On the day Dae'Quan Scott signed with James Madison, he said his first goal was to play for the Dukes as a true freshman.
But the R.E. Lee product spent last season watching games from the sideline, and getting his coach's attention in practice.
"He could have played last year," JMU head coach Mickey Matthews says. "Sometimes when we would struggle offensively, on Sunday I would think about it, about taking his redshirt off of him and playing him. But we felt it was the best, and he'll be better for it.
"I think a lot of times a redshirt year really pays off in the fourth or fifth year," Matthews explains. "When you're playing a 22-year-old young man out there, and that's how you win football games."
"I benefitted a lot. I know I got faster and stronger, so that's a plus," says Scott, who will battle this spring for playing time at slot receiver.
"It's so much faster than high school. And there's a lot more plays than high school, too. You've got to learn them," he says. "And jumping to a new position, also, is a difference."
As Lee's quarterback his senior year, Scott accounted for 47 total touchdown: 35 rushing, eight passing, three on kickoff returns and one punt return.
Matthews says Scott will see time at his old high school position this spring.
But Scott's biggest impact is expected to come as a receiver. Three of the Dukes' top four pass-catchers last year, Rockeed McCarter, Mike Caussin and Corwin Acker, are gone.
"I mean, it's open. But I just want to come in and help my team," Scott says. "My goal is to get a starting spot."
"I think he's going to play a lot. Unless he just falls on his face this spring, which certainly we do not anticipate," says Matthews.
"Dae'Quan is a heck of a player. He's got great acceleration. He can adjust to the ball. He actually throws the ball pretty dad-gum well," Matthews says. "He's just really a talented youngster, and we're glad he's here."
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