The Scott brothers are in the same trade — one in the NFL, one in the Mountain West.
Their competition and collaboration will help them both as football returns.
Air Force senior Charlie Scott, the starting punter on the depth chart released ahead of the Falcons’ opener against Colgate, started out on another path.
Both of his older siblings attended Mullen, but Charlie opted for Cherry Creek to play lacrosse and work on his German. But soon the freshman football team needed a kicker, and within a matter of weeks, he was called up to varsity.
Older brother JK was already receiving national attention at that point. He won two national championships and set multiple school records at Alabama, then was drafted by Green Bay. He became the first punter in Packers history to register a punt of 58-plus yards in each of his first three NFL games, and averaged 44.7 yards as a rookie.
Charlie said when they talk these days, it’s mostly about faith and family, not football. But when they met at the family cabin in Wisconsin for three weeks this summer, sports were on the itinerary.
There was a magical three-week period where JK’s camps, sister Christi’s medical school and Charlie’s Air Force responsibilities had gaps, allowing the siblings to get together.
JK and Charlie lifted and warmed up separately — they do almost everything differently, father Kim Scott said — but went to kick together. It got “pretty competitive” at a nearby practice field.
“If he’s going to beat me, he’s going to earn it,” Charlie said. “Even though it may seem like I’m way out of my league. ... I can tell that when I go punt with him, I get a lot better.”
Kim said little brother can outlast big brother — Charlie is “basically ambidextrous,” punting with his right foot and kicking with his left, so it takes him longer to tire.
The practice and perspective will help Charlie as he and Air Force try for a better outcome in 2019.
He was the starting punter for the first six games of 2018, but dropped a snap in a close loss to San Diego State. His subsequent try was blocked and returned for a touchdown. Jake Koehnke took over on the depth chart after that.
He averaged 39 yards on 26 punts as a junior.
Air Force will need more out of him, and everyone, to improve on consecutive 5-7 seasons. Two former Broncos — David Treadwell and Tom Rouen — have Charlie’s left and right feet coached, respectively. Dad is often around to keep his head in the game, telling him what he already knows — he’s got this.
Air Force coach Troy Calhoun said Charlie’s unsung contribution is as a holder. He played in every game in that capacity in 2018.
“Nobody works harder than Charlie,” Calhoun said. “He’s extremely committed to his craft.”
A major factor, of course, is repetition. Calhoun said he “kicks and kicks and kicks.” Wisconsin, Colorado, everywhere.
“There’s nothing better than when you hit a good ball,” Charlie said. “The feeling on your foot is different than every other ball. It’s so pure. You barely even feel it.”
He has other ideas if the NFL doesn’t come calling like it did for his brother. The economics major is passionate about cars, and could seek placement in Germany. His dad said flying is not off the table.
“I don’t try to compare myself to (JK), and if I don’t end up making it to the NFL, that’s not a failure,” Charlie said. “I’m on a different path.”