New Mexico State receiver Jaleel Scott went to the Ravens with the 32nd pick of the foruth round of the 2018 NFL Draft. He could go on to a solid NFL career.
Regardless of that, Scott will always be memorable for making one of the most outrageous catches in recent college football history during his senior season. Just look at it:
Scott will probably never make another catch like that in his life, because 99.98 percent of receivers never makes a catch like that in the first place.
At the NFL Combine, I asked Scott to dissect his amazing grab.
“We was in a 3-by-1 concept, so I was backside, by myself.”
The Aggies also had a running back lined up as a slot receiver, a little more than 10 yards inside of Scott. But NMSU was always going in Scott’s direction.
Scott got a signal from his quarterback, Tyler Rogers, to run a fade route.
“I was running side-by-side by the guy.”
That’s Arizona State cornerback Kobe Williams. The problem for Williams was that he is 5’10, and Scott is 6’5. The shorter corner had to compensate somehow.
“We was in the end zone now,” Scott says. “So he’s holding my left arm, so I didn’t have no way for me to catch the ball unless I went up with one hand.”
The two officials in the area kept their flags on their belts. Scott was on his own.
“So I went up with one hand. Surprisingly, I caught the ball.”
It was an incredible athletic feat just to get the ball into his right hand. More amazing was securing the ball and getting one foot inbounds, all you need in the college game. The other foot was close to making it in too.
“I realized that I had it, but I didn’t realize I was in bounds until I see my teammates celebrating and the stadium erupted, you know,” Scott says. “Even though we was away, they erupted. So it was a blessing, and it was one of my all-time favorite memories.”
NMSU’s entire 2017 was a dream, with Scott in a key role.
The Aggies hadn’t played in a bowl game since 1960. Last season, they didn’t win that game at Arizona State, but they got through the season with a 6-6 record after winning three games or fewer in each of the previous five seasons.
That earned them a bid to the Arizona Bowl, ending a 57-year bowl drought. There, they beat Utah State on a walk-off TD in overtime.
Scott had 1,079 receiving yards, more than twice as many as anyone else on the team. Nine of his 76 catches went for touchdowns. His Aggies were one of the best stories in the whole sport.
“It was a blessing, to be honest with you, because we did it the right way,” Scott says. “The whole summer, we grind. We did everything as a team. We communicated with one another. So it was a blessing for me to help my team achieve a goal that we all wanted.”
Next for Scott: Putting his big frame (6’5, 218 pounds) to professional use.
“I bring a lot of red zone threat, winning my 50/50 ball,” he says. “Large catch radius. That’s some of the traits I’ll bring to an NFL team.”