The Titans have confirmed the signing of 14 un-drafted free agents, and former Stanford running back Cameron Scarlett is among them. Scarlett started all 12 games for Stanford in 2019 while racking up 840 yards and seven touchdowns on the ground. He also added 240 receiving yards to his totals.
Scarlett recently spoke exclusively with MCM about his time at Stanford, how he formed a relationship with the Titans throughout the pre-draft process, and why his running style adds something unique to the running backs room.
JM: You had a really nice career at Stanford. How do you look back on your time there?
CS: I’m so thankful for my time at Stanford. I met so many great people there, and my experiences were truly terrific. I really enjoyed the time spent with my teammates and coaching staff. It extends beyond that. My academic experiences were also great. I earned a degree from Stanford and I’m currently working on my second. I’m very thankful for the five years that I spent there.
CFB Touches Leaderboard:— ExpandTheBoxscore.com (@XTBoxscore) November 1, 2019
Chuba Hubbard (OK St): 225
AJ Dillon (BC): 204
Cam Akers (FSU): 195
Jonathan Taylor (Wisco): 194
LeVante Bellamy (W Mich): 179
Xavier Jones (SMU): 177
Enjo Benjamin (ASU): 176
Cameron Scarlett (Stanford): 174
JM: It sounds like you had some terrific experiences. What was draft weekend like for you?
CS: It was pretty low-key. Going into the weekend, my agent and I had a pretty good idea that it was going to be an un-drafted situation for me. I was just trying to figure out which place was going to be best for me. I did my research on roster spots and depth charts. I analyzed everything I could. It was a great weekend. It was a very memorable one and I’ll hold it in my heart forever. It was pretty low-key. I was just chilling at the house.
JM: How did the opportunity with the Titans come about? When was your initial contact with them?
CS: My agent had been speaking with coach [Mike] Vrabel before the draft. They actually spoke numerous times. They spoke the day before the draft. Vrabel was straight up with my agent. He told him that they probably didn’t have enough draft picks to use one of them on me but they were very interested in me. The special teams coach [Craig Aukerman] was very interested in me as well. We spoke with them throughout the seventh round of the draft. I spoke with multiple teams, but we felt like my best opportunity was here in Tennessee.
Most Kickoff Return Yards per Attempt over Last 3 Years (Min 30 Returns)— SportsPac12 (@SportsPac12) June 6, 2019
25.7—Charles Nelson, Oregon
24.3—Tony Brooks-James, Oregon
24.1—Cameron Scarlett, Stanford
23.9—Velus Jones Jr., USC
23.3—Tyrell Johnson, Arizona
23.2—Darnay Holmes, UCLA
23.1—Antione Davis, Cal
JM: Were the discussions limited between Vrabel and your agent, or did you hop on any Zoom calls with the organization?
CS: It was mostly between coach Vrabel and my agent. I spoke with the running backs coach [Tony Dews] the day before the draft as well. He was very interested in me and told me that he hoped everything would work itself out. He wanted me in Nashville.
RB Cameron Scarlett, Stanford— PFF TEN Titans (@PFF_Titans) April 26, 2020
Forced 52 missed tackles in 2019, T-29th among RBs
2nd highest-graded RB in pass protection (84.6), allowed just 2 QB pressures last season #Titanup pic.twitter.com/Vz3fmRJdV3
JM: That’s awesome. I imagine both yourself and your agent spoke with some other teams throughout the process. Why did you choose Tennessee?
CS: I really like the organization. I feel like I can make an impact in their running back room. They lost Dion [Lewis] and drafted Darrynton [Evans]. I feel like my style of running is a little bit different than what they already have in that room. That’s something I hope to use my advantage. It’s a strength of mine as I try to prove myself to them. Watching them make the AFC Championship Game last year was pretty special. Coach Vrabel is an excellent coach and even better person. It just felt like the right place for me.
JM: That’s a great answer. You mentioned that your running style is a little different than what they already have. Expand on that for me.
CS: I would say that I have a very unique running style. I feel like I’m a balanced running back. I feel like I can do a little bit of everything.
JM: Do you consider yourself as more of a blend of Derrick Henry and Evans?
CS: I don’t really like comparing myself to other people. I just try to focus on myself. I’m a very balanced running back.
JM: What’s your favorite part of playing the position?
CS: That’s a good question. My favorite part is definitely scoring touchdowns (laughs). Nothing feels better than that. It’s important to have a full understanding of the game. Running backs are a little underappreciated right now. The complications that go into playing the position are a bit overlooked at times. I love the mental side of it. We have to understand defensive alignments and be able to identity the blitz and pick it up. I love all of that stuff. I feel like it’s the best position on the field.
Stanford's Cameron Scarlett has eight kickoff returns of 30 or more yards, most by any Power 5 player. pic.twitter.com/8qSQAqKwyg— Alan George (@VandyGeorge) November 13, 2017
JM: That’s great. Speaking of scoring touchdowns, I’m going to give you two scenarios and see which one you prefer. Would you rather score a 75-yard touchdown, or carry the ball eight times on a long drive that still results in a rushing touchdown for you?
CS: Ohhh, that’s a tough one. I have to go with the 75-yard touchdown. That’s gonna boost the yards per carry (laughs).
JM: I love that (laughs). Things have been happening virtually. Hopefully you get a chance to make it to the facility shortly, but I imagine this has been a unique experience for you. Is there one Titan that you can’t wait to meet in person?
CS: I’m definitely excited to pick Derrick’s brain. I’m excited to meet Khari [Blasingame] as well. He’s been a great full-back for them. Both of those guys have an excellent understanding of the offense. They seem like very knowledgeable people. Those are two of the guys that I’m excited to meet in person. I don’t really know anybody on the team yet. I’m excited to meet Darrynton as well, being that we’re both rookies walking into that running back room.
JM: That makes sense. The Titans recently ended their virtual off-season program. What was that experience like for you?
CS: It was a great experience. We did a lot of installation. The coaches did a great job making sure that everything was very organized. They relayed the information clearly to us. We had a pretty good routine going. I felt like myself and the rest of the rookie class really grew throughout the program. I feel good about my understanding of the playbook. I’m going to continue to grasp certain concepts but I feel really good about it. It gave us an opportunity during this quarantine to really come together.
JM: I love that. I read on your Stanford bio page that you love to travel and have been to many different countries. What’s been your favorite country or city so far?
CS: I would definitely say Jamaica. That’s where my dad was born. I have a lot of family there still. We have some very deep roots in Jamaica. It’s such a beautiful and tropical island. The food is delicious. The entire vibe is unbelievable. I’m very thankful that I was able to visit there last summer before the virus.
JM: Jamaica is a beautiful place. You leave Stanford as a senior and as one of the more experienced, respected players on that team. You’re now an un-drafted rookie trying to earn his stripes and make an NFL roster. How do you successfully make that transition?
CS: I just have to come in with that “get better every day” mindset. I’m going to work my butt off every single day. I’m gonna be one of those guys that gives everything he has to the team. I’m going to make sure that my mindset is well received and appreciated. I’m going to be on top of everything mentally. I’m gonna make sure that I don’t have any slip-ups. I don’t wanna be one of those guys who shows up late. I’m gonna make sure that I’m there early. You have to make a great impression when you’re un-drafted. I have to fight my own battles. I definitely have a chip on my shoulder.
JM: That’s a terrific answer. We’re going to end things on that note. I’ve really appreciated your time today, Cameron. In closing, what are your goals and aspirations like over these next few months?
CS: I’m just trying to become a better version of myself. I want to make sure that I’m in the best shape of my life whenever I get to report to the facility. I’m feeling strong and healthy. I’m mentally ready to go. I’m ready to prove myself to the coaching staff.