Isiah Scott isn’t the most imposing player who will suit up for the Nebraska Danger in Saturday’s United Bowl at Sioux Falls.
But the 5-foot-7, 175-pound former Mount Union cornerback has quickly proven that he can have an oversized impact on a game.
Scott has only played in two games for the Danger since being picked up off waivers from Cedar Rapids.
In the regular-season finale at Texas, he recorded a team-high eight tackles and picked off a pass.
He followed that up with a monster performance in the Intense Conference championship game at Colorado – 14 tackles (11 solo), three pass breakups and a 43-yard interception return for a touchdown.
Yes, Scott has made a quick impression on Nebraska coach Mike Davis.
“He’s a stud, man,” Davis said. “It’s crazy because people see his small stature at 5-7, 175 (pounds), and they try to pick on him. But he’s played two games for us and has two interceptions with a pick-six.”
Scott knows he’s not the biggest guy on the field. But he doesn’t let that affect how he plays.
“I’ve just got a big heart,” Scott said. “I play with a big heart and a big chip on my shoulder. I may be the smallest guy out there on the field, but I play like I’m the biggest guy on the field. That’s just the way I step out there.
“You can pick on me all you want, but I’m going to be there. You have to deal with me for 60 minutes.”
His teammates have to deal with him in practices, too. Davis said Scott’s work ethic is a big reason he can make such a big impact in games.
“The kid has just come in and imposed his will because he understands it’s a business,” Davis said. “He has friends on the team, but every day our (defensive backs) fight for their position. And he practices every day like it’s Saturday. It shows on the weekends.”
Joining a championship-caliber team during crunch time isn’t the easiest transition. Scott was signed on June 12, just two days before the game at Texas.
But Scott was excited about the opportunity.
“It feels good coming in here,” he said. “I just want to come in here and help these guys win. I want to go to this championship and win this just as bad as they do.”
Scott’s new teammates helped make his quick transition go as smoothly as possible.
“Coming in with the other DBs and the rest of the defense, they came in and welcomed me with open arms, taught me the terminology (and) the plays,” he said. “They helped me out a lot getting down what I needed to get down to get ready for the game.”
Scott’s performance has showed that he has been ready. His interception return capped off the scoring in last week’s 45-15 win over the Ice.
“At the end of the day, I just want to make plays for my team and help us get W’s,” he said. “Anything I can do out there, I’ll do it.”
The Danger already proved that it can win on the road during the playoffs. That will be a boost heading into Sioux Falls.
“To be able to go on the road and win in someone else’s house is huge,” Scott said. “This is very hard to do. So it’s a big confidence boost. We’ve got to go into Sioux Falls the same way we went into Colorado, just ready to play.”
But the United Bowl will be an even greater challenge. The Storm has won 41 straight home games, including the last three championship contests.
“They don’t make a lot of mistakes, so when they do make mistakes, we have to capitalize on it and make plays,” Scott said. “We have to do the same thing we’ve just been doing – stay consistent and do our jobs. As long as we do our jobs, we’ll make a lot of plays and stop a lot of plays.”
Scott is taking in advice from Danger veterans who played in last year’s 43-40 United Bowl loss at Sioux Falls.
“They’re just telling me, ‘Stop big plays, just be ready,’” he said. “It’s a big opportunity, a big chance, so I’ve just got to make plays when I can.”
Scott has quickly proven to the Danger that he has a knack for doing just that.