Hornets WR Scott hopes to get picked in NFL draft

Aris Scott

DOVER — There have been several players who have gone from Delaware State University to the National Football League.

Wide receiver Aris Scott is seeking to be the next one.

Scott will be one of many football players hoping to hear their name called as the NFL draft kicks off tonight at 8 p.m. The first round is tonight, the second and third rounds are Friday night (7 p.m.) while the fourth to seventh rounds will take place Saturday starting at noon.

There were scouts from more than 15 NFL teams in Dover last month to watch Scott participate in his pro-day workout. Scott ran the 40-yard dash in 4.45 seconds and had a vertical leap of 35-feet-5-inches at his pro-day.

Since the end of his junior season, Scott estimates he has been in contact with nearly 25 different NFL teams. Scott said the three teams he has heard from the most are the Philadelphia Eagles, the Atlanta Falcons and the New York Jets.

He might come from a small school in the MEAC, but the talent evaluators definitely know who Scott is.

“At the end of the day football is football,” Scott said.  “It comes down to who is the better football player. You got to go out there and compete to beat the guy across from you.”

Most NFL draft websites have pegged Scott as a player who could be taken on the final day of the draft or sign with a team as an undrafted free agent.

The last Delaware State player to be drafted was defensive end Rodney Gunter when the Arizona Cardinals selected him in the fourth round in 2015. Before that, it was in 2001 when wide receiver Darnerien McCants was taken by the Washington Redskins.

Scott, who is from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, only started playing wide receiver full-time when he arrived at Delaware State in 2013. He was a quarterback in high school and rotated between quarterback and wide receiver during a prep school year at Milford Academy Prep in New York.

Scott had his breakout season as a junior in 2015, leading Delaware State with 46 receptions for 683 yards and was fourth in the MEAC in receiving yards per game (62.1). As a senior, he was seventh in the MEAC in receptions and receiving yards.

“I’m still molding my game at receiver,” Scott said. “I’ve improved in my routes and gotten stronger and faster. I’ve heard from teams the best part is my hands, I’m a natural pass catcher. I’m still discovering, not what kind of football player I am, but what type of receiver I can be.”

Scott credits most of his development as a wide receiver to his position coach at DelState, Jelani Berassa. Berassa joined the Delaware State staff in coach Kenny Carter’s first year, right after finishing his playing career at Youngstown State in 2015.

Scott said him and Berassa hit it off immediately.

“He’s been telling me since the day he got here that I had potential to play at the next level,” Scott said. “It was easy for me to relate to him because he’s fresh off the field. He brought the best out of me and put me in the position I am today.”

Scott only plans to watch the first round of the draft on television. He said he went home to Harrisburg to spend time with family and friends, which he will be doing on Friday and Saturday instead of staring at the phone, waiting for a potential call.

If the NFL doesn’t work out, Scott has a backup plan. He is one internship class away from earning his degree from Delaware State.

“If worse comes to worse, I’ll be graduating in December,” he said. “It’s a win-win situation no matter what happens.”

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