Hays High's Bill Scott signs with Peru State

Rick Peterson Jr.
Hays Daily News
Hays High senior Bill Scott signs his letter of intent to play football at Peru State College on Wednesday at Hays High.

Hays High coach Tony Crough often tells his players that any one of them can play college football if they want it bad enough. 

From now on, Crough will use Bill Scott as a prime example. 

Scott signed his letter of intent on Wednesday with Peru State College in Nebraska, an opportunity that Crough said was created by Scott's sheer determination. 

"He's kind of the American dream, as crazy as that sounds," Crough said. "He's the kid that just turned himself into a football player.

"When (the coaching staff) first got here, we didn't know that Bill would ever get on the field. Not a lot of natural, God-given ability. Just a lot of work, dedication and desire. He's a college football player because he had a dream and really pursued it."

Scott, who turned himself into a valuable member of the Indian defense the last two seasons, found a good fit with Peru State, an NAIA program in the Heart of America Athletic Conference.

"I went on a visit there and it was perfect right away," said Scott, who had a handful of other offers, including Bethel and Ottawa. "When I got there, it had the right feeling, the right facilities. The coaches gave me everything that I wanted.

"It's just a family feel, good atmosphere, great football field and they really care about the sports and athletics there. I'm really excited to be spending the next four years there."

Crough called Scott the Swiss Army knife of the Indians' defense. 

"What we kept noticing out of Bill, whether it was linebacker, safety or corner, wherever we needed him, we could put him there and he could play," Crough said. "Whenever something was broken, we knew we could plug Bill in and he could fix it because of his smarts and the way he understood the game."

"Coaches gave me a lot of freedom to do what I wanted to do on the football field," Scott said. "It gave me good experience for the next level."

Scott, a 5-foot-10, 186-pounder, said he's had the goal to play college football since he was in middle school.

"I don't look like a college athlete, but I worked extremely hard," Scott said. "I was really  dedicated and I still am. I'm excited to take that to the next level, because I think that's what translates the most.

"Going into my junior year, I think, I really made strides physically. My weight went up a lot, all my maxes and everything. In the weight room I was showing lots of improvement. Mentally, on the football field, I got caught up to speed and was ready for some varsity time and was ready to make a big impact."

Scott has thoroughly enjoyed his last two seasons with Hays High, which included a playoff win and a Western Athletic Conference championship 

"The last couple years have been really fun for me," Scott said. "We won our first playoff game in a long time (in 2019). A lot of players will say that was their best memory and it was for sure mine.

"This year, it was more of a leadership role for the younger kids and just having a lot of fun on the football team."

Scott and the Hays High coaching staff used social media to generate some recruiting interest.

"Just pushing him out there: 'Hey, we've got a kid you should look at if you're looking for kids to help fill your program and help push people in practice and possibly get on the field for you some day. Bill's one that can help you,' " Crough said. 

Scott plans on majoring in kinesiology. He expects to play safety for the Bobcats. 

He will keep tabs on the Hays High football team and expects big things out of the program in the future. 

"This program is on the come-up, for sure," Scott said. "This year really showed that, starting at 5-0 and winning the WAC championship. We knew that this was going to happen. Coach has changed the culture, absolutely, since the moment he got here. I think now it's really showing up on the field. I think next year they're even going to be better."