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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Bryan native Scourton makes homecoming one to remember

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Photo by Adriano Espinosa
Sophomore RB Rueben Owens (2) runs during Texas A&M’s Spring Game at Kyle Field on Saturday, April 20, 2024. (Adriano Espinosa/The Battalion)

Nic Scourton’s path to playing college football at Kyle Field may have taken longer than expected with a 1,000-mile detour, but the Bryan native made the most of his homecoming to the Brazos Valley.

The Purdue transfer defensive lineman proved his arrival with Texas A&M football to be worth the wait as he racked up 2.5 sacks and 3.5 tackles for loss in the team’s Maroon & White spring game on Saturday, April 20. Scourton’s Maroon squad came away with a 24-10 win on a dreary day, limiting the White team to 128 yards.

Spring game stats against one’s teammates don’t officially count in the record books, but Scourton’s performance nonetheless marked an impressive debut with A&M. Wreaking havoc on the White offensive line, he offered credence to sophomore offensive lineman Mark Nabou Jr. classifying him as a “troublemaker.”

Scourton picked up five tackles along with a pair of quarterback hurries and a pass breakup to keep his team in control beyond the first quarter. He made up half of the Maroon team’s five sacks, with each of his 2.5 coming at the hands of junior quarterback Conner Weigman.

“Today, I just wanted to go out there and just have a little fun, put on a show, show the fans what we’ve been doing these past practices and go out and enjoy it,” Scourton said.

Between both teams, A&M’s defensive lines tallied seven sacks with 10 tackles for loss. While the Maroon squad’s offense was almost evenly split with over 180 yards on passing and rushing, White added just 70 yards on the ground, including sophomore running back Rueben Owens’ 61-yard touchdown run with five minutes remaining.

“It’s what you get when you get an older, veteran player,” coach Mike Elko said. “[Scourton]’s played a lot of football, he knows how to go about his business. He’s got a really strong repertoire of pass rush in games.”

Despite his proximity to A&M from Bryan High School, Scourton’s four-star rating and two first team all-district selections weren’t enough to yield an offer from then-defensive coordinator Elko and the Aggies. Instead, he took his talents to Purdue, where he led the Big Ten in sacks with 10 in 2023.

Scourton’s productivity and Elko’s ascension to A&M’s head coaching role elicited a change in feelings, with the former Viking returning to his hometown and signing with the Aggies out of the transfer portal during the winter window.

“I think I went into our second conversation very confident, because, not to toot my own horn or anything, but I had options,” Scourton said. “It was more of my choice instead of them, ‘oh, do we want to give him a scholarship or not?’ It was a great conversation. Coach Elko kept it very vanilla with me, he was just like, ‘yeah, we missed out on you in high school and we’re hoping we can get you out of college.’”

The 6-foot-4, 280-pound Scourton’s move to college football was accompanied with a transformation of his body into one that was suited for the level of competition, particularly in the Southeastern Conference.

“I think just the dedication to playing football,” Scourton said. “Out of my sophomore year [of high school] I was 270 [pounds], and I ended up dropping that during COVID down to 235, really just trusting that I was going to transition to defensive end and get bigger. The weight came natural, trusting it and having a better diet, cutting out fatty foods and building my muscles up with the weight I gained.”

That dietary discipline meant less visits to a pair of Scourton’s favorite Bryan restaurants in Jesse’s Taqueria and Bakery and Wings’N More, save for the occasional go-to order of a wing and tender combo with lemon pepper.

Scourton’s offseason development extended to the practice field, where defensive line coaches Tony Jerod-Eddie and Sean Spencer made adjustments to the fundamentals of his game that led to better technique and movement.

“I feel more explosive, I feel more violent,” Scourton said. “Coach Tony and coach Spencer are very in touch with the details. Obviously, the transition to a three-point stance instead of a two-point stance is very different. Them just taking the time with me to help me fix my striking points and work other pass rush moves that I had to fix, I feel like I improved a lot this spring.”

A return to Bryan-College Station also brought with it an opportunity for Scourton’s family and friends to watch him play without making the 16-hour drive to West Lafayette, Indiana.

“I get to go home and see a familiar face everyday,” Scourton said. “My dad, my stepmom, my adopted parents, everyone is just so glad to be included … I wasn’t a big A&M fan growing up, I’m not going to lie to you, so I haven’t been to many games, but just being able to come out there and play and having all my family and friends in the stands was something crazy.”

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About the Contributor
Luke White
Luke White, Sports Editor
Luke White is a junior telecommunication media studies major and sport management minor from Round Rock, Texas. He has served as head sports editor since May 2023.
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