The University of South Florida SBNation blog, Voodoo Five, asked me to provide some comments about Darrell's time in Boulder and if the issue was more of him not taking the time to improve himself, or was it Coach Hawkins and the coaching staff not using him in the right way? I thought it was worth sharing and would be a good way to wrap up the situation and move on. Here is how I explained the situation to the USF blog:
First and foremost, nothing but best wishes for Darrell Scott and his future career at USF. I think its a good move for him. Its always a sticky situation when you try to examine 18 year old kids and why they didn't live up to the hype, why they didn't produce, etc. Its one of those tough lines, especially with Darrell because, let's face it, Dan Hawkins and staff haven't exactly had the results to earn credibility as strong talent developers. One of the main things we talk about at the Ralphie Report is the lack of progression we see in the players from their first year at Colorado. A handful of players have improved on the field but not enough to be a successful team hence a big reason why Colorado was 3 - 9 last season, Hawkins fourth year in Colorado.
But here are the facts we know about Darrell Scott and his stay at Colorado:
1) Highly touted recruit that showed up late to the University of Colorado because he had to take an algebra class over the summer to qualify.
2) Because he was not working out with the team in the summer before his freshman year and was busy studying, he showed up 20 - 30 pounds over weight. He was 235 pounds when he clearly stated that 205 is his optimal playing weight.
more after the jump...
3) He was injury prone his freshman year with a knee/ankle injury and had surgery last year on his knee before he left the team.
4) Coaches made it clear that when Darrell was ready, he would play more. We can speculate on what that may have meant.
5) Scott showed glimpses, some great runs against Eastern Washington, Texas A&M and a great first half against Toledo last season. But he also showed signs of lacking a burst, poor vision, second guessing himself and not knowing how to follow blockers. Coaches referred to Scott having to adjust to be a complete running back instead of a guy who could just out run everybody like he did at the high school level. Again, was the coaching there? Who knows.
6) Darrell Scott during the middle of the season last year left the team without speaking to Dan Hawkins and running backs coach Darian Hagan about it. Coaches found out second hand. Hagan said he has to talk to Darrell's mother to get updates on him as Darrell still hasn't communicated with him. Hagan, who was the coach who recruited Scott and developed the relationship, was shocked when Darrell transfered as he said Scott told him he wasn't leaving a few days before his departure.
7) Scott, in most cases, came off well in the media when he spoke often gracious, humble and saying the right things about working hard and learning the playbook. In his sophomore year, he did mention he would like to get more carries per game to get in the flow. Often times, he would get a series here, a series there but hardly consecutive series. Buff fans became very frustrated with this approach and I can imagine Scott did as well. If he isn't going to contribute at a high level, redshirt him and get him ready to contribute. It wasn't a situation that was handled well. I am sure Hawkins and the coaching staff felt pressure to play Scott being such a prized recruit and the fans wanted to see him play. In the 16 games Scott participated in, he had 10 games where he had 10 or less carries. Scott only averaged 6.8 carries over those 16 games. The point is valid that maybe he should have redshirted a year.
8) Finally, RB Rodney Stewart played better than Darrell Scott at running back from what we saw on game day.
That is, in summary, some of the facts about Darrell Scott and his stay at Colorado. Make any judgements you want but it just was not a good situation from the get go.
One thing we know about Dan Hawkins is he plays the guys who practice hard and excel off the field, over those who supposedely have more talent. Not a bad practice in theory but the Buffs have certainly been lacking the combination of hard workers and talent.
So we had an interesting situation with a coaching staff that has struggled mightily with developing talent & winning games and a highly touted recruit that had some issues. Who's to blame? How about we take this approach: a fresh start is just what Darrell Scott needed. Hopefully, he had time to look at the last two years and realize he needs to make some changes personally. Again we are back to that 18 year old kid trying to live up to NFL rumored talent. I can't imagine the stress that goes along with it but now he has an opportunity with a better program right now in USF to make a mark. He should have better coaching as well. Let's face it, he has been given a second chance that most people don't get when they struggled like he did for two years of eligibility. Luckily for him, he still has a redshirt year so he has two years remaining to make a mark at USF. Now it is up to Darrell to make it work.
Now, as Buff fans, lets move on!