Photo Credit: John Peterson

Ben Scott Building Chemistry With Offensive Line, Pleased With Coaching Staff Mentality

April 18, 2023

Nebraska newcomer offensive lineman Ben Scott has appreciated the mentality he’s seen from coaches in the Husker program.

At Tuesday’s press conference, he praised offensive line coach Donovan Raiola for the energy he brings. He said that Raiola and head coach Matt Rhule are able to fire the group up in meetings before practice, through methods that include showing videos and quotes to the team. One such quote, shown by Rhule, emphasized the need to “go through the struggle” to achieve growth, according to Scott. That stood out to the offensive lineman for its pertinence to his decision to transfer.

“I didn’t go into the portal thinking that I just wanted to go and like chill for another year,” Scott said. “I wanted to go somewhere and like find that struggle, and really grow as a player somewhere.”

He believes he’s found that so far with the Huskers. Scott has been playing at center throughout the spring, looking to help bolster an offensive line that faced struggles last season. He’ll be a fifth-year junior in the 2023 season, and has had to adjust to a new style of coaching with Raiola. But he hasn’t had too much trouble embracing that.

“Coach Raiola teaches his technique and his way of blocking a little bit different than what I was used to,” Scott said. “But you know, it’s not the easy way, is what he says, it’s not the easy way but it’s the right way to do things. And I really believe that, like now that I’m here and doing it.”

Technique-wise, he said that Raiola focuses a lot on being able to move defenders off the ball. That’s something Scott feels he wasn’t doing as much previously, but now knows more on how to effectively drive his feet and get under a defensive lineman’s pads.

He also said he’s fit in well with the rest of the offensive line. Raiola said Tuesday that he wants his unit to be five people playing as one, and Scott’s words suggest things are going well in that aspect.

“I think I’ve developed a good chemistry with all the guys on the line,” Scott said. “Everyone’s rotating in, we have like three different lineups that we could possibly use in one practice. So I’m just building that chemistry. And I think it’s going really well. I think it’s good. They’re understanding the calls that I make and what I’m saying on the line, and we’re all communicating back and forth.”

He’s drawn praise from other members of the room as well, such as third-year lineman Teddy Prochazka.

“[Scott’s] pretty good. I like him a lot. He’s funny,” Prochazka said Tuesday. “Definitely brings some new energy to the locker room and to the O-line room as a whole. I’m excited to see him during the season.”

There’s been some bumps so far for Scott — he sat out of practice for a time with an injury he originally feared to be serious. Thankfully, it ended up being minor and the team played it safe in holding him out of practice. He did practice fully Tuesday, and said he felt good doing so.

The offensive line seeks to improve in 2023, and that work has started this offseason. Scott figures to be a significant part of that effort, and he’ll compete in front of the Memorial Stadium crowd for the first time in Saturday’s Spring Game. He expects to have a big family presence, as his mom is from Columbus, Nebraska.

“She has all her family out there in Columbus. So I think they’ll be packing in the stadium pretty deep on Saturday, and I think they’re really excited to see me in red,” Scott said. “That’s for sure.”

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