Laurier Football scout Dave Morrissey has spent his time in quarantine reaching out to former Hawks who played on Yates or Vanier Cup championship teams, and/or later became professional players. The result was a series of interviews with notable Laurier Football alumni, which Dave was kind enough to share with us. Today, we start off the series with an interview with current Edmonton Eskimos defensive back Scott Hutter. Hutter was a key player on the 2016 Yates Cup championship team. He was recognized for his efforts at the provincial level twice during his Laurier career, being named to the OUA All Rookie team in his first year, as well as a 2nd team OUA All-Star in his final year. More impressively, he was a 3 time Academic All Canadian.
In today’s edition of “Talks with Hawks”, Morrissey chats with Hutter about topics such as his time as a Golden Hawk, COVID-19 and its effect on the life of a CFL player, and walking into an Edmonton Eskimos locker room for the first time and seeing some familiar faces.
(Dave Morrissey): A few months ago, you would’ve expected at this time of year to be in training camp with the Edmonton Eskimos, but life has certainly thrown all of us a curveball. Where are you bunkering down during this whole Covid situation and how are you staying fit?
(Scott Hutter): Since March, I have been living in my hometown London. Keeping up with training has been interesting, but fortunately I have a decent set of weights that I can use for home workouts. I’m also fortunate enough to have access to a nearby soccer field which I have been using for sprint workouts and field work drills.
(D.M): Other than the 2016 Yates Cup victory, what was your biggest thrill as a Golden Hawk?
(S.H): Honestly, I don’t know if I can single out one moment in particular. My biggest thrill was being able to show up to the facility every day and play the game I love with 90 other like-minded individuals. I never once dreaded showing up to a lift, meeting, practice, or game because I truly did enjoy the thrill of competing and working towards a goal with my brothers very single day.
(D.M): What was your biggest disappointment as a Golden Hawk?
(S.H): That’s an easy question to answer. It was not being able to win a 2nd Yates Cup and not being able to win a Vanier Cup. All athletes that have won championships can attest that winning is a drug. Once you get a taste of success, you never want to give it back. My goal every single season was to win a championship and unfortunately I didn’t get to experience that on a national level.
(D.M): You were drafted by the Edmonton Eskimos in the 6th round last year. Every athlete has to have self-confidence. Once you got to training camp, how did you feel? Did you feel like you belonged? Did you feel like you would make the team?
(S.H): I know that my determination has always been and will always continue to be a strong asset to my athletic career. I knew that if I got a chance to get into a CFL camp that there was no way I was going to let them cut me. I knew I would put in the time to pick up the playbook, so the only question that remained was could I adjust to the speed of the game. After my first preseason game, I remember thinking, ”Okay, yes, I belong here.”
5. When you got to training camp, there were two other former Hawks present. Godfrey Onyeka was in your same draft class and Kwaku Boateng had been drafted a year earlier. How did their presence help with your transition?
It was amazing to experience camp with them. Godfrey especially was a huge help to me as a fellow defensive back as I was trying to elevate my game to the CFL speed. It was also awesome to see other guys from around the OUA that I had competed against for 4 years. It just reinforced my belief that if I put in the time and the work that I could elevate myself to that level.
6. It’s amazing how many guys from that 2016 defence are in the pros: Robbie Smith, Kwaku Boateng, Nakas Onyeka, Brandon Calver, Godfrey Onyeka, Isaiah Guzylak-Messam, and yourself. Over half of the starting D is still in the league, and a couple of other guys also spent some time in CFL camps. Besides the fact that you are all talented, can you comment on our DC Ron Vanmoerkerke and how he helped you all get to the next level?
Coach V runs a very tight ship and his determination to not only win games, but also develop talent on the roster is paramount in many of our careers. The proof is in the pudding. Coach V, along with many other coaches that I played under (Dwayne Cameron, Jesse Alexander) know how to develop defensive talent and get them to the next level.
7. I grew up in a small town with a very non-diverse community. On my high school team, the entire team was white. Did you have a similar experience at Lucas in London? And then you come to WLU, and you get introduced to arguably the most diverse locker room in the country, can you speak to the value of having that experience?
You are correct. Although not all white, much of my high school team at AB Lucas was white. I will always be grateful for the opportunity I was awarded at Laurier because it was my first experience as a minority in a locker room. My family raised me the correct way and I did not have any pre-existing hatred towards any race. It was a blessing to have the ability to experience many different backgrounds that I had never gotten to interact with before I came to WLU. It was great for my development as a person. Many of those former teammates I consider to be my brothers. Getting to learn about their heritage, their backgrounds, and their experiences has elevated my life.
8. Pro football careers are usually very short and nobody earns life changing money in the CFL, so how are you preparing for life after football?
The pandemic has kind of thrown a monkey wrench into some of those plans, but I do have a couple of long term goals in mind that I want to accomplish. The first one is to run my own high school football camp in London, not so much for a career move, but simply because I want to stay connected to the game even after my playing days are done. As far as my career path goes, the CFLPA has partnered with a number of educational services to try to help players with careers after football is done. Right now, I am looking to take advantage of one of those partnerships to put myself in the best possible position after my on field career has ended.
9. What is your favourite NFL team and who is your favourite NFL player?
The New England Patriots
Tom Brady and Devin McCourty.
10. On game day, what are your 3 favourite ‘get pumped up’ songs?
It’s a Long Way to the Top—ACDC
Run this town—Jay Z
I’m a Boss—Meek Mill
Episode 2 will feature current Toronto Argo Chris Ackie.