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Miami Hurricanes 2024 Recruiting Notebook: DT Justin Scott

A 5-star All-American adds elite talent to Miami’s DLine.

Elite DT Justin Scott is taking his talents to Miami over a host of other elite programs.
247sports

In this installment of The Recruiting Notebook, we meet a monster of a man that brings elite size and skill to the interior of the Miami defensive line: Chicago (IL) St. Ignatius 5-star DT Justin Scott.

Bio

After signing an elite OL group in 2023, Miami’s full focus was on signing an elite DL class in 2024 to balance that equation and the Canes’ roster. Primary among the targets for that group from the early stages of this cycle was Chicago (IL) St. Ignatius 5-star DT Justin Scott.

A 6’4” 310lb lineman, Scott has all the traits you could want from a big-time interior defensive lineman. And, as you would expect with a player of this position, size, and skill, teams from all over the country joined Miami in their pursuit of Scott. And his notoriety extends to other areas of the football world; Scott will participate in the 2024 All-American Bowl (formerly the Army All-American game) based upon his pedigree and skill.

After seeming as though Miami had a near-lock lead to secure Scott’s commitment, official visits to Michigan and Ohio State made things a bit less clear. And, shortly after his visit to Columbus, Scott decided to stay in the Midwest and committed to Ohio State.

In spite of his commitment to OSU, Miami’s coaches continued to heavily pursue Scott. They stayed in communication with him, kept letting him know he was atop their board, and kept reiterating the love he felt for Coral Gables hadn’t changed, and he could still be a Cane.

That messaging took a while, but it was consistent through the 2023 season. And, in the end, it paid off: Scott flipped his commitment from OSU to Miami on November 29th.

Recruiting Ranking

On the 247sports composite, Scott is a 5-star prospect, the #3 DL nationally, #1 in the State of Illinois, and #12 player overall in this class.

Scott flipped his commitment to Miami from previously being pledged to Ohio State, and he chose Miami over a list of 30 scholarship offers from around the country.

As A Player

The first thing you notice about Scott is his prototypical size. Every bit of 6’4” 310lbs, he passes the eye test for a defensive tackle. But, more than that, he uses his size well in both run defense and pass rushing situations, and that versatility is something that shows up repeatedly through games.

Scott uses a good first step to penetrate past opposing linemen and wreak havoc. Run play or pass play, it doesn’t matter. Scott routinely finds his way into the backfield, tackling RBs at the mesh point of the run play, or surprising QBs, who don’t expect a man of Scott’s size to be there that quickly.

While I highlighted quickness at the point of attack as a major trait of Scott’s game, his size and strength are equally as impressive, and impactful. He, like nearly all HS linemen, will need to continue to develop his hand work, but at the HS level, he toys with the opposition. He’s able to move opposing linemen wherever he wants, and shed their block attempts to make plays. Scott is also seen slamming offensive players to the ground with vengeance and fury. Hulk smash in action.

For his efforts and performance in the 2023 season, Scott was named the Illinois All-State Player of the Year. In addition to being a game-wrecking DT, Scott saw time on offense.....at running back (!!!!) for St. Ignatius. Scott as a short-yardage RB is a HS novelty, but still, it speaks to his ability to impact games in a variety of ways. That will clearly not continue in college, but letting the Illinois Player of the Year stay on defense and dominate, yanno, doing the stuff that made him a 5-star recruit, will be plenty fine for Miami.

For another view of Scott, here’s what 247sports National Recruiting Analyst Allen Trieu had to say:

Has prototypical size and athletic ability for the position. Bends well, gets off the ball quickly and can beat blockers with initial quickness. Closes to the ball with speed as well. For a taller interior defensive lineman, he generally does a good job with pad level and his flexibility helps with that. Not often challenged in high school with offensive linemen with similar size and talent. Will have to show he can disengage from Power Five level offensive linemen. Has great upside though and actually could play high-level offensive line if he wanted to also, but projects as a defensive tackle that can play for any school and in any scheme in the country.

Strengths

  • Physical build
  • Strength
  • Quickness
  • Plays with a mean streak

Weaknesses

  • Hand work (always an area of development for HS linemen)
  • Variety of rush moves

Miami Outlook

Note: changed this up from just a freshman-season outlook to a career outlook for each player a couple years ago and we’re continuing that style this year as well.

Scott has everything you want from a physical build perspective to have an immediate impact on the Miami defense. In a perfect world, he follows the path of Leonard Taylor III or Rueben Bain, and becomes a foundational player in the 2-deep midway through his freshman year, and stays in the lineup from there on.

Scott figures to be a foundational player for Miami’s defensive line moving forward. He has elite talent, incredible athleticism, and is a scheme fit for what Miami wants to do up front. The sky is the limit for him, with All-Conference honors firmly on the radar, and anything above that possible as well.

If all things go to plan, Scott will be a 3-years-and-out player in the mold of Leonard Taylor III. But, if he stays for 4 years, it’s reasonable to expect Scott be known among the best players at his position in the country as a senior, and a foundational player for what is hopefully a very, very good Miami Hurricanes team.


That’s it for this installment of The Recruiting Notebook.

Go Canes