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.
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