A defensive standout for the Camdenton Lakers announced his plans to play college football this fall. Senior T.J. Scott signed a letter of intent to play at Mid-America Nazarene University. Scott became interested in the top-flight NAIA program when he attended a summer football camp on the MNU campus in Olathe, Kan.


A defensive standout for the Camdenton Lakers announced his plans to play college football this fall.

Senior T.J. Scott signed a letter of intent to play at Mid-America Nazarene University.

Scott became interested in the top-flight NAIA program when he attended a summer football camp on the MNU campus in Olathe, Kan.

"The coaches really seemed like they cared about their players, and I just liked the whole family-oriented team they had there. They are really successful in football," Scott said.

At Camdenton, Scott nabbed all-district and all-Ozark Conference honors at cornerback. He hauled in seven interceptions as a senior and routinely covered the opposing team's top wide receiver. His coaches say Scott earned two years as a defensive starter with his work ethic and dedication to the game.

"T.J. has really matured and grown with the program and become an excellent football player," Lakers head coach Bob Shore said.

Scott looks forward to moving to Olathe and immersing himself in the college atmosphere, but says he will miss Camdenton, especially, "the Friday night games and coaches. I know everybody here, so I'm going to miss it."

He joins a team that went 10-0 in the 2010 regular season and won two playoff games before losing in the NAIA national semifinals.

The Pioneers are led by third-year head coach Jonathan Quinn, a former NFL quarterback who played professionally until injuries ended his career in 2007.

Shore pointed to Scott's mental game as his strongest asset.

"He's a really good student, No. 1, it makes you want to have him because you know you're going to keep him. No. 2 is that he doesn't have to make a defensive switch. He's going to play the same thing, he's going to be a defensive back at the college level and do the same thing, same techniques–a little more involved and more of it–but he won't have to make a position switch in college which is going to be a real plus for him," Shore said.

As a senior, Scott also served as a fullback and blocked for 1,100-plus yard rusher Murphy Ward. He plans to stick with defense at MNU.

"They are talking to me about safety. I don't know if it's strong or free, but I'm thinking strong safety," Scott said.

Mark Collins, a former NFL defensive back who won Super Bowl rings with the New York Giants and also had a stint with the Kansas City Chiefs, is the defensive secondary coach for the Pioneers.

The former shutdown corner for the Lakers said he plans to study psychology after enjoying a class on the subject at Camdenton. According to his coach, Scott is already an expert on mental toughness.

"Every guy that's going to play college football has got to have that backbone, that type of toughness. He's got college football toughness, obviously–a really good hitter," Shore said.