TAHLEQUAH — Brayden Scott loves wowing a crowd with highlight moments.
It doesn't matter to the Sequoyah-Tahlequah quarterback if those plays come in big stadiums or small ones. On natural grass or artificial turf.
Or even, as it turns out, whether he's holding a football or a video game controller.
So when Scott takes off down the field with the ball and needs to bust a move, the thoughts that enter his mind are only natural.
“Whenever I run, I think ‘circle' for spin, or ‘X' for sprint,” Scott said. “I always try to make that highlight. I love making plays, and that's kind of what I think when I run the ball.”
Scott, a Memphis commit and No. 4 on The Oklahoman's Super 30 list of the state's best college football prospects, fully admits that he's a “game nerd” for EA Sports' NCAA Football and Madden series.
So when, as a sophomore, he started getting letters from big-time college football programs, Scott didn't need to use much imagination to picture himself playing in those uniforms and in those stadiums.
Every time he received interest from a new school, he created a quarterback named Brayden Scott on that team's roster and played in “Dynasty” mode.
“I have a lot of Brayden Scotts on a lot of teams,” he said. “I think it's pretty cool to create myself and see what I'd look like if I played for all the different teams.”
On his gaming system, there are rosters featuring “Brayden Scott” as the quarterback at Florida State, Georgia, Oklahoma, Tennessee and countless other schools that have shown him interest.
“I've won lots of national championships and about four or five Heismans,” he said with a laugh. “Hopefully one day that will actually happen.”
Scott holds over a dozen scholarship offers from NCAA Division I schools, but made his commitment to Memphis earlier this month while playing for the United States at the International Federation of American Football U-19 World Championship in Austin, Texas.
Scott was starting quarterback and team captain for the United States, which was the tournament's runner-up to Canada.
“When I was down there, I didn't have a TV in the room,” he said. “It was just me and my phone, and that was it. I started thinking about things, and just decided I wanted to go to Memphis.
“I felt like, in my heart, that's what I wanted to do.”
With the commitment, Scott will play for new coach Justin Fuente, a former Tulsa Union standout and Sooners quarterback. His main recruiter was offensive line coach Vance Vice, who played at Oklahoma State.
“I could write you a book on how awesome those coaches are,” Scott said. “They treat me like family off the field, and on the field it's all business. That's the way I like it.”
Scott is excited by Memphis' future; the school will join the Big East Conference before the start of his freshman season and is upgrading its football facilities.
“I want to be part of something that's on the rise,” Scott said. “I want to be part of the reason why Memphis got on the map of winning championships.”
On Scott's gaming system, Memphis is currently 10-0 and well on its way to a special season under the steady leadership of Digital Brayden Scott.
In a few years, he hopes that becomes the reality.
The passion and excitement for football in any form — real life, video game or otherwise — is easy to understand for those who know and love Brayden Scott.
He came by it honestly; his dad and coach at Sequoyah-Tahlequah, Brent Scott, was a Bristow standout before playing at Oklahoma State and Louisiana-Monroe in college.
His grandfather, Bill Scott, played a year of pro football with the Los Angeles Rams before coaching Bristow to three state titles.
“He just grew up around it,” Brent Scott said. “Our family lives and breathes football.”
Brayden inherited the passion and it's become his whole life.
“He grew up in a football family,” said Haden “Moon” Smith, a recent Sequoyah-Tahlequah graduate and former team equipment manager who has been Brayden Scott's best friend for years.
“That's all the kid's ever known. Other kids love running around with friends, some kids like drinking and other things. But Brayden loves football. That's what he wants to do and wants to pursue.”
Not surprisingly, Scott said he wants to coach football when he's finished playing. But he hopes that isn't for a long, long time.
“My life is football,” he said. “I would play for a Division III school, a juco, the smallest division there is.
“When I'm done in college, if the NFL doesn't work out, I want to go to Canada. If Canada doesn't work out, I want to go to arena. If arena doesn't work out, I'll go to a semipro league.
“I want to play football until both my legs are gone.”
The Oklahoman's Super 30
No. 4: Brayden Scott
Recruited by: Committed to Memphis; also has offers from Clemson, Houston, Missouri, Purdue, Tennessee and Tulsa, among others.