CLEMSON- Growing up nearby as a Clemson fan, in-state QB Riley Scruggs has attended Dabo Swinney’s camps multiple times over the years.
Now that he is heading into senior season at Dorman, Scruggs wanted to attend the camp one final time, and his workout was extremely impressive. He was one of the better quarterbacks to throw at any session of the camp this summer. As good as he was, though, the humble Scruggs gave all the credit to the receivers he was working with.
“The receivers were pretty good too,” Scruggs told All Clemson Tigers. “They were creating a lot of space out there. All I had to do was put it on them. Made my job easy.”
To say Scruggs stood out would be putting it mildly. Offensive coordinator Garrett Riley certainly took notice and at one point analyst and former Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd was raving about the prospect to a group of onlookers, noting that Scruggs could really “spin it.”
“Coach Riley, he really liked me,” Scruggs said. “He said he’s going to keep a close eye on me this season. He wants me to come back for a game or two. The main thing he said was he’s just gonna be watching me hard this season.”
This was Scruggs’ first time meeting Riley, but his relationship with Boyd goes way back.
“I met Tajh when I was in fourth grade,” Scruggs said. “I’ve been back and forth between South Carolina and Georgia, so I was living in Fountain Inn and I was playing rec ball. Then at a park one day we’re having practice and Tajh Boyd came up and he just started working with me. So I’ve known him since fourth grade. Every time I go to Clemson we just reconnect.”
While there was so much to like about what transpired during his workout for the Clemson coaching staff, Scruggs’ immediate future is in limbo. After playing last season at Newton in Atlanta, Scruggs transferred to Dorman in the Upstate. However, the state of South Carolina has ruled the quarterback ineligible and Scruggs and his family are hopeful that a hardship waiver will get him on the field this fall.
“For family situations and all that we moved up here to the upstate of South Carolina,” Scruggs said. “Because we had a lot of family up here too. So I’m going to Dorman now but the state of South Carolina ruled me ineligible to play. So right now we’re going to have to go through a hardship and all this stuff, so I’ll be able to play this fall.”
Last season Scruggs was limited to just six games, completing 56% of his passes with six touchdowns. Going out and playing so well in front of the Clemson coaching staff only helped remind him how badly he wants to be on the field for his senior season.
“Just hurts so much, especially spinning it like that (at camp),” he said. “Just being out there throwing the ball around. I was on the way home after the camp, I was like, gosh, am I playing this season?”
While this entire process has admittedly been frustrating for Scruggs and his family, he still manages to remain positive.
“I mean, it can be frustrating, but I just put it where I just want to keep playing,” Scruggs said. “I mean, wherever I can go to just keep playing, that’s what I want to do. That’s just what I want to do. Nothing beats being out there on Friday nights.”
Scruggs currently has offers from Erskine and Morehouse College. He is planning to try and camp at Citadel, Coastal, App State and UAB this summer in an effort to impress more coaches and drum up more interest.
However, getting on the field this fall and performing like he did for the Clemson coaching staff would also go a long ways towards garnering more attention. And despite the questions surrounding his immediate future, Scruggs will prepare as if he will be playing on Friday nights this fall. He refuses to be defined by what’s happening.
“My motivation just comes from playing with my guys on Friday night,” Scruggs said. “I mean nothing beats being out there with your teammates and your classmates, your teachers and family and friends. Just being out there and be able to play on Friday nights with your teammates, I mean, that’s really where all my motivation comes from.”
Due to the uncertainty, Scruggs has no timeline when it comes to making any decision about playing at the next level. But he is looking for a place that feels like home.
“Really a family feel,” he said. “Somewhere you can just call home. Somewhere you have a great connection with the coaches. Where you can talk to them more than just about football. The main thing is just family feel, you know, wherever you feel like family. Home. That’s a place where I’d want to be.”
As he awaits resolution on his hardship appeal, Scruggs is taking it one day at a time and during this process he’ll be counting down the days until he can once again share a football field with coaches and teammates under the lights on Friday nights.
“So we’ll leave it in God’s hands and we’ll just take it one day at a time.”
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