CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Garrett Scott packed two major life events into a matter of hours on Saturday. Earlier in the day, he earned his undergraduate degree at Marshall University’s commencement ceremonies. Not long after, he got the call from the defending Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks, telling him he was their sixth-round pick.
All of it left him feeling a whirlwind of emotions.
“It’s just … I don’t know … wow,” he said Saturday evening.
Scott became the 39th overall NFL draft pick in Marshall football history and gave the Thundering Herd a draft selection for the fourth straight year. Tight end Lee Smith was a fifth-round pick in 2011, defensive end Vinny Curry was a second round pick in 2012 and receiver Aaron Dobson was a second-round pick last year.
Scott worked out for the Seahawks, which was one of a number of teams who interviewed him throughout the draft process. Yet he wasn’t sure which team would take him in the end until he got the call from Seattle to become the draft’s 199th overall pick.
“I really had no clue,” he said. “A lot of teams were interested in me. The Seahawks kind of came on late, but with perfect timing.”
Scott, standing 6-foot-4 and 307 pounds, started at both left and right tackle last season for the Thundering Herd, being named an all-Conference USA second-teamer his senior year. With him on the line, Marshall averaged a C-USA-best 42.1 points and 500.4 yards per game. The Seahawks, who beat the Denver Broncos 43-8 in Super Bowl XLVIII, were 18th in the NFL in total offense with 339.0 yards per game.
Seattle lost two starting linemen to free agency — Paul McQuistan to the Cleveland Browns and Breno Giacomini to the New York Jets. The Seahawks were in dire need to reload with that group, and Seahawks general manager John Schneider said Scott was a good fit.
“Garrett, he was kind of an under-the-radar guy,” he said during the Seahawks’ post-draft press conference. “Really quick hands, playing at Marshall. Good angles, really nice first kick-step. And a competitive guy. He just stays in front of people.”
Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said he also liked Scott’s versatility. He played both guard and tackle for the Herd, though he’ll likely begin his Seattle tenure at left tackle. Scott switched there from right tackle starting in last season’s Middle Tennessee game.
“We like the shot of him playing at left tackle, because he’s done it and that’s a difficult spot to find,” Carroll said at his Saturday press conference. “He looks very comfortable there. He’s really got the quickness and the light-on-his-feet ability that gives us the thought that he could do that. But we always need our guys to be flexible and he does help us there.”
Other than joining the reigning kings of the NFL, Scott said he really enjoyed the attitude with which the Seahawks operated, an attitude he saw Marshall exhibit during his tenure in Huntington.
“One thing I’d say I really liked about (the Seahawks) is their underdog mentality,” he said. “I carry that mentality with me every time I go on the field. That’s one thing I liked from the outside in.”
Scott might have been Marshall’s lone draft pick this season, but he won’t be the only Herd player in rookie camp. Tight end Gator Hoskins, an all-C-USA first-team tight end, signed a rookie free agent deal with the Miami Dolphins, while defensive ends Alex Bazzie and Jeremiah Taylor signed rooke free agent deals with the Cleveland Browns and Baltimore Ravens, respectively.
Scott will have to find a way to trump the double-whammy of a Mother’s Day gift he gave his mom, Tina, this year. She and Scott’s father, the Rev. Randolph Scott, got to watch him get his degree, then watch him become an NFL draft pick.
“Oh yeah,” he said. “She loves it. She loves it.”
Contact sportswriter Derek Redd at email@example.com or 304-348-1712. His blog is at blogs.charlestondailymail.com/marshall. Follow him on Twitter @derekredd.