Former Abilene Christian star ready for NFL Draft
By CHAREAN WILLIAMScjwilliams@star-telegram.comR
Abilene Christian Athletics
Running back Bernard Scott, left, believes he is "the steal" of this yearís NFL Draft. Abilene Christian Athletics Related Tags (BETA)
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Abilene ChristianNFL DraftNFLMMARandy WhiteNCAA DivisionCentral ArkansasQuan CosbyHebroncoordinationHall of FamersCarrolltonMarcus Spears
CARROLLTON ó Abilene Christian running back Bernard Scott didnít know much about Randy White before Scott began training under him earlier this year. He was, after all, only 4 years old when Whiteís 14-year career with the Dallas Cowboys ended.
"I knew that he played for the Cowboys, but I didnít realize how good he was," Scott said. "I didnít realize he was a Hall of Famer."
NFL scouts know Scott. His pro career will begin next week when the NFL Draft is held in New York. Most draft sites project Scott as a late-round choice, but Scottís agent, Scott Casterline, expects Scott to go earlier. New England and Cincinnati, both of which are in need of a young running back, worked out Scott in Abilene. Green Bay and Chicago also have shown interest.
Since winning the Harlon Hill Trophy as the best player in NCAA Division II football last season, Scott has been training in Dallas with White, learning to apply martial arts to football. He also has been kickboxing with mixed martial arts fighter Guy "The Sandman" Mezger.
"At the beginning, it was [a little foreign]," said Scott, who also is doing traditional conditioning in addition to martial arts. "But I always heard about football players doing that for extra conditioning. I was willing to learn something new. Anything that helps, Iím willing to give it a try."
White began applying the principles of martial arts to football soon after he was drafted by the Cowboys in 1975. White now holds camps for young football players, including one in Hebron on Saturday, and he works weekly with more experienced players, including Cowboys defensive end Marcus Spears and Texas receiver Quan Cosby.
White believes the techniques improve hand-eye coordination, balance and speed.
"Basically what it does is it gives the people who take the time and pay the price to work on this, it gives them an edge over the other guy," White said. "Theyíve got another mousetrap to use."
Scott is hoping the training techniques help him as much as White insists they helped White during his career.
Scott put up some eye-popping numbers in college: 1,892 rushing yards and 27 touchdowns in one season at Blinn Junior College; 1,026 yards and 11 TDs in one season at Central Arkansas; and 4,321 rushing yards and 63 TDs in two seasons at ACU. He also had 103 catches for 1,462 yards and 10 TDs in his two seasons with the Wildcats.
"Heís had an amazing career," ACU coach Chris Thomsen said. "The numbers speak for themselves. The rushing numbers are pretty staggering, but then you throw in his ability to catch the ball as well as he does. I think one of the most impressive things about Bernard is he played 46 college games, and he never came out because of injury. The guy is incredibly durable. Everywhere heís been, obviously people have fed him the ball, because heís so gifted, but heís never been hurt. Thatís a testament to his work ethic and his elusive ability as a running back."
If not for some off-field concerns, Scott likely would have gone to a Division I school and could have been the top-rated running back in the draft. He has been honest about his past, which included being kicked off his Vernon High School team for fighting, and was suspended at Central Arkansas before deciding to transfer to ACU.
"Teams have done their homework," Casterline said. "Theyíve talked to Bernard, and my observation is theyíre satisfied with the answers theyíve gotten from Bernard and from their research. ... Heís past it. Heís a mature young man, and heís working hard."
Thomsen, who has known Scott since high school and coached at Central Arkansas when Scott played there, points out that Scott was a team captain and "well respected by his teammates."
Scott said heíd like to change the past, but at the same time, his mistakes have made him the person he is today.
"You go through different stuff for a reason," Scott, 25, said. "I think everything I went through made me a better person, made me a better man."
Maybe made him a better player, too.
"I donít know if I was ready for this at 21 or 22," Scott said. "Iím ready now. ... Not to take anything away from the other backs, but I think Iím the steal of this draft. I didnít get the media attention some of those other guys got, but once I get to a team, Iím going to help my team."
Charean Williams, 817-390-7760