SE: Ring of Honor Part 2 | Clarence Scott Celebrates Exciting Football Past
Ring of Honor Part 2 | Clarence Scott Celebrates Exciting Football Past
September 10, 2015
By Kelly McHugh-Stewart
Last week was a busy one for K-State Football Ring of Honor inductee Clarence Scott.
Before making the trip from Atlanta, Georgia, to the Little Apple to be inducted in the K-State Football Ring of Honor, the former Wildcat defensive back had another celebration to take care of.
The night before he was welcomed into K-State football’s exclusive group, he met with his Trinity High School teammates in his hometown of Decatur, Georgia, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of their Georgia State Championship in 1965.
“We went undefeated in 1965 and had a quarterback who led our team and drew colleges and recognition to our high school,” explained Scott, who played wide receiver throughout high school. “We were a part of the segregated school system. We went to an all-black school and played an all-black football schedule back then.”
Until the state championship game, that is.
In 1965, Trinity High knocked off Tifton-Wilson High School – an all-white school – to earn the state title that year.
Becoming Georgia State Champions in 1965 is one of many, many great memories Scott has made through the game of football, and his days at K-State provided even more.
During Scott’s time at K-State, he helped the Wildcats to their first-ever win over a top-10 team as it defeated No. 8 Colorado, 21-20, on Oct. 3, 1970. That same year, his senior season, he helped K-State lead the Big 8 Conference in total defense, while the Wildcats ranked as high as No. 13 in the nation.
A team leader, Scott was one of K-State’s four captains his senior season and earned First Team All-America honors in addition to being a First Team All-Big Eight honoree. As an All-American, he had the opportunity to play in numerous postseason All-Star games and even took a trip to Hollywood to appear on the Bob Hope Show.
His time at K-State helped him fulfill his dream of playing professional football as, in 1971, Scott was drafted 14th overall in the NFL Draft by the Cleveland Browns – his favorite team growing up. He was the first defensive back selected in the 1971 NFL Draft and went on to play 13 seasons with the Browns, helping them earn four playoff appearances while also becoming a Pro Bowler in 1973.
“I was a Cleveland Browns fan growing up, and in order to get to Cleveland, God directed my path through Kansas State… through Manhattan, Kansas,” said Scott. “I played with the Browns for 13 years; I never played for another team. I say only God could orchestrate that, but even better than that, it was His doing that brought me to K-State. I chose the Cleveland Browns, but God chose Kansas State and for me to be a part of this football team. I’m glad about it, so, so glad about it. It’s been a wonderful life. I’m so blessed.”
Though he hadn’t been back to his college town in quite some time before last Saturday, Scott’s visit for his Ring of Honor induction was his second back to the state of Kansas in 2015. He was asked earlier this spring to serve as an honorary captain for the Purple/White Spring Game in Kansas City, a job he gladly accepted. And it wasn’t long after then that he found out he’d received an even greater honor.
“It was just after the Spring Game when I got a call that said they wanted me to come back for the Ring of Honor,” explained Scott. “It’s a pleasure, it’s an honor. I’m thankful and grateful for it. This is such a great class. I knew all the other guys – I had joy watching all of them play – and it’s wonderful for me to be inducted with those guys.”
Along with Scott, this year’s K-State Football Ring of Honor class is made up of Wildcat greats Jordy Nelson (2004-07), Darren Sproles (2001-04) and Michael Bishop (1997-98). At halftime of K-State’s 34-0 home-opening victory over South Dakota last Saturday, this year’s class stood at midfield and watched as their names were unveiled in big, purple letters on the stadium’s east side.
Scott played in the first game at then-KSU Stadium (now Bill Snyder Family Stadium), and now – nearly five decades later – his name will be forever displayed for Wildcat fans to see.
Though the stadium may look much different now, to Scott, it’s still the same place he first became a member of the K-State family.
And he’s proud of what that K-State family has become since 1970.
“Coach Snyder came up with this theme, ‘We are a family,’ and that’s a powerful theme for a football program,” said Scott. “It permeates into every other area of the school. It’s overflown into the other areas of this school. That’s powerful stuff that Bill Snyder has in his heart and in his mind that he’s brought to this school. We are family. When I watch K-State on TV, I’m joyful, I love it, and it’s obvious that we are all one unit.”
K-State Sports Extra will continue its four-part series on this year’s Ring of Honor Inductees with part three on Monday, Sept. 14. Stay tuned for upcoming stories about Jordy Nelson and Darren Sproles. To read Part 1 | Michael Bishop Seizes Opportunity, please click here.