Scott King Following in the Footsteps of Tradition
By Dorian Nunley
Originally published Nov. 10, 2007 in the FSU game program

He's just an ultimate Virginia Tech football fan who has been afforded the opportunity to experience the game from the field as opposed to the stands. That is how senior snapper Scott King describes himself. Now, with his senior year upon him, local product King has the opportunity to leave a lasting impression both on, and off, the gridiron.

As a kid growing up in Radford, Va., King always dreamed of getting the chance to suit up in maroon and orange. But it was much more than simply a dream ... it was family tradition. With a grandfather who went to Virginia Tech and a father and brother who came to Tech and played football for a couple years, King looked to follow in their footsteps.

"It was my desire since I was really little to be a Hokie, but I never thought that I would get the opportunity," he says. "I always thought I would be a little undersized, a little slow, and I guess maybe not good enough in general talent-wise."

Although not a scholarship player, King took it on himself to prove that he belonged among the ranks of the Hokies. He took advantage of the strength and conditioning programs that were required, turning in a 341-pound push-jerk - a team best for defensive tackles in 2005. During max testing at the beginning of the 2006 season, King garnered Iron Hokie status in the weight room, one of the highest honors that a football player can receive. But his success in the weight room had yet to translate onto the field.

After two years as a member on the scout and jayvee teams, King's first opportunity came prior to the 2006 season, when he won starting duties as the short snapper. Although a much-overlooked position player, King was an integral part of kicker Brandon Pace's school record-tying 17 consecutive field goals last season. This year, he is looking to improve on his performance.

"I think as a senior, you're responsible for being more vocal," King says. "Even as a specialist ... I've never been a loud guy, I've just always been a guy who absolutely worked my butt off. But my role has changed a bit as a senior, to give more encouragement, and be a better motivator to my teammates."

While success on the gridiron is gratifying, King finds that his purpose and motivation comes from a different source. An active member in Athletes In Action, a Christian sports ministry, he attributes his performance to the lessons learned at the Athletes In Action Ultimate Training Experience in Colorado.

"The camp teaches you something that the world teaches otherwise," he says. "In the world, we find our value in how we perform. At the camp, you find that your value and self-worth have already been determined by Christ and there is nothing that can change that. It is a great freedom to be able to compete at a greater level of intensity. I'm going to go out there and play harder."

Another thing that AIA has taught King is that there is life above and beyond football. Now that his senior season is underway, he finds himself waking early on game days to collect himself and reflect on the journey that has been his Hokie career.

"I get outside and just reflect and soak it up," King says. "[I] Read some scripture and just kind of have some quiet time before the storm."

Afterwards, King grabs the "amazing double chocolate chunk cookies" from Hotel Roanoke, and switches into game mode.

Each game is sacred to this humble player from Radford. A game is an opportunity to leave everything out on the field; a chance to make yourself, your family, and your teammates proud. And Scott King is proud. He's proud to be a Hokie, and proud to carry on the family tradition at Virginia Tech. When asked what memory he would cherish as he moved on from football, King said, "The first time running out of that tunnel onto the field, it made whatever came in the next four years worth it. To get the opportunity to play has made everything worth it."