Time in Bossier City helped mold Eagles’ Scott into ‘that dude’

BIG LITTLE GUY: While in junior high in Bossier City, Philadelphia Eagles running back Boston Scott was an offensive lineman. Since then, he’s been an undersized but productive RB at Louisiana Tech and in the NFL. (Courtesy Greenacres Middle School yearbook, and Philadelphia Eagles)

By ROY LANG III, Journal Sports

Boston Scott understands. His 5-foot-6, 203-pound frame is easy for the naïve to dismiss. It’s been that way for a long time. Not only does Scott embrace the stigma, he often turns the tables by diving in head first to give himself an advantage.

During his time as a running back at Zachary High School, the Broncos created a play dubbed “Hide the …,” well, let’s just say “little guy.” The play, designed to bury Scott behind a guard before getting the football, didn’t always work, but the concept was good enough to bring to the game’s highest level.

“That play is still around,” Scott, now a Philadelphia Eagle on the brink of the biggest game in his career, told The Journal. “We ran that play against Dallas. I was all for it (at Zachary). I was trying to get in there and play all I could.”

Sunday, the Louisiana Tech product, who cut his teeth as an offensive/defensive lineman at Greenacres Middle School in Bossier City, will tote the ball for the Eagles at Super Bowl LVII in Glendale, Arizona.

“God has exceeded all expectations,” Scott said.

Scott is a Baton Rouge native, but Hurricane Katrina forced his family to evacuate to North Louisiana. His brother, Tony, played football at Airline while his sister, Alana, attended Apollo Elementary.

Life included a daily half-mile walk to Greenacres Middle School from Scott’s apartment off Airline Drive. In terms of football, perhaps Scott was misplaced up front. However, it couldn’t have worked out better.

“I learned how hard I work, about my willingness to master skills the best I could at that size and that stature,” Scott said. “That unlocked something in me that I feel helped me when I became a running back at Zachary. Seeing some of the guys on the team – how good they were, how strong they were, I knew I didn’t have the gifts they had and I had to work.”

Before Greg Williams took over Byrd baseball, he was at Zachary, where he also served as an assistant football coach. When Scott appeared on campus, after his mother was the victim of job cuts in Bossier City, it didn’t take long for the Broncos staff to realize it had a unique asset.

“His work ethic was second-to-none,” Williams said of the multisport prep star. “We were a pass-happy offense, but obviously found ways to incorporate him. You knew he was special — maybe not football-wise. He had a great personality and sense of humor, an easy guy to coach.

“If it didn’t work out with football, I know it would have in another area.”

Despite a great career at Zachary that included letters in football, soccer and track and a state championship in power lifting, college coaches didn’t exactly break down Scott’s door on the recruiting trail. Heck, they didn’t even knock.

Off to Ruston he went as a walk-on for the Bulldogs. Again, he was forced to prove himself from the ground floor of college football – the scout team.

Scott’s parents, Anthony and Shelly, carried themselves with “confidence,” and their middle child learned how important that was very early.

“I had to learn how to clap for myself, believe in myself,” Scott said. “I was easy to overlook.”

The mantra served him well at Louisiana Tech. As a senior, Scott led the team with 1,047 rushing yards and eight touchdowns.

But the process started again after he was drafted in the sixth round by the New Orleans Saints in 2018. He never made it higher than the practice squad. Near the end of the 2018 season, the Eagles came calling. He played two games for Philadelphia that
year and then scored five touchdowns in 11 games during the 2019 campaign. He’s scored 17 touchdowns in four years with the Eagles.

Sunday, Scott — with immediate family in attendance — will play for the sport’s ultimate title. He will aim to score for the third straight playoff game (fourth straight game overall), but he’s not screaming “I told you so” from the top of the mountain.

“When you get those blessings it’s easy to forget what got you there, all the hard work you put in and you start feeling yourself,” Scott said, “but there is a bunch of people that invested in me, that provided me opportunity to get where I’m at today. It’s important to reflect and look back at the things you’ve gone through. It keeps you humble, down to earth.”

For Scott, a former member of the school band, attitude is everything.

“The key for guys like Boston is their ability to put themselves out there,” Williams said. “They had no problem risking failure. A lot of guys have a fear of failure. In his mind, he was never too small. His attitude was, ‘I’m the dude and I’m going to be the dude. Whether you think so or not, I’m the dude.’”

“Whatever I did I’ve always wanted to give my all – pursue excellence in whatever I put my mind to,” Scott said. “Each phase in this journey required so much of my mental, of my physical and of my spiritual, and forced me into taking it a day at a time. I remain present throughout the journey. Adversity, hard times and struggles prepared me for what I was about to step into.

“I’m about to play in the Super Bowl. It’s crazy.”

Contact Roy at roylangiii@yahoo.com

MAN IN A SUPER HURRY: Once a walk-on in Ruston, Scott earned a scholarship and led the Bulldogs in rushing as a senior.