South safety BJ Scott spent the final two years of his college career playing in front of fans at Ladd-Peebles Stadium -- also the home arena of the South Alabama Jaguars – so Saturday's game was especially bittersweet for the Prichard, Ala. native.
Scott originally signed a letter of intent to the University of Alabama as a multi-purpose athlete but spent more time on the defensive end of the field as injuries began to pile up. Those injuries eventually cost him playing time at Alabama and he eventually transferred to South Alabama in the spring of 2011.
The move might have cost him two championship rings on his resume but he feels moving to Mobile was still the best thing for his career.
"I wouldn’t have done anything any differently," Scott told SB Nation. "In fact, if given a second chance, I would have chosen the exact same path because I really feel like I was able to make a difference this way."
Scott needed a lot of things to go right in order to secure the invite to Saturday's game. First, his South Alabama teammate LB Jake Johnson was a late addition, receiving his invite on Tuesday. Just one practice into his Senior Bowl experience, Johnson bowed out with an Achilles injury, which led to Scott finally receiving his invite.
With just one abbreviated practice session and Saturday’s game to impress professional scouts, Scott set out to make the most of his "gift opportunity."
His coaching staff put him into a position to shine, playing more minutes than anyone would have expected for someone with so little practice time. He ended the game with three tackles and even received a few snaps at wide receiver.
"I think, with what little time I had, that I showed them I was a gamer," Scott said. "To be able to come in on just one day of practice and pick up on both their offensive and defensive system and play both corner and safety has to show them that I have the mindset to make it at this level."
Scott was rated by Rivals.com to be a five-star prospect out of Vigor High School, and he was rated the No. 1 athlete and No. 19 prospect in the ESPN.com 150 rankings. Scott leaves his final game at Ladd-Peebles with the hope that there is always room in the NFL for someone with his pedigree.