LSU QB Lindsey Scott’s ‘stupid’ work ethic, coming of age: From cottage cheese to college scholarship
The exchange is now almost as routine as the workout regiment that once concerned his new coach.
Lindsey Scott Jr. shakes his head and rolls his eyes as teammates Douglas Coleman and Kellton Hollins flaunt small bags of chips and cookies.
The Zachary wide receiver and offensive lineman — bound for Texas Tech and TCU, respectively — even tease that they’ll pose and send pictures of the quarterback with the snacks to his father.
But, by now, Scott has embraced and taken ownership of his focused diet, just as he did the more physical aspects of his relentless preparation techniques long ago.
“We’re strict with it certain times of the year,” says Scott, who signed with nearby LSU in February. “This is one of those times, going into the summer. My friends joke about it all the time, because they’ll go, ‘Hey, Lindsey, you wanna go to Wingstop?’ And then they’ll say, ‘Oh, never mind. You can’t come!’
“But, I mean, I’m used to it, and I like the food. It’s fun because you can get creative at times. Eating is always a big component of healthy living and working out. It’s a part of my life and something I’m used to. It’s my thing.”
That mindset wasn’t necessarily the case when Lindsey Scott Sr. — a former Baker, Southern and Canadian Football League standout — first began laying out the blueprints just a few whirlwind years ago.
“It was something to get used to,” the younger Scott says. “It was hard to get used to. Because I remember at one point we were eating, for a midday snack, cottage cheese and pineapples. And the pineapples were cool, but the cottage cheese literally made me gag. I was young, so I really didn’t see, ‘Why am I doing this?’ But as I got older, I saw, ‘OK, this is why I’m doing this,’ and I saw the effects of it.
“Then all of a sudden your perspective shifts and you realize, ‘OK, this all makes sense.’ And I guess when your perspective shifts, all of a sudden it all starts to taste better.”
Lindsey Sr. remembers one instance as a prime example of his oldest son’s initial struggles accepting the strict diet he was trying to implement.
“Getting him to understand the commitment to proper eating and that kind of stuff was the stuff that I would kind of battle with him on a little bit,” Lindsey Sr. says. “I remember one year, I took his sister (Leah) to a youth track meet she had at LSU, and I had Lindsey on this strict eating regiment and all that kind of stuff. His mom had just bought one of those two-gallon things of Hawaiian Punch — I mean, it was brand new. And it wasn’t on his diet at all, so I thought it was a foregone conclusion that it was off limits.
“I got back, and there may be two cups left in the thing. I asked him had he drank it, and he said yeah. So behind the house we’ve got this huge drop off that’s almost like a mini levee. From the patio it drops off almost 50 feet. So we went downstairs, and I set up some cones as it started to rain, and he basically ran gassers for the next hour. He was probably in about seventh or eighth grade at the time.”
While understanding the importance of his diet took a couple years, Lindsey Jr. quickly took to the more obvious areas of training.
“He’s a weird kid,” his father says. “I guess he wasn’t always a fan of the physical preparation part of it, but he hardly ever let me see it. He’s one of those kids that you kind of direct, and maybe he’s programmed that way, but he’s always kind of demonstrated the ability to be able to handle a very high workload.
“He’s always been easy to coach from that standpoint. He’s one of those guys that’s extremely programmable. And I compare him to our two other kids who are also extremely talented, but they’re more normal kids. It’s more of a struggle to get them to buy in, because they’re way more questioners than he is. Lindsey, you get him a program, and he’s gonna run with it.”
Zachary coach David Brewerton recognized that work ethic during his first offseason with the program.
“The first week of summer workouts starts, and I’m watching the kid,” Brewerton said. “And I knew he was doing a lot of extra stuff, and I really didn’t know what it was. So I brought him in the second week and asked him what his schedule was. I didn’t believe him when he told me, to be honest with you. I know what we were doing to them that first summer. Physically and mentally, we were trying to get our program to a different level, so it was brutal the first summer. And he was coming in for two hours with us from 7-9 (a.m.), and then he would go home and go to sleep, he would wake up at noon, have a meal that was already prepared for him, eat lunch, leave and go lift with Matt Bruce at the time — Olympic, explosive lifting — then go back home, go to sleep, wake up, eat again, then go to the gym and work on footwork and throwing drills and everything, and then at night doing some film study.
“So I’m gonna be honest with you, I brought he and his father in, and we all sat down. And I said, ‘Look, I’m gonna be honest with you guys. It’s too much. I’m worried that your son is gonna burn out. I’m a little worried that it’s just too much pressure on him, and he needs to be a kid.’ And his dad said, ‘Look, coach, we believe in you. What do you want us to do?’ And I said, ‘I just want you to back off a little bit. I’ll agree to do that stuff maybe two days a week, but not every day the way we’re doing it right now. I just think it’s too much for a kid.’ So they said, ‘OK.’ I don’t think they agreed with me, but they said, ‘OK.’
“And I think he did that for probably two weeks, and then Lindsey Jr. came to me and requested a meeting with me. So, obviously, I agreed to meet with the kid, and we sat down. And he said, ‘Look, coach, listen. This is not me. I can not sit around for several hours a day and play video games or just lounge around and do absolutely nothing. I can’t do it. I have to be trying to get better.’ He said, ‘I’m 5-foot-10 inches tall. I’m trying to play D-I quarterback, and there are 6-4 quarterbacks all over the country. I have to be able to out-work those guys, and you have to be able to allow me to do that. I just can’t do anything else.’”
Brewerton agreed, conditionally.
The coach “kept a close eye” on his rising star to make sure the grueling schedule and workload didn’t wear down him or his arm.
And the rest is kind of history.
“He never slipped up,” Brewerton says. “He never missed a workout. He worked extremely hard with us and then doing the rest of what he was doing. So I got to see very, very early on in his career how driven he was.
“His dad was very hands on, but he was not that dad that you didn’t want around the program, if that makes sense? I was fine with what he was doing as far as what he was doing, because he knew his kid better than me, and he wasn’t overbearing Lindsey Jr. He just gave him all the resources that he needed to be able to compete at a high level. And, really from Day One, I never saw Lindsey not come to work every day. That was the one thing that my staff and I talked about a lot: that very rarely can you count upon a kid that comes through your program that you never have to worry about if he’s ready to go for practice or a game time. Never, not once. That’s just unheard of. That’s so difficult to come across. But he was that guy, and he is that guy.”
Lindsey Jr. progressively took more ownership of his grueling routine and gained a better appreciation for his expected diet.
He and his father traveled during the offseason for college camps and to train with former NFL quarterback Jeff Garcia, a CFL teammate of Lindsey Sr.
They modeled contraptions to mimic drills they’d seen Green Bay Packers star Aaron Rodgers utilize.
And Lindsey Jr. led the Broncos to their first-ever Class 5A semifinal appearance in 2014 and then to a state championship in 2015.
He earned back-to-back Class 5A Offensive MVP honors from the LSWA and a slew of other honors, including 2015 LSWA Mr. Louisiana, Louisiana Gatorade Player of the Year and a key to the city of Zachary, to become arguably the most decorated high school football player in the state’s history.
And his recruitment eventually did hit somewhat of a fever pitch in its final months before a late offer from, commitment to and signing with LSU.
“To watch him with a specific goal in mind — and I’m not saying that specific goal was to play at LSU or to play at UCLA or Oklahoma or anywhere else, but I’m saying the specific goal was to be the absolute best that he could be with the God-given talents that he was given,” Brewerton says. “Now if that was a D-I scholarship, great. If that was a 5A MVP, great. But it was about being the best that his body would possibly allow him to be, and that’s why I have so much respect for the kid.
“Never once did he complain about things — never once. And I was hard on him, but he’s mentally strong enough where I could be hard on him in front of the rest of the kids, and he’s smart enough to know where I was going with it, too.”
Lindsey Jr. drops off friend Jared Sparks, the Purdue-bound quarterback from Dutchtown after their midday run and heads to the gym his father bought and set up as a place for the family, friends and other young athletes around the area to work out.
The LSU-bound standout unlocks the side door, flips on the lights, sets his bag to the side and pulls out a small plastic container of grilled chicken and broccoli.
Lindsey Sr. is across town working at his legal practice.
But his star pupil, days from his first day of college classes and driven as ever, is grinding his way through a light, two-workout day.
“I’ve grown as a young man,” Lindsey Scott Jr. says. “And I’ve gotten smarter and more disciplined because my ninth grade year, with working out, I couldn’t stand it. My ninth grade year, it was a lot of my dad forcing me to do things. And then my 10th and as I’ve gotten older, I’ve kind of fallen in love with the whole thing. Most of my workouts now, with this break that I’m having before college, it’s just me and (Zachary linebacker) Donovan Perkins.
“My dad will walk in the gym training some other people, and I’ll walk in behind him, and he’ll say, ‘I’m leaving.’ So I think I’ve kind of taken some initiative to do some things on my own. I really like it, too. Some people are like,’Don’t you wanna do something more exciting with your life?’ And I mean, to you, it might look like, ‘Oh, he’s hurting himself. He’s pushing himself. It doesn’t look fun.’ But to me, it’s a challenge, and it’s a constant goal that I’m chasing, and it’s fun, and it’s my life. I think ninth-grade me would’ve been like, ‘Are you stupid?’ But 12th-grade me is like ‘This is just me and I like it.’”
Jerit Roser can be reached at Jerit@DatBoot.com.