Elusive UGA legend Jake Scott selected for induction into College Hall of Fame

Jake Scott had 16 interceptions in two seasons at Georgia, which is still a UGA record. (UGA photo)

Jake Scott had 16 interceptions in two seasons at Georgia, which is still a UGA record. (UGA photo)

Jake Scott is going into the College Football Hall of Fame. It’s about time.

The former University of Georgia All-America safety (1966-68) and Super Bowl MVP for the Miami Dolphins was officially selected for induction on Tuesday. He becomes the 16th UGA player or coach to be so honored.

Rumor has it that they tried to induct Scott before but could not reach him. Claude Felton, Georgia’s director of sports communications, doesn’t think that’s true.

But Felton knows better than anybody how hard Scott can be to get hold of. Notably absent from UGA’s news release announcing Scott’s induction was any comment from Scott.

“We weren’t able to get in touch with him,” Felton told me Tuesday. “He’s gone to another island or something. But he knows he’s being inducted.”

Scott has lived on the western-most point of the western-most island of Hawaii, Kauai, since 1982. There he has been blissfully out of touch with the outside world.

Scott’s post-retirement isolation was one of the NFL’s great mysteries for a long time. For years he would have little to do with the Miami Dolphins and even less with former coach Don Shula.

Jake Scott (R) with former Bulldog Bill Stanfill at the Dolphins Honor Hall ceremony last summer. (Photo by Ben Volin/Palm Beach Post)

Jake Scott (R) with former Bulldog Bill Stanfill at the Dolphins Honor Hall ceremony last summer. (Photo by Ben Volin/Palm Beach Post)

Then Dave Hyde of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel wrote what is to me one of the greatest sports personality profiles of all time. He went to Kauai in 2006 to track down Scott and ended up spending several revealing days with him. If you’ve never read it you really owe it to yourself to CLICK THE LINK and do so now.

Now in 60s, Scott is slowly coming out of hiding. Just last year he was in Miami to be inducted into the Dolphins’ Hall of Honor. And Felton said he comes to Georgia more than a lot of folks realize.

“He’s actually been here a good bit,” Felton said. “He usually comes to a game or two. He just kind of shows up.”

Members of the National Football Foundation are crossing their fingers that Scott will show up for the awards dinner on Dec. 6 at the Waldorf Astoria in New York on Dec. 6.

Anyway, here’s UGA’s release on Scott. As you can see, he was truly one of the greatest Bulldogs of all-time:

For Immediate Release

May 17, 2011

ATHENS – Former University of Georgia All-America safety and Super Bowl MVP Jake Scott has been selected for induction into the College Football Hall of Fame according to an announcement Tuesday by the National Football Foundation.

Scott becomes the 12th player and 16th overall member of the Hall of Fame from UGA. The last Georgia player selected to the Hall was former QB John Rauch (1945-48) who was inducted in 2003. Scott will be honored at the National Football Foundation’s Annual Awards Dinner in New York City at the Waldorf Astoria hotel on Tuesday, December 6.

“I’ve been asked many times who was the greatest player I ever coached,” said former UGA head coach Vince Dooley who was inducted into the College Hall of Fame in 1994. “I always said that Herschel Walker was the most productive player, but the most gifted all-around athlete combined with the love and determination to play the game was Jake Scott.”

Born July 20, 1945, in Greenwood S.C., Jake Scott was one of the most gifted athletes every to wear the red and black. A consensus All-American defensive back in 1968, Scott was named the Southeastern Conference Player of the Year.

He was one of the leaders of Georgia’s 1968 SEC championship team which included an undefeated regular season (8-0-2) and an invitation to the Sugar Bowl. He led the SEC in interceptions in 1967 and again in 1968 when he recorded 10. That same year, he also led the SEC in punt returns and punt return yardage. Scott still holds the SEC record for most interception touchdowns in a single game with two vs. Kentucky in 1968.

His 440 yards on 35 returns and 10 interceptions in 1968 both set school records. He still holds the school record for career interceptions and return yards with 16 for 315 yards.

Scott went on to a brilliant professional football career during which he earned five pro bowl appearances in a row (1971-75). During his six years with the Miami Dolphins, he played in three Super Bowl games and in 1972 was named the MVP of Super Bowl VIl. He played his final three NFL seasons with the Washington Redskins. During the first eight years of his pro career, he intercepted 42 passes and recovered 13 fumbles.

Scott was inducted into the State of Georgia Sports Hall of Fame in 1986 and has been named to the 1960’s All-SEC team, 25-Year All-SEC Team (1961-85), and the Quarter Century All-SEC Team (1950-74). He was inducted into the Miami Dolphins Hall of Honor in 2010.

Other members of the Hall of Fame from UGA and year of induction include:

Glenn “Pop” Warner (1951), Bob McWhorter (1954), Frank Sinkwich (1954), Charley Trippi (1959), Vernon “Catfish” Smith (1979), Bill Hartman (1984), Fran Tarkenton (1987), Vince Dooley (1994), Wally Butts (1997), Herschel Walker (1999), Bill Stanfill (1998), Terry Hoage (2000), Kevin Butler (2001), John Rauch (2003), and Jim Donnan (2009).

Jake Scott Statistics — Punt Returns/Interceptions

Year Returns Yards Avg. TD Interceptions

1967 13 146 11.2 0 6

1968 35 440 12.6 1 10

Totals 48 586 12.2 1 16

39 comments Add your comment

Fisher

May 17th, 2011
1:41 pm

Wish he would show “publicly” at a game. People would go nuts…..

JB

May 17th, 2011
1:42 pm

good stuff, great player

radly dawg

May 17th, 2011
2:00 pm

Jake you were……and are…..the Man in Red and Black!!!! One of Erk’s boys!!!!!!! Isn’t it odd how this kind of athlete isn’t around anymore?????????????????????????????? Brains…always wins out over braun…and Jake had both! Goooo Dawgs!!!!

Paul (You doesn't have to call me Johnson)

May 17th, 2011
2:01 pm

Scott and Stanfill kept a pet king snake in McWhorter Hall. They put it in my bed one night before I came in. We were 3 wild and crazy guys

Ted Striker

May 17th, 2011
2:07 pm

Never saw him play yet he’s still my favorite defensive UGA player of all time.

Max Sizemore

May 17th, 2011
2:14 pm

I was in Knoxville in 1968 when he returned a punt for a TD. First football game ever played on Astroturf.

radly dawg

May 17th, 2011
2:34 pm

Yeah Max…….and we caved late in the 4th quarter to let’em tie us! Great game though!!!!
Radly Dawg

Worm

May 17th, 2011
2:34 pm

One of my favorites growing up..The legend grows.

Lowcountry Bulldawg

May 17th, 2011
2:37 pm

Thanks for the link. Great read!

Spike

May 17th, 2011
3:12 pm

Too young to see him play at UGA. But I did see him play with the Dolphins in their glory days. What a football player!

IveyLeaguer

May 17th, 2011
3:19 pm

This induction is way late, but I’m happy for Jake that it’s finally here.

Jake Scott is one of the greatest Georgia players ever, and certainly the greatest safety. And that’s saying a lot because Charley Trippi played safety, and he is likely the best all-round CF player ever (he also played Wingback, HB, QB, etc.).

Like all truly great safeties, Scott was smart and had great instinct. But he had more of all that than any safety I’ve ever seen play. And boy could he make plays, leaping one-handed interceptions were no big deal. And of course he knew what to do with the ball in his hands.

All this and he only played 2 years. Had he come back for his senior year, he would be much better known in the CF world than he already is.
~~~

Homer Dawg

May 17th, 2011
3:27 pm

Simply #1 Bulldog.

Dawg Gone

May 17th, 2011
3:49 pm

Congrats Jake..but if the fishing is good we understand if you don’t show…

mexdawg

May 17th, 2011
3:50 pm

Jake Scott was not only a great football player he was quite a daredevil too.Many of you may not remember but Jake rode a motorcycle over the top of the colesium in Athens.I don’t know of anyone else who has done that.He’s the type of guy you would love to sit down and have a cold beer with.The election to the Hall of Fame should have been years ago.Give em hell Jake,this Bud’s for you.

Milledgeville Dawg

May 17th, 2011
3:53 pm

A intregal part of GEORGIA LORE. Please make a public apperance at Sanford Stadium, the place would go nuts!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

tomtrojan

May 17th, 2011
3:56 pm

None better! Hoage was pretty close, but I’d take Jake any day!

BigNCDawg

May 17th, 2011
4:33 pm

I was in high school with Jake and his sister Rita. Jake was a great player and as a DAWG fan that grew up in Athens I am proud that he will receive this honor. He deserves it.

Dawg Tired

May 17th, 2011
5:14 pm

A great honor for a great player and Dawg.

GoooDawgs

May 17th, 2011
5:54 pm

I took my Honeymoon to the western most point of the western most island of hawaii, and I do not blame him for living there at all. I would do the same if I could!!!

Mike

May 17th, 2011
6:56 pm

I thought Jake was great and had a couple of classes at UGA with him in early 69 (PE major). Never remembered seeing him crack a text book. lol

Alison

May 17th, 2011
8:02 pm

Newsflash: I have it on good authority he’s currently out of cell range, fishing in Hawaii as this news breaks. Typical Jake.

FBI

May 17th, 2011
8:45 pm

I also had a couple of classes with Jake. He marched to a different drummer even then. Great guy, fun to be around.

Fastdawg

May 17th, 2011
9:01 pm

Jake still has relatives in the Carroll County area & use too visit them.

Fifth Quarter in Athens in late, late 60s

May 18th, 2011
7:48 am

Two Jake Scott memories:

One night Jake was in the old Fifth Qtr bar and lounge on Atlanta Highway and he and Brad Johnson were about to head out to Ft. Lauderdale to play golf that weekend. I shot the breeze with them and some of my pals. That was a fun time. He was just about to head to Canada in a week or so. He had purchased a new Corvettte and we raised the hood in the front parking lot of the Fifth Quarter and maraveled at the HP.

Another memory, was in the back parking lot of old Reed Hall. I was walking in from a Friday afternoon class and Mike Cavan, who was temporarily living in Reed Hall due to some discipline issue rather than Mc Whorter Hall, and Jake Scott were filling up the storage area in his green Corvette heading out to play golf. They shot the breeze with me and then pulled out with cups in hand.

Yes, UGA was all study and night study.

Go Dogs.

Billdawg

May 18th, 2011
7:58 am

I had the privilege of watching Jake play his entire UGA career. He played football as he still enjoys life – all out! Would to see him back in Stanford Stadium. Some of his old friends from the “Library” would really like to see him (and that;s not the UGA library). One hell of a Dawg!!

WLgrad

May 18th, 2011
9:38 am

Jake Scott played football at Washington-Lee HS in Arlington, VA and graduated in 1963.

[...] THIS & THAT: Hope you saw my report on Georgia letterman Jake Scott (1966-68) receiving his long past due selection into the College Football Hall of Fame. . . . [...]

egeagle

May 18th, 2011
10:23 am

His mother is or was a college professor who taught me in a graduate class at Ga State back in the 80’s. She told me how much Jake loved playing for Erk and that he was definitely a free spirit. Those were the Dawgs I fell in love with as a kid in the late 60’s (I’m a big fan of Stanfill’s as well) and Erk’s coming to Ga Southern brought that same spirit to my Eagles. That’s why I love both teams and only echo the sentiment that this is a well-deserved honor. How why in the hell isn’t Erk in this hall?

crossdawg

May 18th, 2011
1:17 pm

Jake is a D G D….What did Donnan do to get in?

BPClassof-85

May 18th, 2011
2:29 pm

As always, great job Chip. The article by David Hyde was a very good read.

ugaclassof2004

May 18th, 2011
3:14 pm

“There’s a sense of nobleness to this, the ex-jock not defined by his glory.” Dave Hyde

I wish more athletes would do the same. Congrats Jake.

a nony mous

May 18th, 2011
3:22 pm

THERE ARE FOOTBALL PLAYERS AND THEN THERES JAKE SCOTT-A CUT ABOVE MOST. I WAS A FEW YEARS OLDER THAN JAKE WHEN HE WAS AT UGA BUT THE MEMORIES LINGER. MAN LIVING THE LIFE HE WANTS, THE WAY HE WANTS TO LIVE IT. MORE POWER TO HIM.

Bulldog Arch

May 18th, 2011
3:42 pm

I didn’t know much about this great Dawg because I wasn’t born till 69 but on character alone I am impressed.We should all call people out when they try to be shysters and lead by example as opposed to stooping to their level.Kudos,Jake-a great American.

mark

May 18th, 2011
3:52 pm

A legend if there ever was one…on and off the field.

RJM Dawg

May 18th, 2011
4:54 pm

Two words…. BAD A**

hunkerdown

May 19th, 2011
12:28 am

I remember as a kid he was Superman to me. He and Ronnie Lott two of the most fierce hitters the league has ever seen.

Rabid Dawg 84

May 19th, 2011
8:37 am

Loved watching him play for the Dolphins. I had Coach Mrvos for football coaching in “82 and he said that Jake Scott was the only student to ever ace his final. He said Jake was a genius and either made an A or an F. He is the man.

DAWGSTYLE

May 19th, 2011
11:10 am

Congratulations, Jake Scott ! He was top 5 best ever to players to ever play between the hedges ! College All American and Super Bowl MVP and Pro Bowl ! It would be great to see him at a home game !!!!

FanSince59

May 19th, 2011
3:00 pm

I’ll never forget that punt return Scott made at Knoxville. That shut the Tennessee crowd up. He and Scott Woerner were two of the best to ever play at UGA. Refer to Sizemore above.