Sad news about one of the all time Bulldog greats.
Former University of Georgia football standout Jake Scott, the star safety who was MVP of the Super Bowl that completed the Miami Dolphins’ 1972 perfect season before his relationship with coach Don Shula soured, died Thursday in Atlanta. He was 75.
Scott died after a fall down a stairway that left him in a coma, former Dolphins teammate Dick Anderson said.
Scott played in three consecutive Super Bowls, won back-to-back championship rings and made the Pro Bowl five years in a row with Miami. He had two interceptions, including a 55-yard return from the end zone, against Billy Kilmer and the Washington Redskins as the ’72 Dolphins won 14-7 to finish 17-0.
After retiring, Scott became reclusive and harbored hard feelings toward Shula and his coach at Georgia, Vince Dooley. Scott lived for years on a remote Hawaiian island and traveled the world but seldom attended Dolphins or Bulldogs reunions.
He was once close to Shula, but they went without speaking to each other for 28 years, and Scott was one of only two living players to skip the 1972 Dolphins’ 25-year celebration in 1997.
One of the many things you could say about Scott — the man certainly knew how to hold a grudge. The hard feelings about Dooley resulted from a famously bad decision by the coach.
Scott fell out with Vince Dooley over the coach’s decision to send the 1968 SEC champions to the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans rather than the team’s choice of the Orange Bowl in Miami, where the Dogs could have gone. The team ended up making a lousy showing in a 16-2 bowl loss to Arkansas, with tales of the hellraising they did in the Big Easy quickly making their way back to Athens. The rift with Dooley led Scott to leave UGA and play pro ball in Canada since juniors weren’t eligible to sign with the NFL in those days.
Dude was just an amazingly great player during his truncated run in Athens.
He led the SEC in punt returns and punt return yardage, holds the conference record for most interception touchdowns in a single game (two) and still holds the school record for career interceptions and return yards with 16 for 315 yards. Incredibly, he did all that in just two seasons, since freshmen didn’t play on the varsity in those days.
Add to that all the wild, off the field stories and you’ve got yourself a true legend. Jake Scott broke the mold. R.I.P., brother.