Jake Scott, Georgia Football All-America, Passes Away

Kyle Funderburk

Georgia football lost one of its greatest legends Thursday.

Jake Scott passed away at the age of 75. Reports indicated that Scott spent the last week in the hospital after falling and hitting his head. 

Scott is undoubtedly one of the best players in Georgia history. The safety led the SEC in interceptions in 1967 and 1968, and is still tied for first in school history with 16 interceptions. Bacarri Rambo and Dominick Sanders matched his mark in recent years.

Scott's 1968 season was outstanding. He intercepted 10 passes, which was a school record that stood until 1982. He gained 175 yards on those interceptions and had a pair of pick-six's in a 35-14 win over Kentucky. He also gained 440 yards on 35 punt returns that season.

The Bulldogs won the SEC Championship and finished the year with an 8-1-2 record. Scott earned All-America honors.

After reaching the NFL, Scott's star continued to shine. He joined the relatively new Miami Dolphins in the 1970 NFL Draft after spending 1969 in the Canadian Football league. Scott was a big part of the Dolphins' early success, starting at safety on two Super Bowl teams, including the famed undefeated team of 1972.

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Scott earned MVP honors for Super Bowl VII. He intercepted two passes that day with his biggest pick coming in the fourth quarter. With Miami clinging to a 14-0 lead, Washington drove 79 yards to reach the Dolphins' 10-yard line. Scott ended the drive with an interception in the end zone. He ran the ball back to the Washington 48-yard line.

He added more turnovers to his Super Bowl resume the next year by recovering a fumble. He actually recovered two fumbles, one preventing a Miami turnover. Scott is the only player in Super Bowl history to recover an opponent's fumble and a teammate's fumble in the same game.

Scott's NFL legacy goes beyond his performance in the Super Bowl. He earned All-Pro honors every year from 1971-75, including first-team honors in 1973 and 1974. Football Digest named him "Defensive Back of the Year" in 1974.

Scott intercepted at least three passes in each of his nine seasons, of which he started every game. The ultimate ballhawk finished his career with 49 interceptions and 551 return yards. He added five more interceptions and 91 more yards in playoff games. He was also a fantastic punt returner. Scott led the league with 318 return yards in 1971. He finished with 1,357 return yards.

After retiring in 1978, Scott continued receiving prestigious honors for what he accomplished in football. He joined the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame in 1986 and the Florida-Georgia Hall of Fame in 1998. The Miami Dolphins added Scott (along with fellow Bulldog Bill Stanfill) to their Honor Roll in 2010.

In 2011, Scott earned the greatest honor of his career: a spot in the College Football Hall of Fame. 

Scott famously didn't learn about his selection until days after the fact. He spent the latter years of his life living in Hawaii and he was on his boat, far away from cell-phone service when he was selected by the Hall of Fame. He returned to land days later and thought someone had passed away because of all of the notifications he had received. Scott said "tears came into [his] eyes," when he found out the notifications were about joining the College Football hall of Fame.

Yet, one honor still eludes Scott. Despite being a five-time All-Pro and a Super Bowl MVP, Scott hasn't been inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. It remains a missing jewel on the studded crown that is Jake Scott's football career.

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