Nick Scott of Fairfax visits Alabama, receives offer from Penn State


Fairfax's Nick Scott makes a long first-quarter gain during Madison's defeat of Fairfax, 28 - 21. (John McDonnell/The Washington Post)

The unofficial visit came first, as Scott flew down to Tuscaloosa with his parents and Rebels Coach Kevin Simonds for the Crimson Tide’s game against Mississippi State on Oct. 27. After arriving around noon, Scott and his father met with Paul Gonnella, Alabama’s director of player personnel and recruiting, and took a tour of the football facilities. Scott was blown away.

“I walked into the weight room and my mouth was wide open in awe,” Scott recalled. “Then he said the weight room was kind of outdated and I was like ‘Huh? This is nice.’ Everything, the buildings, the locker room, they were amazing.”

Following a short tour of the campus, Scott got to walk on the field during pregame warmups, granting him a glimpse of the big-time Southeastern Conference atmosphere.

“As I was walking through the tunnel onto the field, it seemed like everything got louder and louder as I got closer,” Scott said. “The stadium was huge and I saw guys like T.J. Yeldon warming up.”

Scott watched the top-ranked Crimson Tide defeat Mississippi State, 28-7, with about 100 other potential recruits in the stands before heading back to the hotel to rest for his early-morning flight home on Sunday.

Five days later, Simonds met up with Scott after school and handed him the phone. On the other end was Penn State Coach Bill O’Brien, offering Scott a scholarship. The six-foot, 180-pounder also holds an offer from Boston College and is receiving interest from the likes of Maryland and Tennessee.

Scott said that both Boston College and Penn State have talked about using him at tailback or wide receiver, while Alabama’s coaches have discussed playing Scott at defensive back.

“Coach Gonnella says [Alabama] really likes me but he said it’s hard for Coach [Nick] Saban to pull the trigger on an offer before he sees a guy work out up close, so they’re trying to get me to a spring or summer camp to analyze me,” Scott said. “Every player has his preference and my preference would be offense, but I love the game so much and I’ve always dreamed of playing at the next level, so whatever direction they want to go, time will tell, but I have no problem playing any position.”

Scott said he has talked with his parents about possibly taking unofficial visits to Penn State and Wisconsin later this month, but with Fairfax done for the year following a 5-5 campaign, Scott’s main focus will be his academics and training. And after a season competing against some of the state’s top teams, Scott believes his new school has tremendously helped his progression as a player and potential college athlete.

“Coming from a team in Massachusetts where going 4-7 was the best record in 13 years to a team where everybody was competitive and every game was a battle, I feel like things are great,” Scott said. “I say this all the time, but it didn’t take long for me and my teammates to form a brotherhood, and that made my transition a lot easier.”

Brandon Parker is a sports reporter for The Washington Post.

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