Sept. 23, 2013
RUSTON, La. - Scott Cathcart knows football. It has been in his DNA going back at least two generations.
Scott's grandfather, Sam Cathcart, is a former college and professional football player, as well as a hall of fame high school coach in the state of California. Sam spent time with the San Francisco 49ers following his playing days at UC Santa Barbara in the 1940s.
Scott's dad, Scott Sr., was a two-year letterman at Fresno State and is now an athletic director at Palomar Junior College. Scott Sr. also spent time as a coach during Scott's childhood.
His older brother Casey played college football for two seasons at Arkansas-Monticello from 2008-09.
From day one, it seemed Scott was destined to be on a football field, but despite following in the footsteps of family legends, he never let the burden of carrying on the Cathcart name get to him.
"There was never really any added pressure," he said. "I knew I was going to play football somewhere. I had a football family growing up, so it was always fun. We always played outside in the street throwing the ball around when I was younger. Through youth football and high school, then growing up and going to junior college and now here at Tech - I knew I was destined to be somewhere and it was here."
Scott came to Louisiana Tech in 2011 from Allan Hancock Community College where he scored seven touchdowns and gained almost 1,500 yards in two seasons at the junior college. Cathcart led his team in receiving yards averaging 91 yards per game in 2010.
After garnering a three-star rating by Rivals.com after his second season at Allan Hancock, Scott had options to choose from when it came to four-year universities. San Jose State, LA Tech's then Western Athletic Conference rival, and Cal-Poly were knocking at the California native's door, but a quick trip to the south to Ruston, La. was all Scott needed to make his decision.
After an injury forced him to the sidelines in 2011, Cathcart did not see action in 2012. In 2013, the senior wide out is anticipating ample playing time for first-year head coach Skip Holtz and the Bulldogs.
As the tallest receiver on the 2013 roster at 6-feet-5-inches, Scott Sr. said his sons athleticism on the football field is no surprise considering his upbringing.
"Scotty always had the gifts," he said. "He was bigger, faster stronger than any kid he was around. Being an athletic director myself, he was influenced a lot by athletics. When he was little, he got so much enjoyment out of sports. He was the guy always looking at how high he could jump, how fast he could run. He was so in love with anything physical and trying to do it better than anyone."
Scott said he feels confident his height will continue to give him an on-field advantage when it comes time to suit up for the Bulldogs this season.
"I am looking forward to having a great year and getting on the field a lot more," he said. "I am not exactly the highest jumper, but I am the tallest [of the receivers]. If there is a high ball in my vicinity, I feel like I am able to get to it better than the 5-6 guy or the other shorter guys."
With the excitement that comes with a brand new season, there also comes an adjustment period, and no bigger adjustment has been made for Scott than getting acclimated to a revamped coaching staff in the offseason.
"The new coaching staff has been great," Scott said of the transition. "They are fun and exciting. It has been different, but I think it is a good thing. I like it and it continues to be fun every day."
One member of Holtz's staff, inside receivers coach Joe Sloan, has made an immediate impact on Scott, both on and off the field as well.
"Coach Sloan has always been there and he is always followed me making sure I am on my school work," Scott said of Sloan's influence. "He is always telling me the right direction to go in life and on the football field and I have really appreciated that from him."
Sloan's influence on Scott was immediate and he hopes it will carry over to life outside of football.
"We all get into coaching to develop relationships," Sloan said. "Scott and I have developed a relationship over time and I want to make sure when he leaves here he is not only a better football player, but that he is in a position to be more successful out in the real world. He has worked hard and really grown over the last six months, and I am proud of him for that."
After hailing from a football-minded family tree, Scott now considers Louisiana Tech as a second home, complete with his coaches, teammates and a little bit of Louisiana flavor.
"It is just about being part of a family out here and always having someone there," he said. "You meet new friends, coaches and live in a new environment. I have always lived around the beaches in California. Now, I am in the swamps of Louisiana. It has been a lot of fun. It has been a lot different, but it has grown on me and I like it. I definitely prefer the beaches. California is always going to be my home, but I definitely enjoy everything down here."
As the 2013 campaign gets under way, Scott begins his final season in a Louisiana Tech uniform. Having endured setbacks over the past two seasons, Scott Sr. is content to have his son healthy and back on the field.
"We are all very proud of Scotty and glad of the opportunity that was given to him down at Louisiana Tech," his dad said of his son's accomplishments. "We are very proud to have him as a Bulldog."
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