AMES — Donna Scoggins played three sports in high school.
She took the fun and games seriously and excelled.
Her son, Patrick’s, doing the same.
“My mom, she was like, you need to knock somebody out every play — and once you knock them out, go and knock somebody else out,” said the Iowa State redshirt senior guard. “So I always kept that in mind.”
“I try to entertain everybody when I play,” he said.
Scoggins was supposed to be a key addition to the Cyclones’ line last season (then-coach Paul Rhoads deemed him a “road grader” when he signed), but he tore his patella tendon on the third day of fall camp. Out for the season, the Californian who saw two uncles play in the NFL, shook his head, then went back to work.
“Patrick, I think, has overcome the stigma or overcome, you know, things not going well his entire career and I think he’s almost got that chip on his shoulder to where, ‘I want to prove everybody wrong,’” first-year ISU coach Matt Campbell said. “And you know what? So do I and so do we, so he kind of fits us to a ’T’.”
Scoggins is quick to point out that he’s been told by most everyone but his mom that he’s too short (6-1) to shine on the line.
He regards such dismissive talk with contempt. It fuels the knockout mentality — something sorely needed along the Cyclones’ injury-affected and green front five.
“I kind of started from the bottom and had to work really well and work my way up,” said Scoggins, who’s packed on a bit more muscle to tip the scales at 295 pounds.
His football pedigree starts with the two uncles that were on NFL teams. One, Eric — a former USC star — passed away from ALS, but some of his Trojan teammates, including Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott, still converse with Scoggins, offering advice, wisdom, and more knockout notes.
“My whole goal was to never prove people wrong, it was about proving myself right,” said Scoggins, who began his college career as a walk-on at Scramento State before going the JUCO route. “I just needed somebody to give me a chance.”
Paul Rhoads provided that opportunity and Matt Campbell and Tom Manning have augmented it.
Scoggins needs to exceed external expectations if ISU’s banged-up and depth-challenged line is to pave the path for another shimmering highlight reel of a season for running back Mike Warren.
He’s eager to get to work when it counts after watching his team limp through a 3-9 season — and it’s shown throughout this injury-free fall camp.
“I love Patrick Scoggins,” Campbell said. “I’ll be honest with you. He’s mean. He’s nasty. He’s tough. He comes with a purpose every day. … Attitude and effort, he brings it.”
Scoggins has come a long way even since Campbell’s arrival in December. He’ll advance even more as kickoff for the Sept. 3 under-the-lights season opener against FCS power UNI looms.
“When I’m out on the field, I’m in a whole other zone,” he said.
Hopefully, that includes powering an advance on the end zone, again and again.
Mom set the standard for hard knocks.
Scoggins plans to deliver.
“She’s always just encouraged me to be the best,” he said.