At 3:39 p.m. on Thursday, heavily recruited Hubbard running back LJ Scott tweeted from his personal account:
“If Lebron say where he’s going tonight then so will I.”
While the entire sports world was on hold awaiting the free agency decision of NBA superstar LeBron James, Scott decided to play along in the anticipation. As it turned out, LeBron waited until Friday afternoon to announce his return to Cleveland.
That didn’t stop Scott, a four-star athlete who was one of the top uncommitted players in the 2015 recruiting class, from getting the Twitter world worked up in the meantime. Current Pittsburgh Steelers running back, and former Michigan State standout, LeVeon Bell responded to Scott by tweeting, “MICHIGAN STATE.”
The day before, Scott had tweeted out that he felt Bell was the best running back in college football when he was a Spartan. So it should’ve come as no surprise that on Thursday night reports started popping up on Twitter that Scott was East Lansing-bound, beating out Big Ten rival Ohio State.
Scott made it official just after 9:30 p.m. tweeting: “MSU committ!!! Happy with my decision really don’t care what ppl think this about me!! Time to grind!”
Congratulations began pouring in for Scott from the Michigan State side.
His football coach at Hubbard, Brian Hoffman, had high praise for Scott and how he dealt with the everything leading up to his commitment.
“I think he handled himself very well,” Hoffman said Friday. “To be honest, and all of the coaches here feel this way, he was very open to all of his options.
“The only advice we gave him was that you want to play in a program where you feel like you have a opportunity to compete and feel comfortable in a family atmosphere.”
Hoffman confirmed that Scott was down to Ohio State, West Virginia and Michigan State, and that he made a number of campus trips to each school before deciding. That’s in addition to the numerous scouts and recruiters who stopped in Hubbard to make their pitches.
“I thought that everybody who came thorough was very professional,” Hoffman said. “I thought Larry asked good questions — and he has a charisma about him that makes him an easy guy to get to know — but I don’t think he’s felt any pressure and I think he’s really enjoyed the process.”
In addition to his Twitter conversation with Bell — who also sent a congratulatory tweet to Scott after his announcement — the No. 6 rated running back in the 2015 class per Rivals.com developed another relationship during the recruiting process. Kurtis Drummond, a 2010 Hubbard graduate who’s entering his senior season with the Spartans, has kept in touch with Scott after meeting him on a recruiting visit.
Hoffman, who also coached Drummond in high school, said he doesn’t believe that was the “sole reason” Scott picked Michigan State, but it “certainly didn’t hurt.”
Scott’s teammate with the Eagles, George Hill, became Ohio State’s first commitment of the 2016 class with his pledge last month.