Football Feature: Daniel Scott a Game Changer; St. Francis Captain is ‘Phenomenal Athlete’


St. Francis’ Daniel Scott may be the area’s most complete football player. The Golden Knights senior rarely comes off the field. It’s not just at receiver on offense or in the defensive backfield that Scott makes his presence felt. Last Friday, on special teams, he scooped up a punt and took it in for a […]

St. Francis’ Daniel Scott may be the area’s most complete football player.

The Golden Knights senior rarely comes off the field.

It’s not just at receiver on offense or in the defensive backfield that Scott makes his presence felt.

Last Friday, on special teams, he scooped up a punt and took it in for a touchdown in the Golden Knights’ 38-28 victory over La Salle in the Angelus League opener for both schools.

St. Francis (6-0) continues league play this Saturday when it hosts Salesian (5-1) at 7 p.m.

Scott has 21 catches for over 400 yards and a team-best six receiving touchdowns.

He also leads St. Francis with four interceptions.

In the last year and a half, Scott has caught over 55 passes for 980 yards and 10 touchdowns.

What makes Scott the Golden Knights’ go-to guy?

“As a receiver, he has a knack for getting open and finding the open space,” longtime St. Francis coach Jim Bonds said. “He has exceptional hands and does a great job studying film and knowing where the open space will be in opposing defenses. As a defensive back, he has great vision. He has quarterback eyes as a safety and knows where the ball is going before it is thrown.”

Not only is the 6-foot-2, 195-pounder a pure athlete, Scott has an instinct that can’t be taught

His selflessness is what stands out to many.

We’ve asked him on multiple occasions after victories this year in which Scott played a starring role about his own performance, and he immediately changes the conversation to “we.”

Maxx Jakeway, Will Mudie and Matt Nixon make up the four captains with Scott, and given the label “Golden Knight,” a title that is the highest honor in Jim Bonds’ program..

“When I was younger, I really looked up to the captains as people who did things the right way, and now it’s an incredible honor to be one of the four captains,” Scott said.

His quarterback couldn’t be more proud to go to battle every Friday with Scott.

“Daniel is a great leader on and off the field,” quarterback Michael Bonds said. “He is also a great friend and someone who makes sure everyone is doing their job. We have a lot of great players, but when a big play needs to be made, we know we can count on Daniel to make it.”

And it’s not just his on-the-field prowess that is impressive.

Scott has a 3.4 grade-point average and is someone coach Bonds called “very intelligent.”

His family has been a source of inspiration.

Scott’s brother Chris is his “right-hand man.”

His dad, Duane, and he ‘live for football,’ and Scott says his father is his biggest fan, but also isn’t afraid to let Daniel know when his play is less than stellar.

But Scott heaps his biggest praise for his mother, Janet.

“She is someone who always supports me, is always proud of me, and yet she can tell me the truth when I need to hear it. I can’t begin to express how much her love has meant to me.”

As mentioned, Scott takes issue with talking about his share of the credit for the perfect season thus far, and while he’s done more than his part, the Golden Knights are loaded with impact players.

Quarterback Michael Bonds has over 1,000 yards passing and 12 TDs.

The running back duo of Jace Harrick and Elijah Washington have a combined 9 touchdowns, and Will Mudie, Greg Dulcich and Gabriel Mathews have been solid all year as part of the Golden Knights’ receiving core.

The bend-but-don’t-break defense has also played an enormous role in six straight wins, and is led by Maxx Jakeway, Gabriel Grbavac and Bobby Gazmarian, to name a few.

His coach and many others believe Scott has Division 1 college talent and they all hope he gets his chance.

Scott is a guy that any coach or school would be proud to call their own.

When asked if he could have a conversation with any person living or dead, we thought maybe he’d name a star athlete or celebrity.

But Scott didn’t hesitate in mentioning his late grandfather John Cardoza, his mother’s dad.

“I really want to tell him how well we’re doing, because I know how happy and proud he’d be,” Scott said. “I’d like the chance to tell him one more time that I love him.”

It’s not just his teammates and coaches on campus at St. Francis that admire Scott.

Despite being crosstown rivals in league, La Salle coach Russell Gordon didn’t hesitate to praise who he respectfully calls “Number 3.”

“Daniel is a phenomenal athlete and is someone opponents need to try and stop or at least contain to try and beat St. Francis,” Gordon said. “We knew he was a game changer and he didn’t do anything last Friday to change our minds.”

When football is over, Scott will go straight to the Golden Knights basketball team and run the offense as the St. Francis point guard.

He’s got plenty of time left, though, and Scott wants to first win an Angelus League title, and hopes to make a deep run in the CIF-SS Division 3 playoffs.

Currently, St. Francis is ranked No. 3 in the CIF polls and No. 41 in the entire state of California by MaxPreps.

How does Scott want to be remembered when his time is done on the football field by his younger teammates?

“I hope they think of me as someone who worked hard, was always there for my teammates and was willing to do anything I could to help our team win games.”

Getting To Know Daniel Scott:
Favorite Football Player: Wes Welker
Favorite Sports Movie: Any Given Sunday
Favorite Movie: Fast and the Furious
Favorite Musical Artist: Future
Favorite Childhood Football Team: UCLA
Favorite TV Show: ESPN Sports Center

Quotable: “Daniel is not only a Golden Knight (one of our four captains), he is an exceptional leader on offense, defense and special teams! He has been our biggest playmaker on offense as our leading scorer, as well as our leader in the defense secondary with four interceptions.” St. Francis coach Jim Bonds

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