IU’s Stevie Scott will forgo senior season for NFL Draft

Indiana junior running back Stevie Scott declared for the NFL Draft on Friday, shaking up the Hoosiers’ offensive plans for 2021.

“After much prayer and discussions with my family, I will forego my senior season and enter the 2021 NFL Draft,” Scott wrote in a Twitter post. “I am eager to pursue my dreams of playing in the NFL, but I will be a Hoosier for life.”

This is only somewhat surprising because of Scott’s production in 2020. He gained 581 yards, which ranked fourth in the Big Ten, but it came on a 3.6-yard-per-carry average. In his record-setting freshman season in 2018, Scott averaged 5 yards per carry behind a more veteran line. That number fell to 4.7 as a sophomore.

Regardless, Scott is a second-team All-Big Ten selection with 562 collegiate carries under his belt, a number rushers have to be cognizant of as they gauge when to move on. Scott also does offer 6-foot-2, 231-pound frame and an aggressive, downhill style to match. He’s proven to be a better-than-average pass protector, as well, which should serve him well at the next level. Scott was never shy about expressing the NFL as his ultimate goal.

Also, if Scott returned in 2021, he would have been playing for a new running backs coach. This week, Mike Hart accepted the same position at his alma mater, Michigan. Hart was central in Scott’s recruitment to IU because they have a mutual background in Syracuse, N.Y. Scott was a Rutgers commit before Hart flipped him.

Scott certainly had a productive career in cream and crimson. He is one of just three Hoosiers to score 10 or more rushing touchdowns in three straight season, joining with Anthony Thompson and Antwaan Randel El. His 30 career touchdowns rank fourth all-time at IU, behind Thompson (67), Randel El (44), and Levron Williams (31). His 2,543 career rushing yards rank ninth all-time.

For the Hoosiers, Scott’s exit does force others to step up in the running back room. But there are options. Sampson James, a four-star recruit out of Avon, rushed for 275 yards as a freshman, and his total was just 96 yards on 32 carries as a sophomore. He will now have an opportunity to seize the No. 1 running back role.

IU also could give more carries to fellow sophomore David Ellis, who moved from receiver to full-time running back in 2020. A freshman, Tim Baldwin Jr., also produced when called upon, including 16 carries for 106 yards in a win over Maryland.

IU has now lost two non-seniors to the NFL Draft, Scott and safety Jamar Johnson. Otherwise, it’s seniors in Whop Philyor (receiver), Jerome Johnson (defensive tackle), and Harry Crider (offensive lineman) who have also decided to pursue the NFL route in 2021.

17 comments

  1. Just don’t see how his NFL prospects are very good. No speed, not much power for his size, fair hands. Don’t know if blocking can keep him employed. Wish him luck.

  2. I have a theory Hoosier Clarion.
    Just about every college football player thinks he has pro potential.
    I hope Stevie has great success in life, wherever it takes him.
    Seems like a really fine young man.
    And yes, we will miss his blocking!

  3. Observing reasons why playing a game above 500 as I have mentioned before would be a really good accomplishment IU and state of Indiana hall of fame accomplishment for any IU football coaching era. Canadian football where there is perspective with average base salary less than a $100,000 per year. Got to love Canadian football for that reason alone. Or Arena football.

  4. Solid observations above. He’s appreciated for ‘punchin it in the end zone’ when IU needed it. Maybe Hart leaving had something to do with it? Besides being seemingly unable to catch a 5 yard pass, as mentioned already,…no speed. In an ESPN reflective with Jimmy Johnson, he mentioned when he took over the Cowboys his staff was ‘sold’ on Anthony Thompson. He overruled them by taking Emmit Smith. His reasoning: Smith’s number of runs from scrimmage over 25 yards and AT’s lack of them. Scott has done a nice job but he’s no AT and definately not in ES’s class. I’ve said for 2 years that he’s a full back playing tailback. I also suspect CTA’s special attention to the run game in 2021 will completely change the dynamic. I also have a sneaky suspicion that he’ll be filling more than just DC and RB’s coordinator slots before spring.

  5. Good luck Stevie Scott IU fans wish you well in chasing your dream of playing in the NFL. With coach Hart leaving I am not surprised that Scott announced leaving at this time. The returning RBs will have an open field to show what they can do in 2021. I sure coach Allen knew this was coming hence the push to come up with new schemes for the RB that fits our returning backs talent better.

  6. As expected, and it is a good decision.

    Scott is a bigger version of Jordan Howard and has a lot less milage on hire tires. He may not be quite as fast as Howard, but if he runs a 4.6/40 or less at the combine, he’ll get drafted in rounds 4 through 6, will make an NFL roster, play special teams and be a goal-line and short yardage specialist. He’ll play at 235 lbs. or more and that’s a load to bring down, especially for NFL DBs who will frequently make “career decisions” when required to tackle him. Scott’s pass-blocking ability will make him more valuable than a lot of NFL rookie running backs.

    1. I like SS, but he’s not Jordan Howard, who runs at a much lower pad level. I agree that ST’s may be his opportunity, but he’s going to need to test well to have a shot at getting drafted, let alone making a team.

  7. Has anyone ever considered that Scott got a lot of feedback about his ability to get drafted before making the decision? I doubt he just went for it without consulting some NFL talent evaluators.

  8. He’s always reminded me of former Colts running back, Ahmad Bradshaw. A guy that was never going to give you break away long runs but could turn a 2 yard gain into a productive 4 yard run. Is SS good enough for NFL? That’s hard to say. I think he probably a last round pick or free agent.

  9. At best, he will find his way bouncing back and forth on practice squads as a free agent. Likely he’ll end up be paid in Canadian dollars. Tre Roberson with speed to burn had to reinvent himself multiple times as a CB to make his way from Illinois State’s national FCS runner-up QB to defensive back in CFL,…then practice squads with Vikings and Bears.

    1. Kind of a poor comparison since Scott isn’t going to change his position or go from offense to defense. Devine Redding would be a better comparison of an IU running back that bounced around on practice squads. But Redding never averaged 5 yards per carry like Scott.

      1. 123: Not comparing positions or situations, just unlikelyhood. So, Stevie Scott led the FBS in rushing yards per carry at 5? Hmmm. News to me.

        1. news to me too, Brad- where did you learn that Scott led the FBS in rushing? Any other stats you’d like to make up?

          1. 123: Scott’s average YPC was more like 3.5 yards. YOU’RE the one that posted “5 yards unlike Devine Redding”! IF, yes IF Scott and anyone else averaged 5 yards per rush they would be an elite running back in the draft.

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