Watching the NFL Draft on Saturday afternoon, Rock Hill High graduate Jaleel Scott was getting a little frustrated watching players fly off the board.
Then his phone rang. It was Baltimore Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome but Scott thought it was a joke. Then he glanced at the TV and saw the Ravens were picking next and his dream had come true.
"That was my favorite team growing up," Scott said. "When people say it's a dream come true, it's really a dream come true to play for my favorite team."
Scott became an NFL player at 1:33 p.m. on the afternoon of April 28 when the Ravens selected him with the 132nd pick of the fourth round of the 2018 NFL Draft. Growing up, Scott loved Baltimore's defensive toughness, exemplified by players like Ray Lewis and Ed Reed.
"I just loved how aggressive they played," Scott said, "the type of attitude they brought."
Scott was a gangly and potential-packed pass-catcher for Rock Hill High and coach Joe Montgomery. He graduated after the 2012 season (in 2013), but flew off the radar when he went to Ellsworth Community College in Iowa for two years. He landed at New Mexico State and had a quiet junior year, leading the team with five touchdown receptions but only catching 23 passes.
Scott’s senior season was a whole different ball game. The 6-foot-5 former Bearcat hauled in 76 catches for 1,079 yards and nine touchdowns, helping the Aggies to their first bowl game since 1960. He also made the catch of the season against Arizona State and played his best against the Aggies’ Power 5 conference competition.
"Coming out of Rock Hill, South Carolina there is a lot of talent," said Scott. "So when I go up against guys from other states I just knew that they weren't from Rock Hill, and that was my edge."
Scott was selected to the Reese’s Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala., in January, which exposed him to more NFL scouts. He became Rock Hill High's first draft selection since Jonathan Meeks went to the Buffalo Bills in the fifth round of the 2013 draft, out of Clemson.
The Ravens' top-three receivers from 2017 have all left the team this offseason.
Baltimore has speedster Michael Crabtree and recently signed slot man Willie Snead in its receiver stable. The Ravens' biggest pass-catcher is 6-foot-7 Darren Waller, who the team drafted in 2015.
Scott should be able to pose a red zone threat in the NFL immediately. He is excited to work with Ravens' quarterbacks Joe Flacco -- a Super Bowl winner -- and rookie Lamar Jackson.
"I'm excited," Scott said. "I'm in a great spot."