Former MSU running back LJ Scott said he feels lucky to have this combine opportunity Angelique S. Chengelis, The Detroit News

Indianapolis — LJ Scott didn’t have to think twice when asked what he would bring to an NFL team.

The former Michigan State running back who led the Spartans in rushing for three seasons (2015-2017), is healed from the ankle injury that allowed him to play only a handful of games last season and forced him to withdraw from the Senior Bowl, and feels physically rejuvenated. He is here at the NFL Combine ready to go through drills on Friday and is shooting for a low 4.5, 4.49 40-yard dash.

Scott measured 6-foot-⅜ and 227 pounds.

“I would say, No. 1 would be leadership. No. 2 would be lots of energy. No. 3, obviously, style of play, my physical style of play,” Scott said when asked his best attributes that NFL teams would find appealing.

He decided to leave Michigan State early for a chance at the NFL.

“Honestly, it was a family thing,” Scott said. “Me and my mom and a lot of my coaches were talking it over and just the hits as a running back. Obviously, they don’t last that long in the league, so just taking those amounts of hits again next year, you never know what could happen.”

Running backs take a huge amount of hits, and that was one of his main considerations.

“My body is still pretty fresh,” he said. “I want to keep my body as fresh as possible, so that was one of the main reasons why I decided to come out.”

Former Spartan Le’Veon Bell sat out last season to not risk injury. Scott was asked about Bell's decision.

“Well, first of all, he’s a great running back, so I definitely understand some of the circumstances he’s facing right now, but as running backs, we look at that kind of stuff,” Scott said. “We obviously think Le’Veon Bell is a great running back, but we for sure learn from some of the mistakes he’s making or he’s made. You definitely don’t want to go down the same route.”

Would Scott give up $14.5 million to sit out a year?

“That’s what I was pretty much getting at,” he said. “Personally, I wouldn’t do it, but like I said, it’s his career and I’m sure he has a plan for it.”


Running back LJ Scott enjoyed his time at Michigan State. Angelique S. Chengelis, The Detroit News


Many observers have suggested Scott is a similar back to Bell.

“I see it, as well,” Scott said, adding that like Bell, he’s a patient, shifty runner. “Hopefully, I’ll be able to play like him as well some day.”

Scott, an Ohio native, said his favorite part of living in Michigan has been the cold.

Reporters were stunned by the response.

“I love the cold,” he said. “I’m not a huge summer guy. I don’t really like being hot. I’m a huge winter guy.”

He also enjoys playing in the cold.

“Definitely,” he said, smiling. “Nothing like it.”

Twitter: @chengelis