“It’s all about passion. That’s what gets it done in this league.”
Fans might not know Scott Porter, but IFL players and coaches do — for several years, he’s been making connections around the league, putting players in good positions to succeed. He’s a cross between a scout, an agent, and a mentor, and he does it all on his own time. “There are days I get off work at four thirty, then I’m up doing this until eleven thirty or so at night,” he says. “It can get a little stressful!”
Porter had a passion for scouting from an early age. “I remember watching the [NFL] draft when I was a kid. They only showed the first round back then. I thought some Iowa players had a good shot at going in the first round, but I had to wait to read about it the next day. That got me fascinated with the whole draft process. I’ve been fascinated with it ever since.”
It paid off. “Back around 2003, sometime right before Facebook, Twitter, all that, I was in college and a friend invited me to write for his NFL draft site. Social media started coming online, and I started becoming friends with players, reaching out. Before too long my name got around. I’d have guys calling me up, asking ‘What have you heard about my draft stock?’ It was crazy.”
He’s worked with players and teams in the NFL and CFL, so working with the IFL seemed to be a logical move. “I do a lot of scouting, and I see guys that I think are professional-caliber players. Maybe they don’t get drafted, or make a rookie camp, or something, and I approach them about playing in the IFL. If they match with a good situation, I put them in touch.”
Sometimes it’s a perfect fit. “Take [Quad Cities Steamwheelers WR Quentin] Pedroza. Here’a guy I thought should’ve gotten a look, he probably thought he was going to get a look on draft day. It didn’t happen for whatever reason, so now he’s looking for a place to play. Quad Cities was a good fit.”
That’s putting it mildly. The Steamwheelers’ leader in catches and touchdowns and a first team all-IFL selection, Pedroza was crucial to Quad Cities’ success in their first year at the IFL level. “He’s such a fan favorite, I can’t get near him,” Porter laughs. “I’m the guy who sent him down there, and I can’t even go talk to him on the sidelines, he’s getting mobbed by so many fans.
“It’s all about passion,” Porter repeats. “[Pedroza] loves playing the game, loves Quad Cities, it’s a great situation. That’s what happens with a lot of guys. They come here [to the IFL], fall in love with the team, the city, the fans. I love being a part of that.”
He’s bullish on the River Kings. “They’ve got the right group in place,” he says. “It’s essentially a new franchise, lots of rookie players. There’s a lot of local talent around here, and [General Manager] Reggie [Harris] has got a good vision. I’m hoping to send a lot of guys here.”
River Kings Report intends to follow up with Scott on player recruiting, scouting, and more. Stay tuned for updates!