Norfolk State faces tough Richmond squad as Latrell Scott comes full circle

Photo by Michael Peele

When Norfolk State heads up I-64 to take on Richmond on Saturday, it will be bringing a lot of history with it.

NSU coach Latrell Scott actually helped schedule the game back when he was the coach at Richmond.

“Dave (Walsh) and I both thought it was a great opportunity to play a regional game and have a great atmosphere and just the way the world works and the earth spins, I’m on the other side of it now,” Scott said on Tuesday.

Scott, a Richmond native, scored his first college head coaching job with the Spiders in 2009. He led the team to a 6-5 record in 2010, but resigned prior to the start of the next season after being charged with DWI in August of 2011.

His career has come full circle after spending a year as an assistant at James Madison and turning Virginia State into a powerhouse in two seasons there. Saturday won’t be his first game as a visitor at Robins Stadium since leaving Richmond, however.

“I’ve done it before. That thing’s kind of worn off,” Scott said. “I was able to come back with James Madison a few years ago and that was the first time that I had been back. It’s a special place. I won my first game as a head coach there.”

But Scott’s homecoming will coincide with Richmond coming off a 37-20 win over in-state FBS foe Virginia.

Photo by Michael Peele

“Richmond’s been a quality program since the early 2000s. It doesn’t shock me that they were able to go to Charlottesville and pull out that win,” he said. “We’re gonna have to play one of our better games. We can’t have the penalties that we had a week ago.”

NSU won its opener 20-12 over former CIAA rival Elizabeth City State on Sunday. Quarterback Greg Hankerson finished with 200 yards of total offense and threw for two touchdowns, but Scott says he’ll need more out of his signal-caller if they are going to beat a team that has been in the FCS playoffs each of the last two seasons.

“He played well enough for us to win, but not nearly as well as he’s capable of playing,” Scott said. “I think with a week of game reps under his belt he’ll be better next week.”

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