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Oregon nose tackle Jordon Scott never wavered from 2020 vision of playing for Ducks

The Register-Guard logo The Register-Guard 10/13/2020 Ryan Thorburn, Register-Guard
a christmas tree: Jordon Scott #34 of the Oregon Ducks celebrates with roses after defeating the Wisconsin Badgers in the Rose Bowl game presented by Northwestern Mutual at Rose Bowl on January 01, 2020 in Pasadena, California. © Sean M. Haffey, Getty Images Jordon Scott #34 of the Oregon Ducks celebrates with roses after defeating the Wisconsin Badgers in the Rose Bowl game presented by Northwestern Mutual at Rose Bowl on January 01, 2020 in Pasadena, California.

Jordon Scott won’t be confused with Johnny Johnson anytime soon.

But the slimmed-down senior defensive lineman has decided to wear No. 3, the same number as Johnson, the speedy senior wide receiver, this season at Oregon.

“My personal life, including overall just changing my body, I wanted to come out and show that I’m a different player than I was in my past years here,” Scott said during a Zoom with the media on Monday after the Ducks’ first padded practice of fall camp.

As a true freshman, an 18-year-old Scott checked in for fall camp at 333 pounds. That was after dropping over 10 pounds from high school in Oregon’s winter strength and conditioning program.

Scott’s playing weight was 329 pounds during his sophomore season and 322 pounds during his junior season.

Entering the 2020 season, Scott is listed at 6-foot-1, 311 pounds on Oregon’s updated roster.

Even when the big man was not on campus during the pandemic, Scott remained disciplined with his diet and training with an eye on improving his stock for the 2021 NFL draft.

“Losing weight definitely was a conscious decision,” Scott said. “Talking to a lot of the scouts, they all say they want to see me pass rush and get up field more. I hope that’ll help me this year.”

Last year Scott checked off just about everything on his college bucket list — including winning a Pac-12 championship, playing in the Rose Bowl and graduating with a degree in ethnic studies — but still announced in January that he was returning to Oregon to exhaust his eligibility.

Left tackle Penei Sewell, safety/nickel back Jevon Holland, cornerback Thomas Graham and safety Brady Breeze have all opted out of the revised seven-game season to begin preparing for the NFL.

Scott had a simple timetable in mind for opting in.

“My (decision) was pretty much based on if we were going to play before January,” he explained. “So we got the schedule and it was before January, so I decided to come back.”

Defensive coordinator Andy Avalos has his anchor back after the Ducks allowed 16.5 points (ninth nationally) and 329.1 yards (20th) per game with 41 sacks (13th) and 20 interceptions (second) in 2019.

"It’s been cool in my room to watch everybody that has been here from the start grow and we’re all just excited to get to play," Scott said.

Scott has started 37 of the last 38 games for Oregon. In 40 career games, the nimble nose tackle has 48 solo tackles (95 total), 11 tackles for loss and three sacks.

In addition to improving his pass rushing skills, Scott wants to fill the leadership void on the defense with linebacker Troy Dye, the team’s leading tackler the last four seasons, now playing for the Minnesota Vikings.

Having fellow defensive line starters Austin Faoliu and Kayvon Thibodeaux flanking him will help.

“Losing Troy was a big hit,” Scott said. “Since I’ve been here, he’s always been the leader of the defense. So we’ve got to find somebody to fill in, and I’m hoping to be that guy for us.

“In terms of the D-line, all of the starters are back, so we’re looking to take ever the defense and take over the Pac as well.”

Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert, from left, defensive tackle Jordon Scott and linebacker Troy Dye celebrates with the trophy after their win against Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl on Jan. 1. © MARK J. TERRILL / ASSOCIATED PRESS Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert, from left, defensive tackle Jordon Scott and linebacker Troy Dye celebrates with the trophy after their win against Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl on Jan. 1.

During the Rose Bowl, Scott took on Wisconsin’s Tyler Biadasz — the 2019 Remington Trophy winner as the nation’s top center who is now starting for the Dallas Cowboys — while helping the Ducks hold Jonathan Taylor under 100 yards and out of the end zone.

Scott could have gone out on top after Oregon’s dramatic 28-27 victory on New Year’s Day.

Before the “Grandaddy of Them All,” defensive line coach Joe Salave’a had a feeling Scott might return to put an exclamation point on his Oregon career in 2020.

“Jordon continues to grow and looks to finish this thing off and see what next year is going to hold,” Salave’a said. “He knows exactly the other things that he needs to work on. That’s the beauty of it all. He wants to get better. And so long as you have that thirst and hunger, nothing’s going to be in his way. He’s just got to continue to keep that mentality and that attitude.”

Contact reporter Ryan Thorburn at rthorburn@registerguard.com or 541-338-2330, and follow him on Twitter @By_RyanThorburn. Want more stories like this? Subscribe to get unlimited access and support local journalism.

This article originally appeared on Register-Guard: Oregon nose tackle Jordon Scott never wavered from 2020 vision of playing for Ducks

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