Scott's Big Run Put Foot in Door

Times Staff Writer

Charger Coach Al Saunders says a 74-yard run is a 74-yard run.

"If it were against a school team, it'd still be an accomplishment," Saunders says.

So go tell Kevin Scott, who didn't even go celebrate with the team after his big night with the Cowboys Saturday. Scott scored a 74-yard touchdown with less than two minutes left in the San Diego-Dallas exhibition game and then went straight back to his dorm room at UC-San Diego.

He called mom, and he called dad, but they weren't home. He called his brother, and he called his sister, but they weren't home either.

The rest of the Chargers were out doing whatever football players do after a game. But Scott had no car and no bicycle, so he didn't even get to eat dinner Saturday night. He sat in his room, and he played his guitar and he did a crossword puzzle.

And asked Monday if he'd make this football team, he gave a puzzled look and said: "Obviously, they (the Chargers) have a plan. If I fit in, great."

Little did he know, he's fitting in. Saunders, who really has no need for another running back under 6-feet, said Monday that he wants to see Scott return a few kicks this weekend against the Rams. The Chargers need special teams players, and Scott is showing he's special.

Saunders said he was watching films of practice the other day, and he saw Scott diving to block linebackers during blitz drills. Scott is 5-9 and 180 pounds, so this was not taken lightly.

"Since he's been here, he's done everything right," Saunders said Monday. "Here's a courageous guy, and he made two catches (against the Cowboys), and neither were easy. And he had that 74-yard run, which was a statement in itself."

When a little-known free agent from Stanford breaks free and goes 74 yards, he's bound to lose anonymity.

"I guess I could have gone out Saturday night wearing my jersey," Scott said with a wink. "Maybe I would have been mobbed. Nah. I'm not a celebrity."

He's not that impressed with his 74-yarder. He wonders if the Cowboy players were trying at the end of the game. And while he and the rest of the running backs were watching the Dallas game film on Monday, running back coach Bobby Jackson said: "Looked like you were running out of gas, Kev. Looked like you needed some fuel."

And Scott said: "I did."

But if Scott really does fizzle out and if he gets cut, he has a lot to fall back on. At Stanford, he was their No. 3 all-time kick returner, but their No. 1 team musician. His mom used to sing in the family's church, and every one of his brothers and sisters chose an instrument.

One brother chose the trombone, one brother chose the saxophone and clarinet, one brother chose the bass, one sister chose the violin and piano.

"I picked the drums, but my dad said, 'No, not the drums,' " Scott said.

His second choice was the trumpet, and now he specializes in the guitar.

So if he gets cut?

"I'll probably end up playing my guitar for money on some street corner," he said.

Actually, that'll just be his night job. He graduated from Stanford with 3.0687 grade-point-average in electrical engineering. He knows the exact number because finishing above 3.0 was his biggest goal.

So if he gets cut, he says he could get a day job with a computer firm.

But he'd prefer a day job with the San Diego Chargers.

"After last year, I was really banged up," Scott said. "And I wasn't sure it (football) was worth it. I wasn't going to try out, but I felt better a few weeks later. I had this God-given talent, so I decided to use it."

And then came this long run.

"It's not every day we get a 74-yard run," Saunders said.

So, in essence, Kevin Scott went 74 yards by foot and suddenly his foot is in the door.

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