Michigan State recruiting: Welcome Aboard- LJ Scott

Kevork Djansezian

Spartan football's recruiting surge continues in Ohio.

Running Back LJ Scott

From:

Hubbard, Ohio (Hubbard) [same school as current Spartan Kurtis Drummond]

Height/Weight:

Between 6'0'' and 6'1'', between 205 and 227 pounds.

Ratings:

consensus 4* on all four sites, consensus top 10 running back in his class.

Notable Offers:

Auburn, Alabama, Ohio State, Cincinnati, Pitt, Tennessee

Thoughts on Offer List

Well, well, well. A running back with MSU, Auburn, 'Bama, and OSU offers, eh? The last two seasons, those teams have each had a running back drafted within the first 75 picks of the NFL draft. Yup, that checks out.

He ticks the other big in-state offer with Cincinnati and grabbed offers from other off-and-on regional powers like West Virginia, Pitt, and Tennessee. His reported offer sheet is curiously light on other Big Ten schools, but again, MSU, Auburn, 'Bama, OSU. Strong.

Thoughts on film:

Speaking of strong, you have to feel bad for Scott's opposition here. I mean, they signed up to play football, but they didn't sign up for this.

Basically, anyone trying to tackle him in the torso ends up eating turf, so lots of players seem to try and lasso him around the waist, or throw themselves at his legs, as though they might sacrifice themselves in order to jam up his gears. It works somewhat, to the extent that 'works' means: brings him down after a 20 yard gain.

But in a sense, it's not entirely surprising that a ~210 pound kid proves to be hard to haul down in high school. What really stands out about Scott is he combines that power with impressive agility. It's one thing to get run over by the guy who maybe weighs 50 pounds more than you do, it's another thing for him to also be able to juke you out so bad you crumple to the ground. And that he regularly clowns on defenders, shows patience in reading gaps, and waits for blocks to develop is what really completes the package.

His HS offense seems pretty run-heavy, which is to his credit, but also means that there's an understandable lack of him catching passes on this film. But, in the few examples in the clip, he shows nice aptitude, actually running routes down-field instead of just taking typical swing passes. Pass protection skills are unknown, but that's typically something MSU really prizes in its RB recruits, so it's a good bet he at least has the tools to succeed.

I will say his team's OL seems quite good at creating gaps for him (better, to be sure, than most high schools), which is an advantage that may or may not exist for him in college. And I guess the lack of "4.4" high-end speed is a little concerning, in the sense that there's nothing that quite changes a game like a  50-60 yard touchdown, and that doesn't appear to be Scott's game at the next level but...

Le'Veon Bell, Montee Ball, Carlos Hyde. Those are three of the most effective running backs in the Big Ten in recent years, who were all cut from Scott's cloth: lacking in elite speed, but all well-above average in toughness, vision, and footwork. I think MSU picked up a really good one here.

Outlook on the rest of the class

Scott is the first pure running back in MSU's 2015 class, and the 8th commitment overall so far. The Spartans could continue to look for a second running back, likely a smaller, faster, speed-back type who could also find time on return duties, but it's a small class this year, and no one should be worried if other positions are deemed higher priorities in MSU's smallish class (*coughs and gazes at the WR and DT spots*).

Scott looks as though he will join what is becoming quite a long line of successful Spartan running backs. Congrats LJ, and welcome to Michigan State!

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