Niles Scott, FSU’s Defensive Leader

When you watch ESPN, you usually hear a lot about the best college athletes in Division I and sometimes DII, but not often DIII. Well, one of the premier pass-rushers in DIII college football turns out to be Niles Scott, who has made major contributions to Frostburg State’s football team since 2014.

Scott, a 6’3, 295-pound senior defensive lineman from Elkton, Maryland, loves football and lives it. In fact, he has been playing the game of football since he was four years old when he originally lived in Richmond, Virginia. “I started in flag football, and from there on I’ve been playing my whole life,” he said.

Scott chose FSU as his destination for college football because of its persistence. “They’ve stayed with me every single day,” the defensive lineman said. “I probably get a call from my head coach DeLane Fitzgerald literally everyday about something, just checking up on me.”

In Scott’s freshman year in 2014, Frostburg only won four games, but since Fitzgerald took control of this football team a year later, these Bobcats have suddenly turned into contenders.

“Coach Fitzgerald came in here with a plan,” Scott said. “His plan right off the bat was that he was going to make us into winners and champions. The thing was really foreign to this school. The way he went about it was the best thing ever, and he’s the greatest coach for that.”

This past spring during a football practice, Scott had been looked at by NFL scouts, with the possibility of him making it to the pros.

“It was a really humbling experience,” the senior said. “The scout from the Philadelphia Eagles and Redskins comes up and then he questions about three or four guys on the team, and he times us and works us out. It was honestly an honor and a blessing to be able to have that.”

From September 2016 to October of this year, the football team won 13 straight games, which included a win in the 2016 Asa S. Bushnell Bowl, but Scott didn’t think about it like that.

“It kind of goes on like a day-to-day basis,” he said. “Basically one game at a time, so I wasn’t even aware that we won 13 straight games. But it’s definitely a great feeling that you can keep a winning streak like that alive and we’re just looking forward to keeping on doing that this year.”

This season, Scott has a total of 41 tackles, including a season-high seven in two games (against Christopher Newport and Rowan), as well as nine sacks. On Saturday, Nov. 11, Scott won his final regular season game as FSU defeated arch-rival Salisbury 14-7 in double overtime. The Bobcats snapped a 12-game losing streak against the Sea Gulls last November.

Speaking before the Salisbury game, Scott said, “I believe that it will be more thrilling because this year we’re competing for a spot to compete for the National Championship,” he said. “So it’s definitely a lot at stake here, and we’re working hard all week, just as we know they are too, and we’ve got to come out fired up–just ready to go.”

The Bobcats certainly left their mark on the field during the 2017 regular season, and Niles Scott will go down in FSU football history as one of the program’s greatest athletes.

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