Spotlight: Kenneth Scott leads Utah Football in his final season

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Utah wideout Kenneth Scott is not your ordinary leader. He is the type of leader who knows something about every other player on the roster, all 118 of them. He leads by example and has the admiration of his entire team and coaching staff.

As a senior, Scott has been able to focus more on himself and being a leader because he is no longer bothered by the statistics. In fact, he pays no attention to them at all.

If there is ever anything he needs to work on, he will know based on how he feels after a game. Scott’s focused on the big picture instead of every little number.

“I just make sure I’m fine-tuning my route running,” Scott said. “Make sure every opportunity I get, make it, own it. That’s the main thing for me.”

A super senior, this is Scott’s sixth season as a Ute, so he is familiar with all the ins and outs of the team. Head coach Kyle Whittingham attributes this as the reason why Scott makes such a great leader on the team.

Scott was chosen as a team captain before the season began, along with Andy Phillips, Devontae Booker, Jared Norris and Gionni Paul, but Scott finds himself on a whole other level when it comes to captain status. Whittingham compares his senior receiver to the likes of former Utah greats like Nate Orchard, Trevor Reilly and Tony Bergstrom.

“He may very well be the leader of the leaders,” Whittingham said. “Each year it seems like we always have one guy who gravitates to that position, and Kenneth is doing a great job.”

Scott tries to keep an upbeat attitude for the most part, something that can only benefit him and his teammates.

“We don’t have negative clouds around our heads, especially with our leaders on the team,” Scott said.

Even though he is not paying attention to his numbers, Scott did fare well from that standpoint last season. He finished with 48 receptions, 506 receiving yards and four touchdowns, but this season is a bit of a different story. In the first two games, he has just four catches for 33 yards.

Whittingham is trying to implement Scott more into the offense because of his impact last season and hopes to see him run more deep-routes for the offense.

“Kenneth Scott is a heck of a receiver, and we got to get him more in the action,” Whittingham said.

For his entire career at the U, quarterback Travis Wilson has had the luxury of being able to throw to Scott. Wilson is a senior this season and thinks very highly of his receiver teammate, saying Scott is unlike any other player in the locker room.

“[Scott’s] amazing,” Wilson said. “He does a great job. He’s somebody that everybody looks up to. He’s somebody that I definitely look up to.”

Wilson views Scott as a nice guy, but he also knows Scott has high expectations for all of his teammates, and they do their best to follow what he says. Whether it is the way he conducts himself off the field or the way he approaches games and practices, everyone on the team tries to resemble the example set by Scott.

Wilson is happy he has Scott for one last shot at a Pac-12 title, as both will depart from the team at the conclusion of the season. Thanks to his athleticism and high football I.Q., Scott is sure to be one of Wilson’s main targets in 2015, despite the slow start.

“He’s a great athlete,” Wilson said. “He’s one of the best players on the team. He treats everything the same, and he works hard every chance he gets, and he’s always doing extra to get smarter with football in general or running more routes, stuff like that.”

Although Whittingham admits he could not say something about all of his teammates in college, partly because there were about 200 guys on the roster, it speaks to the great lengths Scott goes to so he can be the captain everyone on the team can trust.

“He’s a great leader,” Whittingham. “He cares more about his teammates and he’s more interested in being a great teammate than anything else, which is good.”

During Scott’s final year as a Ute, he wants to put Utah on the map for years to come and is tired of people underestimating the Utes’ ability as a team.This only motivates him to play at a higher level, however.

“Every week we’re undervalued,” Scott said. “It’s been like that forever. We already got that chip on our shoulder when we go out there. We’re always trying to prove everybody wrong.”

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@kbrenneisen