ATHENS -- According to various accounts, Jake Scott and Vince Dooley had a falling out years ago and hadn’t talked in some time. But on the occasion of the announcement that Scott was being inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame, Dooley praised Scott as one of his best-ever players -- and said he and Scott have long since been back on good terms.
“He had been back to Athens a time or two for some golf tournaments and chatted with him,” Dooley said Tuesday afternoon. “I talked to him on the phone one time. He was out in the middle of the ocean trying to catch marlins. He’s not your normal football player. He’s a little different and has always been that way. You could say that’s Jake.”
Scott wasn’t available for comment -- even by Georgia as it sought a quote for its release on his Hall of Fame selection.
Scott and Dooley reportedly had an icy relationship after he left Georgia a year early. Scott signed with the CFL rather than play his senior year, but he eventually went on to a successful NFL career.
Scott now lives in Hawaii. But his mother still lives in Atlanta, according to Georgia spokesman Claude Felton. Scott will come back to Athens for games but doesn’t make a big deal about it, and the team only tends to find out he was there after the fact.
Dooley recalled Tuesday how he once banned players from using motorcycles after Scott rode his up the coliseum steps. But Dooley has warm feelings for his former player, saying his ability rivaled that of Herschel Walker.
“If you take all-around, certainly Herschel was the most productive, but in all-around football player, in every phase of the game, he was as good as it gets,” Dooley said of Scott. “He could do it all.”
The best all-around player he has coached -- and the most interesting.
“Very much so, yes,” Dooley said. “He was indeed interesting. He was Jake.”
Scott, a Greenwood, S.C., native, was a member of Georgia’s SEC championship team in 1968. He twice led the conference in interceptions, and in 1968, he also led the conference in punt return yardage. He still holds the SEC’s single-game record for interceptions touchdowns, two against Kentucky in 1968.
“I’m really happy for him,” Dooley said. “Actually he could have gone in earlier into the Hall of Fame, but being Jake, he wasn’t ready to accept that accolade. But I’m pleased to know that he is (being inducted), and I’ll look forward to seeing him up in New York at the induction.”