Alabama Recruiting Update:
JK Scott hit 58-yard field goal; has powerful leg
By Dave Friedman
An athlete who stands 6’5” and weights 190 pounds profiles well as a wing in basketball, or maybe a hard throwing baseball pitcher. In the case of JK Scott, he’s leaving Mullen High School in Denver, for Tuscaloosa to play football. Scott committed to the Tide in June. He’s among the top punters in the country. Additionally, his coach Tom Thenell likes to test his leg on field goals.
“He hit one from 58 yards this year,” said Thenell. “We tried from 70, but messed up the snap.”
Because league rules state that a field goal that misses but crosses the goal line results in a touchback, Thenell frequently sends Scott onto the field for long field goal tries. He says that Scott’s leg is special.
“He’s a threat to try a field goal anytime we hit the 50 yard line,” said Thenell. “He has unbelievable power in his leg. Almost every kickoff goes through the goal posts. He bombs it as a punter.”
According to his coach, Scott has dedicated himself to understanding and executing situational kicks.
“He has worked hard to learn the game of football instead of just pounding the ball,” said Thenell. “He learned to kick the ball high and not just deep. He’s averaging between 45 and 50 yards a punt and placing it between the hash and sideline.”
Scott is described as a “great athlete,” and has been recruited to run on the Mullen track team multiple times. Thenell thinks that if he ran track, he’d “score points in the state meet.” Furthermore, Thenell says that if Scott couldn’t kick for some reason, he’d happily line him up at wide receiver because of his size and athleticism.
While Scott has missed a handful of field goals this season, in part because he has had multiple attempts over 60 yards and dealt with inclement weather, Thenell says that he is the guy you want kicking in the clutch.
“Every time we have put him in a situation where he needs to make it, he makes it,” said Thenell. “If they game was on the line, there’s no question I’d give him a shot from 65 yards out.”
As for his future, Scott has an Alabama screen saver on his iPad according to Thenell, but when asked if his star kicker might someday play in the NFL, the coach has no doubts.
“Oh god, I would have to say so,” said Thenell. “He has to prove himself, but he has uncommon talent.”