More Downs than Ups
When asked to describe his journey from a high school track star to now
entering his senior season as a wide receiver for the Georgia Bulldogs,
Justin Scott-Wesley took a couple of seconds to respond.
"My journey … wow. There's been a lot of ups and downs, right now it seems like
more downs than ups," Scott-Wesley said. "The ups are great, but the downs
suck. But that's football, that's life. You've got to be able to take the
punches in stride."
Scott-Wesley has certainly taken his share of those.
After redshirting as a true freshman, Scott-Wesley's first year on the field saw
the former Mitchell County star catch eight passes for 135 yards.
His career really seemed on its way the following season when he started four of
Georgia's first five games in 2013, catching 16 passes for 311 yards and
touchdowns. But that's when his path suddenly hit a brick wall.
Against Tennessee, Scott-Wesley would tear his ACL and later that summer
the wrath of head coach Mark Richt who suspended him for last year's
season-opener against Clemson after the receiver admitted to smoking marijuana
inside his dorm room.
Making matters even worse, once Scott-Wesley finally recovered from his torn ACL,
he suffered another setback by severally spraining his ankle which led to him
only appearing in six games last fall where he caught just three passes for 52
Now healthy, Scott Wesley is hoping to make up for lost time. So far, he seems
to be doing just that.
In Georgia's two scrimmages, Scott-Wesley has been the Bulldogs' leading
receiver with 11 catches for 187 yards, giving hope that after all this time,
he'll finally be able to live up to the potential that many predicted for him
four years ago.
"I'm the type of guy, I come from a fairly rough background, but I'm the type of
dude I always look for the positives in situations," Scott-Wesley said. "You can
always keep working and I don't let anything discourage me. So I'm just here,
man, I'm going to keep working; it's my last year."
Scott-Wesley said his time at Georgia has definitely been a learning experience.
"Oh yeah. I learn from everything," he said. "You can always learn something
from anybody. In my situation, you live and you learn."
But that doesn't mean it hasn't been frustrating, especially last year when
Scott-Wesley barely saw the field at all and
didn't even play until Week 6 at Missouri.
"When I came off the ankle injury in mid-season it was just hard to get back. Mid-season the quarterback already has chemistry with other guys it was just
hard for me to crack that rotation," Scott-Wesley said. "All through last season
I fought, I tried my hardest to show the coaches that I was ready but I was a
step slower than what I am now."
Senior teammate Malcolm Mitchell thinks Scott-Wesley's final chapter in a
Bulldog uniform will be a successful one.
"It's going to be fun," Mitchell said. "But the season's a long ways, we're just
focused on right now."
Although he's pleased with his showing thus far in spring camp, the former state
100- and 200-meter champion said he's just trying to re-establish himself as a
viable weapon in new offensive coordinator Brian Schotteheimer's scheme.
"I'm just trying to take advantage of the opportunities that are given to me.
I'm not worried about who's the No. 1 guy, who's the No. 2 guy," Scott-Wesley
said. "If you're on the field you're a starter, if you're getting those reps
they're your reps so when the ball comes to you you've got to make plays."
He feels he's still got lot to offer.
"If you watch my film you'll see that I do a lot to help the team as far as
blocking, catching and running routes," Scott-Wesley said. "In this offense you
can't be a one-dimensional guy or you're not going to see the production. Just
because you run a pro-style offense you're not going to be out there just
running fly routes."
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