Lindsey Scott Jr. has had quite the journey to get to where he is today, but now he finds himself on the footsteps of the NFL.
The Incarnate Word quarterback was one of the best dual-threat quarterbacks in college football last year, and he projects as one of the top small-school quarterbacks entering the 2023 NFL Draft. He spent time at LSU, East Mississippi Community College, Missouri and Nicholls State, but his 2022 season with the Cardinals helped propel him into the national spotlight.
Scott ended his collegiate career on a high note, winning the Walter Payton Award as the best offensive player in the FCS. He was also a first-team FCS All-American and the Southland Conference Player of the Year, throwing for 4,686 yards, 60 touchdowns and just 8 interceptions with a completion percentage of 70.9%. He also showcased his ability as a runner, totaling 712 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns on the ground.
As he prepares for the next step in his journey, Scott spoke with Windy City Gridiron about his collegiate career, training for the NFL, winning the Walter Payton Award, and more.
JI: You’re coming off a great year, and both you and Cameron Ward have excelled at QB at Incarnate Word. What do you think has been the key for both you and that offense to keep thriving and have your head coaches getting high-paying gigs elsewhere?
LS: Yeah, I think when can you get a different head coach, the offensive philosophy was a little bit of the same. we tweaked some things when I came in. I think one thing that both head coaches did a great job of is setting the offensive philosophy as an attacking mindset. We had a lot of great players on the perimeter, backfield, and running back, and tight end, as well. I think they did a good job of just making sure that when they game plan and scheming around teams, we’re always attacking down the field, always trying to get our players the ball in space. I think from that, you see the fruition of stats and accolades all across the board on the offense. I think that’s one thing Clint [Killough] has done, just the attacking mindset they bought into every single day when it came to game planning, practice, and on game day.
JI: You’ve bounced around a lot in your collegiate career. How did it feel to be able to solidify yourself in your final year at Incarnate Word?
LS: It was definitely a great feeling going into my last year, I mean, every year is important, but going into my last year, you want to go out on a bang. I stepped foot on campus in January of 2022, and Coach Clint got there, my mindset was, “we’re gonna win the national championship”, and it was nothing less than that, when we went to workouts, whether it was sprints, spring training, or fall camp and into the season. Obviously, we fell one game shorter than that. But personally, the things that I was able to do with helping my teammates and my coaches was something I was very happy about, something I was blessed about, to leave on that on that note. I wanted to move on with a bang, and I think I did. I think after such a long journey, it makes it that much more sweet. I think so many people don’t realize that there’s so many things that go into playing the quarterback position, finding a spot where you fit well schematically, and in the mesh of just so many different things. I could’ve transferred anywhere and got to UIW, and it was a perfect fit for me, scheme-wise and everything else included. It’s one of those things I feel like all the right pieces fell into place. I couldn’t be any happier with the way it went down.
JI: You guys had a great year, and you did individually, too. How did it feel to win the Walter Payton Award?
LS: I remember when I showed up a couple of days before the banquet. I was walking around the hotel, [and] my heart was beating because it was something that meant a lot to me. I know it meant a lot to UIW, my coaches and teammates, as well. Me, personally, when I dropped down from Missouri to Nicholls State and got to FCS level, my first season, I had this little black notebook, and I jot down some things and goals for myself, like season stats, preseason record, and one thing I put for that season was the Walter Payton Award.
I didn’t get it that season; I wasn’t on the watch list, and then the next year, I wasn’t on the watch list, as well. To finally mark that off my list, I did almost everything I wanted to know, excluding national championships. To be able to mark it off my list, it meant the world, and there’s so many things that went to that. When I picked that trophy up, all that hard work, all that adversity that I went through, several years of transferring, that had paid off. It definitely made the journey that much sweeter.
JI: How have you been prepping for the draft?
LS: It’s been great so far. When you’re on the outside looking in, you’re still a college athlete, you hear things from ex-teammates about the process, but you never really know what it’s like until you experience it. It’s a grind, and I couldn’t ask for anything better. I would put my head down and work, so the fact that I get to wake up every morning at 5:30, 6:00 a.m., and go run, and then go lift, and then go throw, and then do board work and film work every day...it’s where you want to be. If you don’t enjoy this part of the process, you’re not really cut out for football. I’ve been enjoying it. I’m learning a lot of things in the classroom, a lot of things...I still got to do a Pro Day, so, [I’m] just being a sponge and constantly learning and constantly enjoying every step of the way so far.
JI: You’re obviously a very talented dual-threat QB. Are there any players you grew up idolizing and tried to take certain aspects of their game and applied it to yours?
LS: In high school my sophomore to senior year, there wasn’t really many quarterbacks my size that were doing it. My senior year, Russell Wilson broke [onto] the scene, Kyler Murray was a class or two ahead of me, he went on to do great things. One guy I’ve always watched as a Louisiana guy was Drew Brees. I think when it comes to the accuracy, to be meticulous about ball placement and stuff like that, I’ve always watched Drew Brees and tried to emulate that. When it came to things outside of the pocket, improvising after the play, I’ve always watched Russell Wilson in his early years, and then Kyler Murray, as well. The older I’ve gotten, the more I’ve strayed away from that narrative. Unless you’re 6-7, you a guy like me that’s 5-11, compared to guys that are like 6-2, we both see the same thing behind a tackle that’s 6-5, 6-7. The older I’ve gotten, the more mature [I’ve gotten].
At this point, I like to watch even guys like Joe Burrow, I think he has [great feel] in the pocket. That’s something that I want to emulate going forward. When it comes to running, I probably can’t get dirty like Lamar Jackson, but watching some of the things that he does, I want to add my game as well. So just these younger quarterbacks that are coming up, they’re doing a lot of great things right now. Obviously, I get my opportunity to step into the league, I think the best thing to do is see what they’re doing, see what they’re doing well, and work your hardest to add it to your game. When I get to the league, I hit the ground running.
JI: How do you spend your free time outside of football?
LS: I got my undergrad degree, my Bachelor’s degree, in Computer Science, so I’ve always been into computer coding when I get some free time. I don’t get as much time as I used to. In school, I like to work on things, have some side projects to mess around with when I have some downtime. I’m gonna get into waking up in the morning and going for a good walk, to be honest. I think in the day and age, everybody likes to kind of sit behind their screen and play video games, [so exercise] benefits you. I’ve been really getting into yoga and pilates lately, just doing that extra mobility. The biggest thing is, I’m always trying to learn about different things, so I’m trying to soak up as much information on this computer side, stuff like that, that I do in my free time.
It’s funny; I thought that, when I was in school, I would go to practice, watch film, and then do my homework and stuff like that, and game with the boys, I thought I’d be doing a lot more. You wake up at 6 a.m. and training from 7 [a.m.] to 4:00, 5:00 p.m., and you have the rest of the day yourself. I’ve been watching Game of Thrones, when I got some downtime, as well. It’s nice to be able to get off my feet and continue learning something or just resting.
JI: What kind of work do you normally do from a coding perspective?
LS: Right now, I’m diving into app development. I know an array of different programming languages: C, C++, C#, Swift, Python. Right now, I’m just starting to learn Swift, so I’m looking to have development, and I get to watch people [make] code videos of themselves doing it. [I have some] eBooks that I’ve been reading. Last summer, I had an opportunity to...I don’t know if you’re familiar with the name Tom House, but he predominantly used to be a baseball guy but started working with Drew Brees and Tom Brady. I had the opportunity to go out there and train with him in San Diego about two summers ago. I got to go out there and meet some different guys. He has an app called Mustard, which is basically an analytical tool for pitchers, throwers, golfers, stuff like that. Last summer, I was looking for some internship stuff, so I got to do a remote internship with his company, helping them with a portion of the analytical tools. That was one cool thing I did. [I’m] very appreciative of him and everybody that gave me a chance to go do that and get into the field. I want to go in towards building my own app, because a lot of things connect to it. I made a couple of websites, I made a website portfolio for myself and pretty much devote some time to that. It’s not something somebody could just watch one time or read one time and pick it up. It’s like learning a new language. In Spanish, you continue to speak [it], and so I’m just trying to stay fluid.
JI: That’s really impressive how you’ve balanced all of that.
LS: You can thank Lindsey Sr. and Sonja Scott for that.
JI: Let’s say I’m an NFL general manager. What would I be getting if I drafted you to my team?
LS: You’d be getting the guy that’s gonna be the first one in the facility and the last one out and a guy that’s going to do everything to come in, absorb the offense and run it at high level as soon as possible. You’re gonna get a guy that’s not afraid to learn, not afraid to go out and attack and be competitive. I think sometimes, rookies come in, and they get wet feet. They get kind of scared because of the moment. I think you’re getting a guy that believes that he’s ready for it and ready to work for everything that he believes that he deserves, all the hard work he’s put in, [and] a great leader in the locker room. [A] quarterback with a high work drive, a high IQ when it comes to things on the football field, so I think that’s the biggest thing just ready to get set somewhere and get to work.