FRISCO, Texas — After spending fall and winter in Cedar Rapids, former Xavier prep Drew Scott is giving the NFL another shot, this time in Dallas.
Scott, 24, who went undrafted after a solid four-year stay at Kansas State (2014-2017), spent a chunk of 2018 in Oakland, going through much of training camp before being cut early last August.
He’d hoped to get another NFL opportunity after the Raiders, but when that chance didn’t materialize, he returned home and worked at AEGON.
Instead of lamenting his NFL dreams being delayed for the time being, Scott decided to make the most of his time back home and embrace the experience.
“It was great being back for a little bit, obviously not ideal,” he said. “The people that you meet there and just the culture, everything back home was awesome. Iowa will always be home no matter where I go.”
Scott’s next opportunity surfaced in March when the Cowboys contacted him and signed him. Scott got to Dallas as quickly as possible to begin offseason workouts, spending most of May and early June in Organized Team Activities (OTAs) and then at a mandatory minicamp before time off before the start of training camp in Oxnard, Calif., in late July.
Much like he was in Oakland, he’s absorbing every bit of information with the Cowboys on how to be a great long snapper and then putting those lessons into practice.
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“It’s definitely been a great experience. It’s been great to get back into it,” Scott said during the final week of OTAs. “Ever since training camp last year, just getting back to competing. That was probably the thing I missed most, is being in a competitive environment all the time.
“I’m definitely thankful and blessed for the opportunity to play for the Cowboys.”
Scott joins a team already home to one of the NFL’s top long snappers in L.P. Ladouceur, who is heading into his 15th season. A 2014 Pro Bowl selection, Ladouceur first became the Cowboys’ snapper in 2005 and hasn’t missed a regular-season game the past 13 seasons.
Ladouceur’s experience and reputation as one of the NFL’s hardest workers at a position where hard work is the norm makes him a great resource for Scott to watch and learn from.
“Yeah, it’s tips here and there just seeing how he handles himself,” Scott said. “All the guys here have been awesome with all that veteran wisdom that they bring, but LP especially.
“Everything he does, even the things he doesn’t say, are the things I pick up on the most. The way he carries himself and the little things he does when he snaps, he’s had a ton of little insight just here and there just to tweak things.”
And Ladouceur, who at 38 is the oldest player on the Cowboys, sees plenty to like in his new teammate.
“He went last year to Oakland. That’s where Rich (Bisaccia) was, our old special teams coach,” Ladouceur said. “He knows the system. He’s pretty athletic, got good velocity on his snaps. He’s got to work on his accuracy, as do all snappers, and he’s got to work on his feet out front. He’s a good dude.”
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Almost daily, Scott is reminded of his Iowa roots as one of his teammates, offensive lineman Jake Campos, is an Iowa State product from West Des Moines. He further maintains his ties to the Hawkeye State by remaining close with Duane Schulte, his coach at Xavier who he makes a point to visit whenever he’s back home.
As an experienced long snapper who has been plying his unique trade for a number of years, he’s well aware of exactly what it takes to excel at his position, which admittedly is one most football fans don’t think about.
“It’s more of how you’re able to compose yourself, stay mentally strong and then be consistent,” Scott said. “On offense/defense you make a mistake, you get another play. (On) special teams you’re out there for one play. You only get one shot, so being able to mentally prepare yourself and channeling everything that you’ve learned to translate into the field, that’s critical. Being able to stay very composed and trust your ability, then just go out there and do it.”
One lesson he quickly learned in 2018 with the Raiders was that football is no longer merely a game. No, it had truly become something bigger in his life.
“I’m not in college anymore, obviously. It’s a business,” Scott said. “There’s huge difference in how the guys handle themselves. Being able to handle yourself on and off the field, that’s completely different. I learned how to do that. But that’s been probably the biggest thing, (learning) how to handle yourself and carry yourself, talk to people.”