ATLANTA, Ga. (WALB) - One of the greatest players ever produced in the state of Georgia lost his life Thursday in Atlanta after a fall that left him in a coma.
As reported by Steven Wine of AP, Jacob E. “Jake” Scott III was born July 20, 1945, in Greenwood, South Carolina. He grew up in Athens, Georgia, and was recruited as a receiver by UGA Coach Vince Dooley, who then moved Scott to safety, where he became a college football legend. From riding a motorcycle up one side of a concrete beam that formed part of the roof of the UGA Coliseum and down the other, to stealing passes from opposing quarterbacks across the SEC, Scott made a name for himself that remains in Dawg Nation lore.
It is not widely known that Scott served a tour with the U.S. Marines before he ever went to college, and only played two years with Dooley’s Dawgs.
Albanian Bruce Garey was attending Georgia in 1968 when Scott was there, and has great memories of him.
“I always rooted for Jake. I met Jake once at a speed shop in Athens when I was lettering a race car. He was a really nice, humble guy. He was playing Safety for the Dawgs on the day I met my future wife in Sanford Stadium.
He and I were the same age, both about two years older than our classmates. He told me he was in the USMC when we met. We talked about cars and stuff.
There will never be another like Number 13. A ball-hawking safety who could change a game stealing a pass or returning a kick. He had already done a tour with the Marines before he came to UGA.
He was already starting to go bald when we met. He joked that he was an ‘old guy,’ whose main aim on the football field was to avoid those big guys! He was one Hell of a guy!”
As Herschel Walker would do 15 years later, Scott departed Athens before his classmates. He left Georgia after his sophomore season and spent one year with British Colombia in the Canadian Football League. He led the SEC in interceptions each year and in punt return yardage in 1968, when he helped Georgia win the conference championship.
Dooley called Scott the greatest player he ever coached, ranking him ahead of even Herschel Walker. Scott was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2011.
The Miami Dolphins drafted him in the seventh round in 1970, and he became a starter as a rookie. With the Dolphins, Scott won an MVP trophy in the 1972 Super Bowl, capping the Dolphins’ perfect season.