Former Zachary High star quarterback Lindsey Scott committed to Missouri on Monday afternoon, spurning Tulane for the second time in three years after a drawn-out recruiting process.
The Green Wave pulled back Friday when it became clear he wanted to sign with a Power Five program, ending a long pursuit that spanned a pair of recruiting cycles two years apart.
Scott, a 5-foot-11, 210-pound 3-star prospect, has three years of eligibility left. He redshirted at LSU in 2016 after picking the Tigers over Tulane, left LSU last August when he was buried on the depth chart and played at East Mississippi Community College in the fall. He tweeted Monday that he picked Missouri because he “shared the same vision” with the coaching staff, but more of his words addressed Tulane than Missouri. He also considered Kansas.
“There is a special school (Tulane) and a special staff who has supported me, and never questioned the fit,” he wrote. “Coach (Willie) Fritz, coach (offensive coordinator Doug) Ruse, (assistant) coach J.J. (Mccleskey), and the entire Tulane family. THANK YOU for opening your arms and welcoming me. You are the reason that the decision was so tough. I know that you are going to do great things this season. I am rooting for the Green Wave every week. God bless TU!”
Scott visited Tulane in November, watching the Green Wave upset Houston at Yulman Stadium. The coaches also made an in-home visit on Jan. 12, but he chose to return to the SEC rather than staying in state even though Missouri returns senior starting quarterback Drew Lock, who threw for an NCAA best 44 touchdowns this years, setting school and SEC records. Lock considered applying for the NFL draft but decided to remain in school.
Missouri won six straight games at the end of the regular season and finished 7-6, playing in their first bowl since 2014.
For the Wave, it is a feeling of déjà vu. Scott signed with LSU in February of 2016 despite having an excellent chance to start at Tulane, which returned no one with college experience at quarterback and recruited him hard under then-new coach Fritz.
Scott was Louisiana’s Mr. Football after leading Zachary to the state championship as a senior in 2015, throwing for 3,039 yards and 33 touchdowns with five interceptions and rushing for 1,963 yards and 28 scores.
This past fall, he led East Mississippi to an 11-1 record and the National Junior College Athletic Association national championship, completing 65 percent of his passes for 3,481 yards and 29 touchdowns, adding 729 rushing yards with six scores.
It was the fourth national title in seven years for East Mississippi, known as Last Chance U thanks to the Netflix documentary that chronicled its football team in 2015 and 2016.
Scott’s decision leaves Tulane perilously thin at quarterback. Senior Jonathan Banks is entrenched as the starter after starting 11 games in the fall, but his top three backups—junior Johnathan Brantley, redshirt freshman Khalil McClain and senior Glen Cuiellette--all left at the end of the season.
Cuiellette, who started 10 games in 2016 but was fourth string this year, graduated in December and will play his final year of eligibility at Texas Southern of the Football Championship Subdivision.
The only other scholarship quarterback on the 2018 roster is true freshman Christian Daniels, a two-star prospect from Elon (North Carolina) Western Alamance who enrolled for the spring semester and will participate in spring drills.
Although the Jan. 15 deadline for mid-year junior college signees has come and gone, it is not an official date. The deadline for late enrollment in Missouri’s spring semester is Tuesday, so Scott can participate in spring practice.
Tulane went 5-7 in the fall, missing a bowl game when Banks was ruled an inch short of the goal line on what would have been a go-ahead touchdown on the last play of the finale at SMU.
Banks, a junior college transfer from Independence (Kansas), completed 56.6 percent of his passes for 1,797 yards and 12 touchdowns with five interceptions, running for 592 yards and seven scores. He improved as the year went along, throwing for season highs of 251 and 314 yards in the final two games.
The question marks are behind him. For depth in the spring, Tulane could return freshman Dane Ledford to quarterback after moving him to wide receiver in September. The Wave also is recruiting Jacksonville (Florida) Bartram Trail quarterback Riley Smith, an unsigned 3-star prospect, for the Feb. 6 late signing date.
Regardless of what happens there, Banks will be the only quarterback on the roster who has thrown a college pass.