Football in his past, Scott moves to help others
Former Duke quarterback Thad Lewis has been putting in work on Sundays with the Buffalo Bills.
Desmond Scott used to take handoffs from that guy.
“I know I can play in the NFL,” Scott said.
Scott played on Saturdays for Duke, where in four seasons he rushed for 1,159 yards and generated 1,214 receiving yards.
And with that, Scott put a bow on his football career.
“The NFL was never a dream of mine,” Scott said. “You can attest that to having great parents. I never saw the NFL or the NBA as my way out, if you will. I didn’t have anything to get out of. I had a great childhood.”
With so many kids growing up these days without the good fortune of living in loving homes, Scott, who studied history, African-American studies and education at Duke, made up his mind to become a teacher after earning his degree.
Scott teaches health and physical education to both elementary and middle school students at Global Scholars Academy on Dowd Street.
But Scott also runs his own school, so to speak. There he was over the weekend at Merrick-Moore Elementary School, although not inside the building. He had his students outside for a 9 a.m. workout on a cold Saturday morning. That’s Scott’s passion, getting people moving, getting them in shape.
It certainly doesn’t hurt business when Scott walks around all sculpted, serving as his own billboard. Scott easily fits the paradigm of a former athlete who looks like he still could play the game.
Back in March, Scott, shirtless and shredded, sweated through drills for NFL scouts who came to Duke to put their eyes and stopwatches on him and some of the other guys who’d wrapped up their careers as Blue Devils.
Not one NFL team invited Scott to training camp so that he could try to earn a roster spot.
Scott’s father, Tony, was inside Duke’s indoor football facility when the NFL scouts were in there watching his son. That day, Tony insisted that he would not at all be disappointed if Desmond never got an NFL payday. Desmond already was getting a free education from one of the best schools in the country, so anything on top of that would be gravy, Tony said.
However, football continues yielding dividends for Scott. It’s allowing him to brand himself to the people in this area as a former football player at Hillside and Southern high schools.
“But even on a larger scale, they know me as Desmond Scott who helped turn around the program at Duke University,” Scott said about the football team that is bowl eligible for the second straight season after getting a 13-10 win at Virginia Tech on Saturday. “They see that, they say, ‘Why wouldn’t I want to train with this guy?’”
Desmond said he primarily played football for the fun of it and didn’t consider the NFL as an option until his junior year at Duke.
“Honestly, I believe the Lord has something different for me,” Desmond said. “Sometimes the road has to come to an end.”
Desmond said he started playing football when he was 6. He suited up for his final down a season ago at Duke when he was 22.
“Football is a very dangerous sport. Beats your body up, and I didn’t want to be that 35-year-old father who couldn’t even go outside and play catch with his son or play with his kids,” Desmond said. “I just want to be able to enjoy my life as an old man and not ache all the time.”
THE LIFESTYLE CHALLENGE
Learn about the fitness experience that former Duke football player Desmond Scott is offering by emailing MDhealthyfitness@gmail.com or by visiting followDLeader33 on Instagram.