WR Scott seeks strong finish with Hornets

“Everything happens for a reason,” DSU wide receiver Aris Scott said. “I just knew it was going to work out for the best and in the end I’m still here. Coach Carter came in here with a plan and turned me into a better player on the field and turned me into a better man off it.” (Photo courtesy of Delaware State Athletics)

“Everything happens for a reason,” DSU wide receiver Aris Scott said. “I just knew it was going to work out for the best and in the end I’m still here. Coach Carter came in here with a plan and turned me into a better player on the field and turned me into a better man off it.” (Photo courtesy of Delaware State Athletics)

DOVER — Aris Scott has seen a lot of things at Delaware State.

Most of them have not been good.

One of only seven seniors on the Hornet football team this year, DSU’s top wide receiver has experienced two different head coaches, six different starting quarterbacks and 26 losses in his career.

A new season, though, brings a fresh start. Scott is determined to erase the bad memories and end his career on a positive note.

“We went 1-10 last year,” he said. “That’s all the motivation you need.”

Scott is one of 12 holdovers who were recruited to DelState by former coach Kermit Blount. Blount was let go after the 2014 season and was replaced by first-time head coach Kenny Carter.

The Hornets did lose players during the coaching change. A handful elected to finish their careers elsewhere after Carter’s first season in charge.
The two most notable losses this offseason were star defensive lineman Gabe Sherrod and wide receiver Malik Golson, who transferred to Michigan State and Murray State, respectively, via the graduate transfer rule.

Scott could have left too, but decided to finish his collegiate career where it started.

“Everything happens for a reason,” Scott said. “I just knew it was going to work out for the best and in the end I’m still here. Coach Carter came in here with a plan and turned me into a better player on the field and turned me into a better man off it.”

That relationship with Carter is why Scott is optimistic heading into this season, which starts with a trip to Delaware on Thursday, Sept. 1.

“Last year with a first year coach you don’t know what his intentions are but coach Carter is with us 100 percent,” Scott said. “He’s behind us 100 percent on and off this field. So our focus this camp has never been higher.”

Scott’s role as a senior is magnified this season with yet another quarterback change. The Hornets are planning on splitting time with sophomore Kobie Lain and junior college transfer Dan Epperson to begin the season.

Getting used to a new quarterback isn’t new to Scott. The last time he had a stable quarterback situation was his freshman year when Cory Murphy won the starting job.

The quarterback he has caught the most passes from is third-stringer and fellow senior Gilbert Rivera who was called into action multiple times in 2014 and 2015 because of injuries. Epperson will mark the sixth starting quarterback Scott has played with, Lain started the final two games of last season.

“I just try to work with both of them,” Scott said of the two-quarterback system. “They both have a lot of confidence. If one goes down, I’m not worried about it. It’s the first time in a while we had depth at the quarterback position. If two go down, I’m still not worried about it because Gil has played a lot of football the past two years.”

For the young quarterbacks, a player like Scott is invaluable. Not just because of his experience, but because of 6-foot-2 frame and ability to out-leap cornerbacks.

“Aris is great,” Lain said. “Many big time programs don’t have receivers his size. For us to have someone like Aris to throw to every single day is just a blessing.

Scott enters the season as a preseason All-MEAC third team selection. He finished fourth in the MEAC in receiving yards per game (62.1) one year ago and was the Hornets’ top receiver with 46 receptions for 683 yards.

But he’s never experienced a winning season and this is his last chance.

“Time is ticking,” Scott said. “College went by fast. I’ve been through a lot on and off the field here but it’s a blessing to still be playing football and I’ve got a great coach, a great offense, great defense and great special teams. We’ve got a great team this year and I feel like we’re going to do a lot.”

Reach staff writer Tim Mastro at tmastro@newszap.com

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