Oregon’s starting nose tackle Jordon Scott could be a future president of the United States. At least, that’s what coach Mario Cristobal said he “would most likely be”.
"Does he get my vote? Oh, yeah," Cristobal said.
Scott’s big personality and high football IQ are crucial to Oregon’s front seven. The sophomore lightens up stuffy meeting rooms and his teammates gravitate toward and replicate his humble yet hungry attitude.
Even more essential than Scott’s personality, is his ability to defend the middle and control the A-gaps, the space between the center and either guard. Cristobal says Scott’s combination of size and speed make him a perfect fit for Oregon's 3-4 defense. Linebacker Troy Dye appreciates Scott’s consistent play that he considers the foundation of the Duck defense.
“You can’t even put into words what he does for our defense,” Dye said. “He’s probably the most integral part of our defense because it all starts up front and it all starts in the middle.”
Scott is going to have to continue his work in the trenches this Saturday against No. 7 Stanford and Heisman-Trophy runner up Bryce Love. Love is an offensive weapon with quick change of pace and explosive speed, at any moment he can burst through a hole and take it the distance.
So far this season, Scott’s hard work has been evident in how his teammates have shined. He can hold down a double or triple team, freeing up Jalen Jelks and Justin Hollins to put up impressive numbers. The duo has combined for 9.5 tackles for loss with 5.5 sacks through three games.
“I think he's undervalued in the passing game. You don’t hear his name much, but he creates so much push in the pocket that it prevents the quarterback from stepping up and allows the edge rushers to get there,” Cristobal said.
While Scott has proven invaluable to the Ducks’ front seven, the stat sheet doesn’t accurately show his domination of the middle. That may change this week, as Scott has been putting in extra practice time to work on his pass rush moves. Stanford quarterback K.J. Costello could have number 34 barreling his direction.
Scott came to the Oregon football program from Largo, Fla., weighing in at 370 pounds. He shed 40 pounds and became a Freshman All-American. His progression from year one to year two makes defensive line coach Joe Salava’e grin from ear to ear.
“He’s a big body that can move and cover short distance bursts, and can cover sideline to sideline,” said Salava’e. “For a big guy, that size moving that fast, that’s a tremendous attribute to have.”
Whether his stat line jumps off the page or not, Scott is confident heading into Saturday.
“Right now, our front seven versus their front seven… I like our guys,” Scott said.
His own guys like him, too. Jelks, who rooms with Scott on the road, says his teammate is a “goofball” that constantly makes him laugh. Jelks spending so much time on the road with Scott begs the question, does he snore?
“No," Jelks said before calling out former UO defensive lineman DeForest Buckner. “I roommed with De-Fo before. He is the biggest snorer ever. (Scott) does not snore so I can sleep.”
Just another way Scott is helping the Oregon defense.