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Posted by ESPN.com's Chris Low
No returning SEC running back rushed for more yards last season than LSU's Charles Scott.
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|Charles Scott is looking for more consistency from the offense this season.|
He put together one of the most productive seasons for a running back in LSU's storied history. He rushed for 18 touchdowns, one off the school record, and only Charles Alexander, Kevin Faulk and Dalton Hilliard have rushed for more yards in a season at LSU.
With the passing game struggling for much of the year, Scott gained 1,174 yards and averaged 5.4 yards per carry. He had six 100-yard games.
Not bad when you consider that Scott had never carried the ball more than 46 times in a season prior to last year. He'd surpassed that total by the fourth game in 2008.
The Tigers hope to be more rounded offensively in 2009, but Scott will still be a big part of the offense. He scored a pair of touchdowns in last Saturday's spring game.
When it comes to numbers, Scott would gladly trade some of his yards for more wins. He's the ultimate team player and even shifted over to fullback some this spring because of the Tigers' lack of depth there.
Scott took some time recently to share his thoughts on what's ahead for him and the Tigers:
You'd never gained more than 324 yards in either of your first two seasons. Were you surprised at what kind of season you had a year ago?
Charles Scott: I look at it as a good year. Obviously, I didn't have a good enough year, because we were only 8-5. That's the way I look at it, and that keeps me grounded and makes me want to do 10 times better than last year and go above and beyond. That's what this team has to do and what we didn't do last year.
What were your expectations for yourself last season?
CS: I came in with high hopes and wanting to be a guy this team could rely on down in and down out. The first game, that's how it worked out and the way it worked out the whole season.
Your depth at running back remains strong. Are there enough carries to go around for you, Keiland Williams and Richard Murphy?
CS: We're having fun, but we're still competing. We don't realize how much better we're making each other, just staying on each other's toes. It will definitely bring out the best in you when you've got somebody on your toes.
What do you think took your game to another level last season?
CS: My vision came to me and was something I worked on and worked on. Now, it's my pass-blocking. Not that it's bad, but I've got to tighten that up a little bit.
What weight do you plan on playing at in 2009?
CS: I was 235 last year. I'm under 235 now and will stay a little lighter, so I can move a little better.
How much will we see you at fullback, and is that something that you embrace?
CS: I don't mind at all putting my hand in the dirt. You look at people like Jacob Hester and everything he did and following in his shoes. We've got to have more of that, more of doing whatever it takes for this team to win. If I need to get to fullback and block, I don't mind that at all. I can handle anything they want to give me.
What do you want to see out of this offense next fall?
CS: Definitely consistency. We've got to be on the same page. Everybody in that huddle has to know what the snap count is, and it gets down to executing your job. Once we get in a rhythm, we need to stay in a rhythm. We can't do it in flashes and have a good play here and a terrible play there. As you saw last year, that's not going to win games for us.
Is Jordan Jefferson ready to take that next step at quarterback after being pressed into action last season as a true freshman?
CS: I'm a firm believer that the best experience is learning by experience. He's taking control of the huddle and making good reads. He gets the ball in the hands of the playmakers and makes a play when he has to with his legs. He's come a long way.
You were an unknown quantity around the league heading into last season, but defenses will be loading up to stop you from the outset next fall. Are you ready for that?
CS: I wouldn't want to go out there and have it be easy. Everybody knows I'm coming, so I've got to be ready. That means I've got to step my game up, and I have to be even more prepared. The stakes have gone up.