Despite national attention, Josiah Scott is focused on winning
Josiah Scott is well aware of the national attention he has generated.
Just three games into his collegiate career, Scott is hauling in weekly recognition from the national media, including Pro Football Weekly.
“My dad usually sends me stuff like that,” Scott said of the attention he has been receiving. “It’s a good honor to get that, but I’m just going to try to do the best I can to help my team out. So if having performances like that and getting nationally recognized (will help), I can do that ... So it’s just all helping my team.”
The true freshman cornerback has recorded three tackles, including one unassisted, three pass breakups and one interception through three games this season.
Scott’s imposing performance comes to no surprise.
During National Signing Day in February, head coach Mark Dantonio individually spoke about each incoming 2017 recruit and compared Scott to former Spartan Darqueze Dennard, who was drafted No. 24 overall by the Cincinnati Bengals in the 2014 NFL Draft.
On Tuesday, during Dantonio’s weekly press conference, the 11th-year head coach stood true to his statement he made in February, comparing Scott once again to Dennard.
“Josiah is a mature individual,” Dantonio said. “He works hard, he's tough, can run, got great ball skills, he plays the ball back to the ball very effectively and he reminds me a lot, in terms of how he presents himself and how he handles himself, of Darqueze Dennard, especially that Darqueze was a true freshman. And that's admirable. Thus far he's been great.”
Scott has started in all three of the Spartans' games this season despite being listed on the depth chart as a second-string cornerback for three straight weeks. However, on Tuesday, Scott was listed as a starter for the first time all season.
“I started the first three games, but I haven’t been paying attention to that,” Scott said of the depth chart. “I just know all four of us (Scott, Josh Butler, Justin Layne and Tyson Smith) are going to play. We’re all going to rotate in, so we’re all going to get chances to play. It doesn’t matter who starts or who doesn’t start.”
The Ohio native said that after MSU’s loss to Notre Dame last weekend, the cornerback group needs to focus on playing tighter coverage.
“We felt like we played off a little more — letting receivers run down the field and not really get our hands on,” he said. “So we’re going to try to get our hands on this game and make it hard for the receivers.”
The Spartans open up conference play this weekend as MSU takes on Iowa.
Scott believes this game is a chance for the team to help reel in the nation’s attention.
“We have something to prove,” he said. “We played a tough opponent last week, and I feel like we’re not getting the attention that we want, so we’re going to come out and play as hard as we can because Iowa is a real tough opponent. So we’re just going to try to give the best we can and try to come out with the (win)."