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Nov 16, 2018

JOURNEY TO THE O.R.

By: SIERRA HEIL

Note: The following appears in the Duke gameday football program


There are only four words that can accurately encompass the culture that Clemson football has built over the last decade. “Best is the Standard” promises to hold players to an unmatched standard of excellence, both academically and athletically. It is these words that have helped senior cornerback Cameron Scott overcome the struggles that come from the rigorous life of a student-athlete and have prepared him for the next step in his career…medical school.

Growing up in Florence, he quickly realized he was surrounded by a family of medical professionals. He watched his mother at work and learned the ins and outs of his local hospital and was destined to follow in the family footsteps.

“My mom didn’t believe in babysitters, so I spent a lot of time at work with her. She worked in an operating room all my life, so I was always in the doctor’s lounge and in the Carolinas Hospital System in Florence around medicine. I saw the interactions and how the team worked. It became an aspiration.”

While Scott was initially attracted to playing football at Clemson because of the bioengineering program, he later realized his true passion was in biological sciences. Either way, he faced a heavy work load with very little free time.

“I have to stay faithful. Sleep is the tough part. I work out, go to class, go to practice and get home late at night. The hardest part of my day is trying to study and do my assignments so I can get ahead of my schoolwork. It’s a lot of late nights, but I’ve been doing it all my life. It’s a blessing to be able to do it.”

Despite the many hardships of taking on the pre-med track and playing football, Scott said Clemson has been there for him every step of the way.

“It’s been unbelievable to be here. From providing free tutors, study rooms and computers, to being in such a competitive environment, it’s all-encompassing. Anything I need, they’re always there to help me out. Even being able to help others has taught me more than I ever could have known.”

Whether on the scout team or special teams, his biggest role is reminding his teammates that football is meant to be fun, and he also has been there when younger players have questions.

“It’s primarily off the field where I get to help people study, answer questions and get guys to laugh. You wouldn’t believe how many guys get caught in the system, in their ways, in a routine and go through the day without laughing.”

After losing in the playoffs at the end of the 2017 season, Scott made the decision to come back to be a part of one last go-around. Scott has no regrets about returning for a fifth season.

“It’s about going out right. Last season, when we lost at the end, it cemented my decision to come back and finish out and continue to help to lead. Leadership is paramount. The program design is unique, and without leadership, it can’t really stand. It’s almost like the foundation of a house. Without that leadership, we would be like any other program in the country.”

Following graduation, he plans to carry these leadership and communication skills from football into gaining work experience before starting medical school.

“Other medical school applicants, by this point in their career, have already applied and gotten their acceptance letters. In that aspect, I’m behind, but I’ve been able to gain more clinical experience and I’m able to take a break before I start the next chapter of my life.

“It’s a long journey, and I want to enjoy it.”

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