By KOLBY PAXTON
TULSA – The Justin Fuente-era likely received a considerable boost on Wednesday when Tahlequah-Sequoyah quarterback Brayden Scott remained true to a six-month-long commitment, inking with Memphis during the early-entree signing period.
Scott, the top-ranked quarterback in the state, fielded offers from Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Arizona State, Clemson, Houston, Iowa State, Missouri, Purdue, Tennessee and Tulsa, in addition to the Tigers. According to Rivals, he is the top-rated player to sign or commit to the Tigers’ 2013 class.
“We have a lot of guys on the staff that have connections in that part of the country,” said Fuente. “We’ve known about him for some time. We know him as a player and we know about him from our football family. He’s a big, strong kid that runs around pretty well, and obviously has some talent.”
Scott had flirtations with Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Arkansas, but various factors led him, instead, to west Tennessee. He will graduate at semester, and enroll at the University of Memphis in time for the spring semester, which starts Jan. 17.
“I want to start,” said Scott. “I want to start the day that I get there. And that’s one of the reasons I’m going there. Vance Vice and [Justin] Fuente told me, ‘You’ve got a chance to start as a true freshman.’ Of course, if I don’t, it’s not a bad thing. I’ll have January through August under my belt. I’ll have that time to learn the playbook, as well. That way, when it is my time, I can shred the defenses in the Big East.”
If Scott is to play during his first autumn on campus, he will have to beat out incumbent starter Jacob Karam, a senior, who completed 64 percent of his throws, for 1,895 yards, 14 touchdowns, and just three interceptions in 2012.
“Every position on our entire roster is open to competition,” said Fuente. “He’s graduating early, and it’ll be a little bit of an adjustment for him at the beginning. I know there are others at the position that are looking forward to competing for the spot, but we’ll bring him in and give him an opportunity. We’ll get him in here and see what he really does well and try to capitalize on those things.”
Scott chose the Tigers in June while in Austin, Texas, for the IFAF Under-19 World Championship. The early commitment raised questions as to whether or not the choice would stick until the time came to sign a letter of intent.
“A lot of people raised their eyebrows and had questions,” said Scott. “You know, why Memphis? I had offers from Alabama, Arkansas, major SEC, Big 12 schools, Pac-12 schools, Arizona, Arizona State, but when it comes down to it, the best situation for me was at Memphis. It’s all what I want. I want to play as soon as I can. It’s not far from home, easy drive, five hours. And it’s a good coaching staff. That’s what sold me, the coaches.”
The 6-foot-2, 195-pounder amassed 7,069 passing yards and 110 total touchdowns during his four-year prep career. He recorded a 35-7 record as a starter, including nine wins and a district title in 2012.