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JMU switches Dae'Quan to running back
Dae’Quan Scott hasn’t played running back since his sophomore year at Robert E. Lee High School.
During his redshirt freshman season at James Madison University, Scott started out at wide receiver. When the Dukes’ offense was looking for a spark, Scott was moved to quarterback for the final two games.
In his first game, Scott earned Colonial Athletic Association rookie of the week honors after rushing for 125 yards and three touchdowns in a win over No. 1-ranked William and Mary. He then guided the team to a victory at Maine in the season finale. In fact, the third-team all-CAA punt returner ran the ball so well in those two JMU victories that he earned himself a spot in the backfield.
Just not at quarterback.
“At the beginning of camp, I got switched,” Scott said. “I’m fine with it, because I get the ball, so I’m cool with it.”
Just like when he switched from wideout to quarterback, Scott found out when he was called into a meeting with the coaches.
“My receivers coach brought me in there, because I started off going to meetings with them,” Scott said. “Then he said, ‘we’re going to need you to play running back.’ He was like, ‘You don’t have to do it.’ I was like, ‘I’ll do it, because I just want to help the team out.’ He was like, ‘We’re going to need to get you the ball.’”
JMU head coach Mickey Matthews had mixed feelings about moving Scott to a third position. It weakens the receiving core — Scott was tied for the team lead last season with 16 receptions — but it gives one of the Dukes’ best offensive weapons more touches.
“The offensive staff hit me with it a couple of weeks ago,” Matthews said. “We thought Dae’Quan’s a guy that must have some touches, and he’ll get more touches at running back. That’s the best way to describe it. After four days, we like what we see.”
Scott doesn’t see much difference between a running quarterback and a running back, and the 5-foot-9, 190-pound redshirt sophomore feels like his skills are coming back quickly.
“The first day at practice was kind of rough, but I’ve got it back now,” Scott said.
Having already proven he has the skills to excel at the college level, Scott thinks his mindset will be the key to success at the running back position.
“You have to be focused, and you have to learn how to forget,” Scott said. “You can’t get down when you get a 1-yard gain. You have to be patient. My dad always told me that if you’re a good runner, you’re going to break it at least one time, so that’s how I see it.”
by Chris Lassiter, News Leader