Yusuf Scott, Arizona’s 1998 Morris Award winner presented to the best offensive lineman in the Pac-12, has passed away, according to a Facebook post yesterday by his brother Hoza Scott.
Hoza Scott posted: “Rest up big bro … you faught hard! Love you mane!”
Scott, 42, was drafted in the fifth round by the Arizona Cardinals in 1999. He played three seasons with the Cardinals before playing for Berlin in the NFL Europe in 2002. He was part of the 1998 Wildcats team that went 12-1 and finished No. 4 in the AP Top 25 Poll.
Scott is preceded in death by his coach, Dick Tomey, and he is is one of a few linemen from the 1990’s with Arizona to pass away in recent years. Warner Smith, Mu Tagoai and Pulu Poumele — three-fifths of the 1993 line that was part of the 10-2 team — have passed away in the last three years.
Scott, nicknamed “Big U” during his Arizona career from 1996-98, stood at 6-foot-2 and 320 pounds with the Wildcats. Scott was athletic for his size and was able to pull in front of Trung Canidate, freeing the running back for big gains. Canidate can thank Scott, a product of LaPorte, Texas, near Houston, for much of his school-record 3,824 career rushing yards.
Scott once told the Arizona Daily Wildcat, “One of us is going to get hurt, and I don’t plan on it being me,” when preparing for standout Iowa defensive lineman Jared DeVries in 1998.
Arizona rolled over Iowa and DeVries 35-11 at Arizona Stadium as Canidate and Kelvin Eafon each ran for two touchdowns behind Scott and fellow offensive linemen Steven Grace, Bruce Wiggins, Makoa Freitas and Edwin Mulitalo — one of the finest groups in the Wildcats’ history.
The 1998 team included a roster with names spread throughout the school’s record book: Canidate, Dennis Northcutt, Jeremy McDaniel, Keith Smith, Ortege Jenkins and Chris McAlister, to name a few. Scott’s name does not immediately come to mind when recalling that season, mostly because he was in the trenches.
He is one of only two Arizona offensive linemen to earn the Morris Trophy Award. The late Joe Tofflemire, a center, was the other winner in 1988.
“I’m a realist, I know what sells tickets,” Scott told the Daily Wildcat. “Guys like Chris McAlister, Dennis Northcutt and Jeremy McDaniel … I don’t want to be in the glamour, but I will tell you that when Trung Canidate scores a touchdown, I’m right there in the camera to say hello to my mother.”
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ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He is a former Arizona Daily Star beat reporter for the Arizona basketball team, including when the Wildcats won the 1996-97 NCAA title. He has also written articles for CollegeAD.com, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports, TucsonCitizen.com, The Arizona Republic, Sporting News and Baseball America, among many other publications. He has also authored the book “The Highest Form of Living”, which is available at Amazon.