Rashawn Scott was ashamed — so much so that he stayed out of sight for at least two weeks before he had the nerve to wander beyond his home on Merritt Island and say hi to the folks who have grown to know him as a football star and all-around nice kid.
“It was rough going home, seeing the family,” said the University of Miami receiver, who was suspended for the last three games of the 2012 season for an undisclosed team violation. “You’ve got people in the area looking up to you, and then that happened. You don’t want to go out.
“I had to get past that. It took me a couple of weeks before I could go out and talk to people. I got over it and did a little community service to see things, that I have more than others.”
The soft-spoken Scott, going into his junior season, still finished 2012 as Miami’s second-leading receiver, with 512 yards and three touchdowns on 35 catches. He posted a career-high 180 yards and two touchdowns on six catches in UM’s win over North Carolina State. He had 50 yards on three catches during his last game against Virginia Tech, and said, prophetically, afterward: “Nothing can really stop us unless we stop ourselves.”
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Phillip Dorsett, also a junior, compensated for Scott’s absence with performances of 103 receiving yards at Virginia, 111 against USF and 83 at Duke. Dorsett finished the season with 58 catches for 842 yards and four touchdowns.
UM receivers coach Brennan Carroll, who has moved over from coaching the tight ends, said Tuesday that Scott — up to 208 pounds on his 6-2 frame — has shown more focus since he returned for the UTough offseason strength and conditioning program.
“UTough I like a lot,” Scott said Tuesday after UM’s third spring practice session. “I like to run.”
He said he has been working on his hands — “I had some dropped balls” last season — and his feet. “I’ve got to get better on not having it be a foot race.”
As for the off-the-field problems, Scott said his teammates have helped him stay grounded through their companionship.
“I’ve eliminated some of the distractions,” he said, by staying away from “partying, and calming down and being more into football. I just hang out. Weekend nights I go to someone’s room, like [fellow receiver] Allen Hurns’. We all just hang out and chill. We talk. The days pass by — the time.
That’s a lot better.”