About a week and a half ago, Tennessee extended a scholarship offer to Marvin Scott III, a powerful running back who plays for Spruce Creek in Port Orange, Florida. Tennessee has a big need at running back in the 2020 class, and Scott is one of the newest targets on a big board of potential backs for the Vols this cycle.
Tennessee’s Director of Player Personnel, Drew Hughes, was the one who contacted Scott about the offer. Hughes manages the recruiting department for UT, which includes both on and off-campus recruiting, talent evaluation, and building high school relations.
“(Hughes) offered me, and he said they watched my tape and was really impressed,” Scott told me in a recent conversation.
Right now, Scott is rated as just the No. 624 overall prospect and No. 46 running back in the 2020 class according to 247Sports. But he could be due a bump in his ratings sometime soon with offers from Michigan, Nebraska, North Carolina, Kentucky, UCF, Virginia Tech, and West Virginia to his name. After Tennessee offered him, he’s added offers from Georgia Tech and Iowa State as well.
The 5-foot-9, 200-pound back played for Warner Christian Academy for the first couple years of his high school career, but he transferred to Spruce Creek and moved up classifications. The move, according to Scott, was to help get more exposure and prove himself against better competition.
And he did just that.
In just eight games against 8A competition in Florida, Scott totaled 1,220 rushing yards and 17 touchdowns. Not only did he impress against stiffer competition, but he did that even after suffering a minor ankle injury. Scott missed two games due to that injury, but he never lost sight of his goals despite the setback.
“I knew that if I wanted something, I had to go get it,” Scott said. “So I just fought through it.”
Scott plans on visiting Tennessee at some point, and both Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech will be getting visits from the three-star back as well. While he hasn’t been to Knoxville yet, Scott is pretty confident that UT’s coaches have what it takes to get things rolling at Tennessee.
“They’ve had great players and great support,” Scott said of Tennessee. “They’re great, and this staff is going to do big things at Tennessee.”
When asked, Scott said he believes his biggest strengths are his balance, speed, and his strength. Considering he was timed running a 4.54-second 40-yard dash and a 4.38-second shuttle at Nike’s The Opening regional camp in Orlando back in February all while bench pressing a self-reported 415 pounds and front squatting 420 pounds, those strengths check out.
I myself looked at Scott’s highlights when UT offered him, and my assessment was fairly in line with what Scott said of himself. He’s a battering ram of a back who has better speed than you’d think. His balance is elite.
But Scott knows there’s still plenty to work on if he wants to take that next step.
“Something I need to work on for the next level is my breakaway speed,” Scott added.
Tennessee already has one running back committed to them in their 2020 class. Three-star running back Ebony Jackson out of Marietta, Georgia announced his commitment to the Vols on April 6th, and he’s since picked up offers from Alabama, West Virginia, and Maryland. The Vols will likely take at least one more back in this class because of Carlin Fils-aime graduating after this year and both Ty Chandler and Tim Jordan entering their junior years this season.
Should Vol fans be expecting to hear Scott make an announcement anytime soon?
“I’m mostly letting it play out,” Scott said about his recruitment. “I’ll know when it’s time to commit. It’s hard to decide right now, but Tennessee is definitely standing out in the recruitment.”