INDEPENDENCE - For Independence, the prep football season opener bore little resemblance to its winless 2016 campaign.
Even in defeat, a clear message was sent that there are brighter days ahead for the Mustangs.
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AMES — Patrick Scoggins always thinks of the advice his mother gave him when he steps on the field.
Iowa State’s senior offensive lineman grew up playing on the defensive line and even spent a year at Sacramento State on that side of the ball. When he transferred to Long Beach Community College, he was asked to make the switch to offensive line.
If Scoggins wanted to make the eventual jump to the FBS level, he had to find a way to get noticed. Donna Scoggins’ advice has helped the cause.
“She was just like, ‘You need to knock somebody out every play. Knock somebody out. Once you knock them out, go knock somebody else out,’” Scoggins said. “I always kept that in mind and try to entertain people. I don’t try to be that offensive lineman that’s boring to watch.”
Scoggins spent last season with the Cyclones sidelined after tearing his patellar tendon and rupturing his quad, but hasn’t been slowed in the fall. In fact, Iowa State coach Matt Campbell hasn’t noticed anything irregular in his starting right guard.
“I love Patrick Scoggins, I’ll be honest with you,” Campbell said. “He’s mean, he’s nasty, he’s tough. He comes with a purpose every day. What I love about Patrick is he’s probably not prototypical anything, except attitude and effort. It’s what I ask of our kids daily and he brings it. He loves to play football and it shows.”
The physical approach Scoggins plays with is how he’s tried to silence the doubters throughout his career. He’s somewhat undersized for an offensive lineman at 6-foot-1 and 295 pounds, but hasn’t paid much attention to detractors.
In light of Jake Campos’ broken leg and the relative inexperience of the offensive line as a whole, Scoggins has been a model of steadiness.
Senior left guard Nick Fett is adding another word to describe Scoggins’ style: fighter.
“He’s pretty strong. Pretty quick too. He hits hard,” Fett said. “Just going up against in drills you can tell when someone brings it to you like, ‘Alright that guy’s got a little pop to him.’ And he definitely does. You see it as he’s throwing guys on the ground and really getting after it.”
Scoggins has been waiting more than a year to run onto the field for the first time in a Power 5 game, but chances are you won’t catch him smiling. He’ll be too focused. Not on his naysayers, but on proving to himself and his mother that he’s right where he belongs.
“My whole goal was never to prove people wrong,” Scoggins said. “It was always about proving myself right. I always thought I could play at this level and I just needed someone to give me a chance and luckily I’ve got coaches that have given me that chance.”
---Defensive back Nigel Tribune, who is suspended indefinitely after being charged with an OWI this summer, won’t play in the season opener against Northern Iowa, Campbell said.
“He’s still earning his way back, but to Nigel’s credit Nigel has done everything we’ve asked him to do and has kind of went through the process,” Campbell said. “He’s missed a bunch of camp and has kind of come back and started on ground zero and working his way back.”
---Defensive lineman Bobby Leath is not currently practicing with the team.
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