Growing up as a Packer fan, many dream that they get to be on the team when they get older. For JK Scott, that dream came true in the 2018 NFL Draft.
“For me, it was a surprise as Green Bay didn’t even talk to me. Like, there were a few teams that talked to me. They weren’t one of them. I was not expecting Green Bay at all. Because Green Bay was my team growing up. So just to be drafted by them was a great experience,” Scott said.
Scott has been punting since he was just a kid. His dad was the one that told him that he should start kicking.
“I grew up playing soccer and that was pretty much all I played year-round as a kid,” Scott says. “I just never took it serious until high school and I just decided to go out and try and be a kicker and you know, kicking and punting kind of went hand in hand. I started out as a swivel kicker and I just started kind of punting for the high school team and just one thing led to another.”
His big leg is what led him to the Alabama Crimson Tide. In high school, he was rated as one of the nation’s top punters, averaging 37.72 yards per punt. Scott had full intentions on becoming professional when he committed to Alabama.
His longest punt with the Alabama Crimson Tide was 73 yards against Ohio State and his average was 45.6 yards per punt.
What would Scott be doing if he weren’t in football?
“I honestly don’t really know. I actually have no idea. I don’t see that as a bad thing. I know that right now, God has a plan for me and if it were to change and weren’t to be in football, I know that he would bring me to a place where I would need to be. My life is not centered on my career or anything like that. There is so much more to my life than just my career. So, I don’t really know where I would be or what I would be doing, but I know that God would have me where I was supposed to be.”
With that being said, God plays a huge role in Scott’s life.
“Honestly, my inspiration is Jesus. He came and he just is so good. My reasons for doing things is because of him. The Bible says to do all things good unto God and not to man, so that is why I give effort, why I give attention to detail, all those things because of him. So, being a Christian and being a son of God, you want to be just like him. The only way to be like him is to abide and know him and his character starts to come through.”
Being that kicking and punting go hand in hand, Scott is being mentored and is working directly with 11-year veteran kicker Mason Crosby. In fact, the one and only Packer game Scott attended was Crosby’s first game with the Green Bay Packers.
“He is an awesome guy. He has really just taken us new guys in and has been there for us in way more ways than just football,” Scott said. “Mason is the most mentally tough person I know, and I have been able to learn so much from him by just being around him and asking him questions. It’s a really big benefit to me to be able to work with him.”
Earlier in the 2018 season against the Detroit Lions, Crosby missed four field goals attempts. Scott says that he didn’t say anything to him because he knew that Mason knew what he needed to do in order to fix it.
“Everybody has an off day. That’s the thing – I just had faith in him and that’s the thing with being a specialist like a punter or kicker; sometimes you need the space to try and clear your mind and go back to the basics that you learned. So, I didn’t say anything,” Scott explains.
Stress is something that doesn’t affect Scott that often – be that before a game or when working on something during practice.
“Before a game, I want to be calm. I don’t want to be too serious. When you’re stressed or anxious, you turn into something you aren’t and you start changing things. I just try to stay even keel,” Scott says.
He explained that one of the things that he has adopted from Mason Crosby is his mentality.
“When you go to practice, you got to dial it in and you got to know when to really walk in and focus, and when to know when to relax. So, when I’m doing my drills, the only thing I’m really worried about is trying to improve and get better. I just treat every rep like it’s a game and I think that’s key,” Scott explains.
Something that Scott has been working on throughout the season is directional kicking. It’s one of the minor differences between college and professional football.
“Directional punting is a big thing. The thing about the pros is that every week, you are going to face a returner that is going to be elite and having a good return. So, the most important thing is to place the ball properly for the gunners and get a good hang time to prevent a return,” Scott says. “In college, depending on the weeks, you can just trust your coverage team to get down there to make the plays and stuff. The really big difference is doing more to prevent a return.”
Other than the football field, there is another thing that he’s extremely good at and that’s solving a Rubik’s Cube in one minute and thirty seconds.
“To be honest, I actually learned how to do it on YouTube. I figured out all the algorithms and then went upstairs to show my parents and they thought I was a genius,” Scott said. “It’s amazing. There are people who can do it in ten seconds.”
There’s a long and winding road ahead for JK Scott, but through faith, the Lord will guide him to great successes.