The UGA sports communications folks finally wrangled a media op Friday with new College Football Hall of Fame inductee Jake Scott, and the Athens Banner-Herald and Dawgs 247 have some interesting comments from the reclusive Bulldog legend.
Scott, who left UGA early after a falling-out with his coach, was asked about Vince Dooley calling him the “most gifted all-around athlete” he ever coached. “I don’t know if I blackmailed him or something that he would have to say that,” Scott joked, “but I appreciate that. We had some great players come through Georgia and play for coach Dooley. … I’m not sure it’s true, but I appreciate it.”
Reminiscing about the 1968 season when he was SEC Player of the Year, Scott noted, “We got lucky and tied Houston. They just kicked the hell out of us. Coach Dooley said, ‘I hope we can meet them in a bowl somewhere.’ Brad Johnson and I looked at each other and I said, ‘I guess he wasn’t at the same game we were at. I don’t want to see those guys again.’ ”
Yeah, that’s vintage Jake.
At the end of that season, Dooley opted prematurely to agree for the Bulldogs to play in the Sugar Bowl rather than go to the Orange Bowl as Scott and other players preferred. Scott said the team felt Dooley didn’t think they could beat Auburn and clinch an Orange Bowl bid. “And it just really hurt our team. That’s what it was about, because we thought that we were headed for the Orange Bowl … and we thought we had a chance to win a national championship at the time. … Yeah, that’s why I left.”
As for being named to the Hall of Fame, Scott said, “I think it’s a team honor more than it is a personal honor. Football is a team sport, and if it wasn’t for the good players around me at Georgia or the good players around me at Miami, I wouldn’t be there. If you’re a loser, you lose. But if you win, you’ve got to win as a team.”
AugustaDawg writes: What do you think of former Dawg Will Muschamp guaranteeing a Gator win over Georgia this year? It’s one thing to accept a job as Florida’s coach, but to come to Atlanta and say such a thing seems like the ultimate insult to his alma mater.
Actually, I don’t really understand UGA fans getting all hot and bothered about what Muschamp said. He was at a Gator fan gathering, after all, and he’s trying to assure his fan base that he’s one of them even though he played for one of their most hated rivals. I think the more pertinent quote was when he said, “I’m loyal to who signs my checks. All of that other stuff, I don’t get into. In our profession you’re loyal to the people you work for.”
ABJ73 writes: I saw you mention Cobern Kelley and Jake Scott playing on the Athens YMCA Pop Warner national championship team the other day. I know you grew up in Athens and I’ve seen you mention Kelley before. Were you one of Kelley’s Boys?
No, I attended summer day camp at the Athens Y while Kelley and his boys were off on one of their trips to California or Canada, and my brother Jon and I took swimming lessons there. (We took swimming lessons every place they were offered in Athens. My Mom wasn’t taking any chances.) So I never came under the direct tutelage of Kelley, whose football program produced future UGA quarterbacks Fran Tarkenton, Paul Gilbert and Andy Johnson. But a lot of my close friends were among Kelley’s Boys, as they call themselves, and he was pretty much a ubiquitous presence in Athens in my youth. In fact, he came to our house one time to speak at a child study group meeting. By the way, the interesting (and admittedly frequently embellished) story of Kelley’s life and his influence on a generation of Athens boys is told in the 2009 book “Kelley’s Boys” by Darrell Huckaby and Blake Giles, which is available in Athens area bookstores.
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— Bill King, Junkyard Blawg