Wesley’s Scott grows into leading roll

DOVER — Nick Glover has known Will Scott long enough to remember the scrawny kid he used to be.

Scott guesses that he might have had about 180 pounds on his 6-foot-1 frame as a junior defensive lineman on the Dover High football team.

“The Will Scott I knew back then, he was real skinny — pencil skinny,” said Glover, another former Senator defensive lineman. “Then, all of a sudden, he just blew up.”

Indeed, the Will Scott who’s now a senior defensive end at Wesley College, stands 6-foot-2 and weighs a solid 235. And, by all accounts, Scott has added that size without losing any of his athleticism.

While making the NFL is a longshot for any Division III player, even pro scouts have noticed some of the numbers Scott has put up in testing. He benches over 400 pounds and broad jumps over 11 feet.

“You don’t see many Division III players looking like he does,” sad Wesley defensive coordinator Joe Bottiglieri. “He’s very, very impressive.

“He works extremely hard in the weight room — probably as hard as anyone I’ve ever seen in all my years of coaching,” said Bottiglieri, a coaching veteran of 47 seasons. “Pound for pound, he’s the strongest player on the team. He’s got total body strength.

“By that I mean, he’s explosive in the legs and hips and then he’s got good upper-body strength also. He can use his hands and lock out on a blocker. There’s no substitute for that strength.”

Scott’s emergence is just one reason the Wolverines think they have the makings of a pretty good defensive line again this year.

Woodbridge High grad Shymere Vessels, a junior, has already done a lot of good things for Wesley at the other defensive end spot. Veteran defensive tackles Glover and Rock Hunter also decided to come back as fifth-year seniors.

“We’re excited about having them back,” Bottiglieri about Glover and Hunter. “The younger players can learn from them. They’re older, they’re more mature, they’ve been through the tough practices, they’ve been through a lot of games.

“Their leadership is invaluable. They set such a good example for the younger players.”

Scott is a veteran now, too. But he hasn’t forgotten what it was like to be an undersized kid playing on the defensive line in high school.

“When I first started playing, I always used to get smacked,” he said with a laugh.

A lot has changed since then.

Scott started all 11 games for Wesley last fall. Among his 37 tackles were a team-high 9.5 tackles for losses of 36 yards with a team-best six sacks and three QB hurries.

Scott credits hard work for most of his physical development.

“Growth spurts and just putting in the work,” he said. “It definitely helps (on the field). It gives you an advantage for sure — that and just learning more as you go.

“Being pushed by my parents, they helped a lot. They just motivated me to keep going.”

Glover said all you have to do it look at where Scott was in high school to where he is now to realize how much he was committed to making himself better. He said it’s been fun to watch.

“He’s definitely become a special player,” said Glover. “He’s come a long way — a long way. I’m proud of him because of the stuff he’s doing here. … He’s doing a lot to help this team win.”

Extra points

The Wolverines weren’t ranked but did receive votes in the preseason D3Football.com Top 25. They were the 29th team listed in the rankings. That still makes them the highest-rated NJAC squad. … Wesley College started its fall semester already this week which limited it to only four days of two-a-day practices in the preseason. Some NJAC schools don’t start classes until September.

Reach sports editor Andy Walter at walter@newszap.com

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