Running back Larry Scott emerged as one of Ohio's top prospects during a dominant junior campaign at Hubbard High School. Days away from an unofficial visit to Ohio State, the 4-star recruit expressed enthusiasm about his growing rapport with some of the most respected programs in college football.
Scott, a punishing 6'0", 205-pound rusher, is receiving mounting interest as his recruitment heats up. The list of options has expanded with offers from Pittsburgh, Alabama, Ohio State and Auburn since February.
"It's very exciting," Scott said. "I'm trying to stay humble and work hard for next season."
Expectations are high this year after he gained 1,600 yards for the second straight season. Scott, rated the nation's No. 11 running back recruit in 247Sports' composite rankings, scored 21 rushing touchdowns in 2013, as Hubbard won 13 games and advanced to the state quarterfinals.
While assessing his latest offers, Scott seems most intrigued by Alabama and Ohio State. He is delighted to hear from Nick Saban and will travel to Columbus this weekend.
The Buckeyes extended an offer earlier this month. Scott says he keeps in contact with co-offensive coordinator Ed Warinner and will take advantage of an opportunity to explore the campus.
"I've been to Ohio State twice," Scott said. "I'm looking forward to touring everything. (I) really want to check things out."
He was in attendance for the OSU's victory over Penn State last October. Scott was also keeping an eye on the Nittany Lions at the time.
Penn State showed significant interest throughout his junior campaign. Former Lions running back coach Charlie Fisher attended multiple Hubbard games last fall, according to school athletic director Chuck Montgomery.
Scott thought highly of the program prior to Bill O'Brien's departure and that recruiting relationship certainly seemed to be a two-way street. However, the line of communication has altered tremendously since James Franklin became head coach in Happy Valley.
"Penn State hasn’t reached out since their coaching change," Montgomery said. "Coach Fisher was here several times last season but he’s no longer with the program. Penn State hasn’t called since Franklin took over.”
Fisher is now the associate head coach at Richmond, while Scott is left to wonder why things changed with Penn State.
"It's surprising not to hear from them," Scott said.
Still, there's a bevy of Big Ten Conference programs in pursuit. When asked which school stands out among the mix, Scott was decisive.
“Michigan State,” he said without hesitation. “I really like their running game.”
Scott spent time in East Lansing last month. He identified Spartans head coach Mark Dantonio as one of the top program leaders on his list.
"I like hearing from Coach Dantonio, Nick Saban and Urban Meyer," Scott said.
Alabama is on solid footing with the northeast Ohio standout. Expect the Crimson Tide to push for a visit in the near future, though the team already holds a commitment from 4-star, in-state running back Desherrius Flowers.
Scott, who calls himself as a "power back," is unsure of where his recruitment process is headed after the upcoming visit to Ohio State.
“At this time, I’m undecided about all that," he said. "I’ll probably visit a few schools [soon], but I’m not sure where yet.”
His offer list also includes Kentucky, West Virginia and Tennessee. Hubbard head coach Brian Hoffman hasn't been surprised by the level of collegiate interest in his star playmaker.
"It was pretty evident during his freshman year that he was going to reach this point," Hoffman said. "Since then, he’s obviously had some outstanding seasons for us. Physically, the maturity is evident and he has great weight-room numbers."
Scott is every bit of the powerful runner he claims to be. His rushing style is violent, and he routinely displays forceful physicality at the point of contact, springing free from tacklers.
He also shines as a receiver on game film. Scott's straight-line speed allows him to exploit space downfield with the ball in his hands.
The balanced approach has several college squads clamoring for his signature. Ohio State, fresh off offering Scott, has an opportunity to make inroads this weekend, while Michigan State and Alabama appear to loom large moving forward.
Recruit rankings and information courtesy of 247Sports unless otherwise noted.
All quotes were obtained firsthand by B/R college football recruiting columnist Tyler Donohue.