Even in pregame warm-ups, Chris Scott is hard to miss. The Pickerington (OH) North junior receiver can best be described as lanky, looking more like a future NBA guard than a rising star on the football field. At 6-foot-3, and 175 pounds, Chris conjures up comparisons to some of the NFL’s best receivers, like Julio Jones and AJ Green, both of whom stand at 6-foot-3 and use their incredible length to make jaw dropping plays.
While Scott isn’t yet as built or refined as those superstars, he certainly makes some plays that would make you think he’s a seasoned veteran. However, early on in his high school career, those spectacular plays were an exception rather than the norm, as is pretty common with underclassmen. In 2018 however, Chris seems to be putting everything together, racking up 13 catches and 176 yards in the first two games of the season, including an awesome 10/142 games against Dublin Jerome two weeks ago. He cites his move into a leadership role as one of the major causes for that change:
“Really I think taking more of a leadership role on the team this year has made me step up my game a lot. You know last year being one of only two underclassmen playing varsity football, along with Jack Sawyer, really helped me and taught me a lot being with the seniors and I’ve just carried that over into this year and I’ve stepped into the more of a leader role this year, so that has impacted my game a lot.”
On Friday, Scott showed off his best performance yet. With Olentangy Orange in town (five-star defensive end Zach Harrison was sidelined for the third straight week with a leg injury), and a chance for Pickerington North to start the season 3-0, Chris knew he had to rise to the occasion.
“I always go out and play hard every game and try to have a big game for my team every week but I would say the big game environment definitely gave me a little extra boost.”
If he looked the part of a star in warm-ups, you’d probably think he was a first ballot hall of fame choice from his play against the Pioneers. From the opening snap he gave Olentangy Orange’s defense fits, finding soft spots in their zone, and racking up yards after each catch. It didn’t take long for Scott to find the endzone, extending Pickerington North’s lead to 14 before the first quarter ended.
“We kind of had a tendency to start off slow and not get off to a great start like we did in Week 1 vs Olentangy Liberty, or if we have a great start we don’t always finish like we did last week vs Dublin Jerome, so this week a key thing for us was playing fast and getting off to a great start and then just to keep playing an not let up and we did just that.”
He wasn’t anywhere near finished though, as he struck two more times in the first half, one of which came on this gorgeous toe tapping grab (first play in the video). Thanks to his dominant first half, and some great defense, Pickerington North went into the half up 35-0. After yet another touchdown catch by Scott early in the third quarter, the starters exited the game, and Pickerington North picked up their third win of the season, 42-7. Chris Scott finished with seven receptions, four touchdowns, and 94 yards.
“We were clicking very well on offense tonight, not just myself and our QB Mike Lowery, but our whole offense as a unit really stepped up to the challenge we gave ourselves and did a good job of getting out early and then never letting up.”
It’s too early to be looking ahead to November and December, but with the talent on this team, it’s hard not to. Pickerington North has one of the toughest schedules of any team in Central Ohio, but they seem more than capable of handling it. That means that the most important game in all of Ohio high school football this season could very well come on Oct. 12, as Pickerington North heads across town to face off with the top ranked team in the state, Pickerington Central. That game may be in the back of their heads, but Chris, and his teammates are still focusing on the present.
“We know we have a while to go before that though so we’re just taking it week by week and one game at a time and not overlooking any teams, but with the guys we have, as well as our great coaching staff, we feel like we have the pieces and have what it takes to make that state title run.”
While Chris is fully focused on this season (and presumably his senior season next year), colleges are finally starting to focus on Chris. He currently sits as a three-star recruit on 247Sports, and while he picked up an offer from Robert Morris in February, his recruitment had been pretty quiet for a while. That’s starting to change, and with performances like this past one, it’s not hard to see why. In just the last seven days (coaches have only been allowed to talk to 2020 recruits directly since Sept. 1), Chris has heard from Ohio State, Penn State, Pittsburgh, Purdue, Cincinnati, Rutgers, Michigan St, Michigan, Toledo, Kentucky, Louisville and Miami (OH). He described it as hectic, but that almost feels like an understatement.
The key name on that list, at least for Buckeye fans, is obviously Ohio State. The Buckeyes haven’t yet offered Scott, but as he continues to show his talent, it seems like only a matter of time before Ohio State and everyone else catches on. It seems as though Chris is becoming a pretty big priority for Ohio State, as he says that he’s spoken quite a bit to not just receivers coach Brian Hartline, but co-defensive coordinator Alex Grinch (Grinch is the primary recruiter for Ohio State in Central Ohio). That offer could come when Chris visits for Ohio State’s matchup with Tulane on Sept. 22.
It’s impossible to say for sure what the future holds for Chris Scott. There are so many variables in a recruitment, and in the development of a football player that it becomes pretty much impossible to project a career trajectory accurately. With that being said, so far this season, Chris Scott has looked like a star. Not a future star, not a potential star, but a star, present tense. And with a ceiling as high as his, there’s no telling how good Chris Scott could become.
What can be said, with no projection or predictions, is that in this humble writer’s opinion, Chris Scott is an Ohio State caliber receiver. Whether Ohio State agrees is yet to be seen, but if the past few recruiting classes are any indication, the Buckeyes won’t be passing up on a supremely talented receiver with a big frame.