How a position change helped make Aaron Scott a top Ohio State football 2024 target

Colin Gay
The Columbus Dispatch

Aaron Scott may be at the top of Ohio State football's 2024 recruiting board. But his work isn't finished.

In the spring ahead of his senior season at Springfield High School in Springfield, Ohio, the cornerback has gained more than 10 pounds, coming in as a 6-foot-1, 175-pound matchup problem for opposing wide receivers.

This wasn't the Scott Maurice Douglass first saw.

Scott was a good athlete as a freshman, the Springfield High School football coach remembered, showing the skills to be a Division I football player. He just wasn't at the right position.

“I told him that I believed he could be a really, really good cornerback if he played it full time,” Douglass told The Dispatch. “He was a decent quarterback, but there’s only one Lamar Jackson out there, and he was that type of quarterback.” 

Dawand Jones returns home:'It'll be surreal': Ohio State offensive tackle Dawand Jones headed home for NFL combine

Quarterback was all Scott knew. But with more experienced quarterbacks in front of him, the Springfield, Ohio, native didn’t want to wait his turn, and he switched to cornerback as a sophomore. 

“I just wanted to get on the field,” Scott said.

Aaron Scott learns mental side of cornerback

Douglass knows what NFL cornerbacks look like. 

After playing safety at Kentucky, Douglass spent 11 seasons in the NFL with the Chicago Bears and the New York Giants, finishing his career with 274 tackles and six interceptions 

Marysville's Colton Powers tries to maneuver past Springfield's Aaron Scott during a Division I OHSAA Regional Final game Nov. 19, 2021, at Hilliard Darby High School in Hilliard, Ohio.

In Scott, Douglass saw enough athleticism and hand-eye coordination to mold him into a Power 5 prospect.

“With his length and things like that, if he continues to work, if he can stay healthy, he’ll have a chance to play on Sunday,” Douglass said. 

As Springfield's cornerbacks coach, Derrick Atterberry told Scott to adopt the mindset of a basketball player on defense — stick to the opponent's hip in order to stay with him. Scott was more than comfortable with this, having played basketball for two seasons at Springfield.

“Our defense is literally just man-to-man the whole game, following the best receiver wherever he goes,” Scott said. “It was mainly just being physical and jumping off the line. If you get a free release, you can do whatever. But if I’m in your face, you’re not going to do as much.” 

While that may be important, Attenberry also stresses another aspect of the game. “It’s more mental," he said. "Development is mental more than it is physical ability.”

As a result of that development, Scott recorded five interceptions and seven pass deflections in 2022, according to MaxPreps. He also had 21 tackles and three tackles-for-loss. 

Per 247Sports' composite rankings, Scott is the No. 12 cornerback in the 2024 class and the fourth-best prospect in the state. On3 has Scott as the No. 11 player in the country, the No. 2 cornerback in the class and the No. 1 prospect in Ohio.

Aaron Scott on Ohio State: 'They known as DBU'

What Ohio State likes about Scott is his physicality.

“He’s a top priority prospect for (the Buckeyes),” Douglass said. “I think they are going to try to home in on him and Bryce West and make those two guys their bookends man on each side and try to take away whatever those other teams want to try to present against them.” 

Sep 3, 2022; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Ohio State Buckeye recruit DB Aaron Scott (2024) before the NCAA football game between Ohio State Buckeyes and Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Ohio Stadium.

The interest is apparently mutual.

“They known as DBU,” Scott said. “They get DBs to the league, and that’s my goal: make it to the league.” 

Ohio State is not the only school trying to land Scott, who said he has strong relationships with Michigan, Tennessee, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Pittsburgh, USC and Oregon along with the Buckeyes. Scott plans to take his official visits in June before committing to a program prior to the start of his senior season. 

Scott doesn't feel he has anything to prove. He just carries the same mindset from when he switched from quarterback to cornerback: anything to get on the field.

“I just go out there and try to play football,” Scott said. 


Get more Ohio State football news by listening to our podcasts