East Lansing — Josiah Scott heard all the talk coming into the season.
Actually, he called it hype — the hype that started to grow around him last spring after he played well in the Green and White game and the continued anticipation as preseason camp rolled along and coach Mark Dantonio talked about the freshman in the same breath as former All-American Darqueze Dennard.
Instead of let it get to him, however, Scott did his best to keep it all away, keep it from inflating his ego.
If the first two weeks — both starts for the Fairfield, Ohio native — are any indication, the ego is absolutely in check.
“I don’t think it’s been a big challenge just kind of living up to the hype and everything going on,” said Scott, who recorded his first career interception in Saturday’s 28-14 victory over Western Michigan. “Coming in as a true freshman and playing, it’s really just a bunch of hype and living up to that. I really don’t look at it but that’s one of the challenges.
“I really don’t pay attention to it that much. I talk to my family, talk to my friends and they keep my head straight and really don’t let me get too big-headed.”
He’d have good reason to let that head grow at least a little after two weeks as a college football player. He was solid in the opener and on the first drive Saturday, Scott came up with his first interception.
He excepted it would come later in the season, but once he knew what play was coming, he knew he could make something happen.
QB Brian Lewerke, LB Chris Frey, WR Darrell Stewart and CB Josiah Scott discuss Michigan State's victory. Matt Charboneau
“We called a coverage where I’m going to drop under a receiver if they run certain route,” Scott said. “They ran like a little post up the field and right when I saw the receiver turn his head and look back I’m like, ‘I know the ball is coming and I can probably jump it.’ So, I got my head around and the ball was kind of thrown low so I basically undercutted him.”
It was the first of his career, but Scott said the confidence is growing quickly and that number should continue to go up.
“It’s big-time,” Scott said. “Going in spring ball and against your teammates and doing it in practice is really not like measuring up and doing it in a game because that gives you real confidence that you can go against another player and do it. (The interception) definitely came early. I didn’t think I’d get it until probably midseason and I’m happy it came.”
Scott got the interception on Saturday, but in a young secondary, there were enough signs the secondary is already taking steps. After letting a few receivers get free last week, there were few open targets against Western Michigan.
For a young group, Scott included, it was a step in the right direction.
“It's very key,” co-defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach Harlon Barnett said. “They've never played on this type of level with these type of fans in the stands and things like that. So, it's very key, so now they'll go on to play better and better because they have confidence, and long as they don't get cocky with it and just stay and remain confident, then we'll be OK.”