Top Dawgs: Tray Scott

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Top Dawgs: Tray Scott

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Tray Scott has a strategy for recruiting and developing defensive linemen:

…it is up to me to kind of help them develop into a premium run defender and then being that pass rush guy as well. That’s really one of the big things in terms of athleticism, but there’s also a certain mentality.

I’m looking for a guy with a growth mindset. That’s a guy who is ready to grind. He’s ready to challenge his courage every day. It is tough because some guys don’t realize this is a really physical game and you have to be gritty and you have the ability to be very tough and very hard through all of these situations.

You have to do a really good job of evaluating and getting guys on campus to work out. Or you go see them during the spring in evaluation time and really go see the guys move around. You have a low-end spectrum you look for and then there is that perfect NFL prototype you have in your mind. But at the end of the day, there are a lot of those guys who are true NFL prototypes that don’t make it into the NFL.


There were rumblings about Scott’s recruiting chops early in his time at UGA, but the following list of recent recruits has brought the doubters to his side. Jalen Carter, Travon Walker, Jonathan Jefferson, Bill Norton, Nazir Stackhouse, Devonte Wyatt, Warren Brinson, Zion Logue, Tymon Mitchell, Jordan Davis, and Tramel Walthour is no mean list. Tray Scott is a recruiter on par with Kirby Smart’s lofty expectations.





Scott is well grounded in his personal football philosophy.

It’s important because if you focus as a great player on finding brilliance and doing basic things, then you can really be great and you will have an opportunity to sustain,” Scott said. “That’s one of the things we all really try to strive for, is the standard. Train to the standard, not the time. No matter how long the situation may take, how good can I be for how long can I be. So, the guys have really, really taken to that concept, and it’s showed good dividends for us this year.

Scott has settled into the routine of excellence that Kirby Smart has established after taking the reins of the defensive line room from Tracy Rocker. Look for the Dawgs to continue to produce front-line run-stuffers and pass rushers as he continues to recruit at the highest level and he employs the principles of defensive line play.





Scott is an acolyte of legendary defensive line coach Pete Scott who spent 22 season coaching in the SEC.

Scott considers Jenkins – a Macon, Ga., native who got his start coaching high school football in Georgia – a mentor. They never worked on the same staff, but Jenkins spent several years out of college coaching, working in the private sector to train players and coaches. LSU coach Ed Orgeron has said that Jenkins’ “teaching process is the best I’ve ever seen.” And Jenkins has had a huge influence on the coaching and development of defensive linemen in college football, especially in the South.

“We come off the same tree in terms as developing defensive linemen,” said Scott, who played and began his coaching career at Arkansas Tech. “That’s what Kirby and Mel are used to. That was it. I didn’t know Kirby, I didn’t know Mel. So for this situation to happen organically, that doesn’t happen a lot. So that’s been fun.”

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Tray Scott
Tray Scott





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Greg is closing in on 11 years writing about and photographing UGA sports. While often wrong and/or out of focus, it has been a long, strange trip full of fun and new friends.