RBs:

"Jeff's worked hard this summer. He was the fastest player on the team in the 20 and his strength numbers are up. I've been impressed with our two freshmen running backs - I'tavius Mathers and Jaylen Walton. When they come in the weight room, they're serious about their workouts. They want to get better. They're here for a reason and that's to get a degree and play football."



Must-See Video:


Mathers, of Blackman High School in Murfreesboro, Tenn., wasn't signed to sit. No, Ole Miss needs production from the former three-star recruit, who chose Ole Miss over Auburn, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Mississippi State and others.

Mathers is different from Scott in that he's 6-foot and around 200 pounds. He's built more like an all-around back, though he certainly isn't lacking in speed. He was rated by FOXSportsNext.com as the No. 35 running back in the country and was named Tennessee's Gatorade Player of the Year in 2010.




Ole Miss opens fall practices Saturday at 9:45 a.m. In the days leading up to the Rebels' first practice, the Ole Miss Spirit will preview five key position battles to keep an eye on. Today, we focus on the running backs.
Five to Follow: RBs
Ole Miss searching for another to push Scott
Staff Writer
Jeff Scott
Jeff Scott
http://mississippi.scout.com/story/1207749-five-to-follow-rbs
OMSpirit.com
Aug 2, 2012

Five to Follow: RBs

Jeff Scott

Ole Miss opens fall practices Saturday at 9:45 a.m. In the days leading up to the Rebels' first practice, the Ole Miss Spirit will preview five key position battles to keep an eye on. Today, we focus on the running backs.


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Hugh Freeze has been on the job for eight months now. His team is readying to open fall camp, with the first practice set for Saturday.

One thing we've learned about Freeze over these many weeks and months is he's not one to shy away from the mess he inherited. Rather, he's been brutally honest when discussing the depth concerns of his roster, academic issues and the beast of a schedule his team faces in 2012.

The questions have become somewhat repetitive. It's what happens this time of year, especially in Hoover, Ala., where Freeze held court with national press for the first time as Ole Miss head coach a few weeks ago.

And one question he's faced over and over, and will continue to face, is at running back. He has his hands full.


Jeff Scott
Chuck Rounsaville

(An aside: I swore Tuesday I wouldn't refer to former Ole Miss head coach Houston Nutt (I did it again!) in my stories anymore. I mean, it just seems tired at this point. For this story, however, it's next to impossible. Here's a compromise. From this point forward, he'll simply be known as The Dude.)

Amazing, isn't it? The Dude was a renowned quarterback killer. But there was little doubting his ability to develop quality running backs, including such names as Darren McFadden, Dexter McCluster and Felix Jones. A running back or two always found their way into each February signing class.

Yet, here Ole Miss is, heading into the 2012 season with the position The Dude built his career around mired in uncertainty, save for junior Jeff Scott, who Freeze told me in June was quickly becoming a leader on the team.

If Freeze had it his way, at least one player would emerge this fall and push Scott. Competition breeds productivity. Scott is all to himself right now, and while he's made strides in the maturity department, he'd do well to have another capable back pushing him. If I had to guess, I'd say freshman I'tavius Mathers, who we'll get to in a minute, will ultimately be the guy.



Leading the Pack:
Jdeff Scott – Running Back

Scott has always struggled with consistency, and I'm not just talking about football here. Of all the players on the roster, you'd be hard-pressed to find another under more pressure than the small but dynamic Scott, who led the team in rushing for an offense that floundered far more often than it succeeded last season.

Freeze never called him by name when he was hired, but it was pretty much common knowledge that Scott was one of the players in serious academic trouble. He had work to do to get his grades in order to gain eligibility this fall. Fair or not, there were questions if he could. He'd developed a reputation as a player with a less-than-stellar work ethic over his first two seasons, both on and off the field, and his performances on Saturday, while sometimes electric, lacked in -- honk if you've heard this before -- anything close to resembling consistency.

That all changed in the spring. Unlike others with academic shortcomings, Scott didn't miss a single practice. He was there for all 15, and he took the lion's share of the snaps with the first-team at running back. This is his year. Brandon Bolden is gone, as is Enrique Davis, though his loss isn't really noteworthy. Scott has to perform. He has no choice, really.



2011 Stats: ATT: 116 / YDS: 529 / TDs: 6 / YDS/G: 42.9


Who's Next?
I'tavius Mathers – Running Back

Who's next? Good question. Honestly, you could jot down a handful of names -- Mathers, Nick Parker, Devin Thomas and Jaylen Walton -- on paper, throw them into a hat and draw one out. That's how cloudy the forecast is at running back.

Mathers is a blue-chipper who signed in February. Freeze had to battle hard to hold onto him. But he did, and Mathers is a prime candidate to be Ole Miss' most-valuable freshman. He'll be thrust into action out of sheer necessity.

Walton is cut from a similar cloth as Scott. Nick Parker has moved positions a number of times over his career, though he did have a pretty good spring. He's unproven, unlike senior Devin Thomas, who has never been able to rise above mop-up duty despite productive springs and fall practices. Tobias Singleton was moved back to receiver in the summer. He could be an option later, however.



2010 Stats: ATT: 240 / YDS: 2,614 / TDs: 29 / Rushed for over 2,200 yards as a senior



Quotable:


Scott, on leading the offense:

"I have a couple of years left. I'm taking advantage of it. I'm working harder and on the weekends. I'm training even harder. I don't want to go back and think ‘Well, man, I wish I would've done this, I wish I had done that.' With these two years left, I'm going to go as hard as I can and try to be a leader."

Scott, on his mindset:

"I definitely think I have something to prove. Every time I'm out there -- in the weight room, on the football field -- I have to go out there with a chip on my shoulder. They don't think I can run between the tackles. I definitely feel like I have to prove that, that I can handle it."


I'tavius Mathers
FOX Sports NEXT

Mathers, on Ole Miss:

"It just felt like home away from home. It reminded me a lot of my high school, and it's just a great environment. It's also close enough from home where my family can come watch all of my games.

"I just want to help get Ole Miss back to a bowl and then try and get us to Atlanta before I leave. That's my ultimate goal."

Running backs coach Derrick Nix, on his RBs adjusting to a new offense:

"The one thing they learned in spring is that they have to be in better shape to run this offense and it takes a lot mentally to learn because we are signaling all the plays in. We've gotten better in those areas, but this offense is so multiple and there is so much we can do out of it that we only learned about half of it in spring."

Nix, on Scott:

"Jeff's been our best guy. He's become a better person as well as a better player. He's taking care of his life off the field now and that has reflected in his play on the field. He's becoming more of a leader by example and he's starting to grasp this offense and what it can do for his production. He's just got to keep coming with his knowledge and improve his pass protection a little."

Strength and conditioning coach Paul Jackson, on off-season progress of RBs:

"Jeff's worked hard this summer. He was the fastest player on the team in the 20 and his strength numbers are up. I've been impressed with our two freshmen running backs - I'tavius Mathers and Jaylen Walton. When they come in the weight room, they're serious about their workouts. They want to get better. They're here for a reason and that's to get a degree and play football."



Must-See Video:


Mathers, of Blackman High School in Murfreesboro, Tenn., wasn't signed to sit. No, Ole Miss needs production from the former three-star recruit, who chose Ole Miss over Auburn, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Mississippi State and others.

Mathers is different from Scott in that he's 6-foot and around 200 pounds. He's built more like an all-around back, though he certainly isn't lacking in speed. He was rated by FOXSportsNext.com as the No. 35 running back in the country and was named Tennessee's Gatorade Player of the Year in 2010.