Sitting and waiting isn’t high on any athlete’s list of favorite things.
For Jacobi Scott, that isn’t completely unfamiliar territory, though, so his latest athletic journey won’t be as tough as it might be for others.
The former Walker two-sport star will spend his freshman college season at Grambling State as a preferred walk-on quarterback in the Tigers’ storied football program, which means the 5-foot-10 playmaker will again be in waiting mode.
Last fall was Scott’s only season as the Wildcats’ starting QB after he served as the understudy to Terry Bozeman in 2015 when Walker broke through for a 5-5 season.
Scott helped the Wildcats take another important step forward by passing for 2,969 yards and 30 touchdowns for a team that notched a 7-3 regular-season record, punched a ticket to the Class 5A playoffs for the first time in program history and ended a 25-game district losing streak
With a small sampling size of his abilities available to recruiters, Scott’s mailbox didn’t exactly fill up, nor did his phone buzz all day long with scholarship offers. He had a spot at Division III (non-scholarship) Louisiana College, as well as an invite to walk on at Nicholls State and LaGrange College in Georgia, another D-III school.
So when Grambling coaches sent out feelers about walking on, Scott jumped on the chance after a coaching change at Louisiana College created some uncertainty with his football future.
“It’s big for me because I only started one year in high school,” Scott said. “My numbers were real good, but I didn’t think I’d draw any attention I feel like if I work hard enough, I can show what I can do and work into a scholarship.”
His former Walker coach has no doubt Scott will follow that script. Brandon Lawley handed Scott the keys to the Wildcats’ offense last season and was amazed at how well he mastered the scheme without having played substantial snaps the season before.
“He was incredible for us,” Lawley said last fall after Scott was named the All-Livingston Parish Co-Offensive MVP. “We don’t do a lot offensively. We try to get really good at a few things and really execute them and keep the defense off balance and be unpredictable, but it takes that trigger man and Jacobi was great at that. He’s a play-maker. He got us in the right play and the right protection almost every time. I’d call plays backwards all the time and he’d fix the protection and make sure we ran the play right.”
As his statistics attest, Scott made right plays a lot more often than not. He topped 300 passing yards four times and when Scott was clicking, the Wildcats were at their best.
With Scott leading the charge, three other Walker offensive players earned first-team All-Parish spots: Receivers Darius Hampton and Terrell Warner and big offensive guard Martin Brooks. Three Wildcats were second-team all-parish – running back Jalen Hills, center Payton Killcrease and tight end Judd Lockhart.
Part of the Wildcats’ success was built around Scott’s knack for distributing the ball well: Lockhart led the team with 49 catches for 703 yards, Warner was second with 41 grabs and a team-best 12 TDs and Hampton racked up the most yardage (935) on 38 receptions with 11 scores.
“We had so many guys who could make plays,” Scott said. “All I had to do was find ways to get them the ball.”
Now the biggest challenge for Scott will be to flash back to his sophomore and junior campaigns at Walker when he waited out Bozeman’s record-setting tenure.
Grambling’s starting quarterback will likely be Ole Miss transfer Devante Kincade, with former Ouachita Parish star Charles Wright and Oklahoma native Trevon Cherry also waiting in the wings.
Scott joins the fray as the smallest and youngest signal-caller in the group, but also the one who has had patience foisted on him before.
“Terry was really good and I learned a lot from watching him," Scott said. "Grambling has a good quarterback now for me to learn from. I’m prepared to work hard and hopefully show out. I look at this is a year to show the coaches I can step in and be the next guy.”
Before Scott could leave for North Louisiana, he had some fence-mending to do at home, but only with one parent.
Mom Bridget Scott is a Grambling alum, while dad Parviz went to Southern, where he played receiver for the Jaguars.
“My mom is excited,” Jacobi Scott said with a chuckle. “My dad was happy … but he felt like I should still be a Jaguar. I looked at Southern and thought hard about going there, but this is the right place for me. I’m ready to see what I can do at this level.”
Randy Rosetta is Sports Editor of The Livingston Parish News.
You can reach him at (225) 610.5507 or RandyR@LivingstonParishNews.com.
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