Scott Finds Home at K-State | Part I
A native of Decatur, Georgia, his team went undefeated en route to the 1965 Georgia state championship title during Scott's junior year at Trinity High School.
"We won the state championship in '65 and our quarterback, Jack Pitts, got a scholarship to Michigan State - all the way from Georgia," exclaimed Scott. "We were outstanding. There were a lot of people coming out to see us play."
The team, led by the talented Pitts, drew the attention of college football teams around the nation, including K-State.
Enter Mr. Walter Gage.
Walter Gage was a Manhattan, Kansas, native and K-State alumnus who moved to Atlanta, Georgia, to grow his metal business in the early 1960s.
"When I met him, he lived in Atlanta and he would go out to all the games," explained Scott. "He came to our school, saw some games, got in touch with our coaches and he picked me out as one of the people K-State should take a look at."
Talking with Gage marked the first time Scott had heard about the college in the middle of the Flint Hills. He was intrigued, but it wasn't until after meeting Wildcat head coach Vince Gibson for the first time he was hooked on becoming a Wildcat.
Gibson preached the 'Purple Pride,' and he preached it well. He told his recruits that, after more than a decade of down years for the football program, the Little Apple was hungry for a star.
If these high school kids went to K-State, they had the opportunity to become that star.
"Gibson did a good job of selling the program," explained Scott. "He told me that if I went to one of the other schools that already had everything established, it wouldn't be as exciting and as important to the fan base as it would be if I went to K-State. At K-State, I would be going into a program that hadn't done so well and would turn it around. 'People would love you, care about you and remember you for a long time,' that was part of his sale to me."
Plus, as a standout high school wide receiver, Scott liked the sound of catching footballs on Saturdays from a Kansas high school star quarterback named Lynn Dickey - even though Scott would, eventually, switch positions and become a star for the Wildcats' defense.
"Gibson would tell us about the athletes that were committing, Lynn Dickey was the main one that they'd tell me about," said Scott. "They'd say, 'We've got this great high school quarterback from Kansas. He's over 200 pounds, has a strong arm and it's going to be great to be in Manhattan with him the next few years'. So I was totally on board with it because I was a receiver."
Scott let out a laugh.
"But I didn't play receiver, I played defensive back," he continued. "They had me starting at the left cornerback spot at K-State. I played on the freshman team as a cornerback then the next year, I was starting on the varsity team as a sophomore. I never complained about not playing receiver because I liked both positions and I was playing; I was starting. That was all that mattered.
"I was happy. I was a happy soul when I was at K-State because it was big-time football."
Scott wanted to play big-time football because he knew he was a big-time player. Playing at K-State gave him the opportunity to see where he stacked up with some of the best competition from around the nation.
"There were guys there from Jersey, California, Florida, guys from Michigan and Ohio, all over. It gave me a chance to meet some of the best players from around the country," he said. "That was exciting. It was just great for me. Everything just worked out. I did well, especially in my senior year."
In his senior year, Scott became K-State's first All-American in 17 years. He played in numerous post-season All-Star games, made an appearance on the Bob Hope Show and was drafted into the NFL.
Want to know more about Clarence Scott? Stay tuned for tomorrow's Sports Extra: Scott's Wildcat Career Paves Way For Future | Part II