First Team Nissan Player of the Week: Jaheim Scruggs

Published: Dec. 14, 2019 at 12:42 PM EST
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Appomattox senior Jaheim Scruggs' uniform has been something of a family tradition.

His brother, Javon, graduated in 2017, a three-time state champion.

"I just watch him. I watch his highlights, his film, everything. Just play like him, be aggressive, play fast, smart. Teaching me how to take on blocks and defensively how to play receivers. Go up for the ball, just lock down on defense."

While Javon has moved on to play at Liberty, Jaheim is carving his own legacy, with a chance to match his brother in rings on Saturday.

Scruggs scored a touchdown, a two-point conversion and secured two interceptions last week to help his team to a win over Graham in the state semis.

Head coach Doug Smith says he sees similarities between the Scruggs brothers. "They both know football real well, and they both have what we like to say a high football IQ. You don't have to explain a whole lot to these guys. You just show them, and once they see it, they can figure it out."

Jaheim's Raider roots run deeper than just his brother, though. He has been around the program since he was four years old. "My uncles, they came to this school, too, and played football, so we'd just go out in the front yard everyday basically and just play football, tackle football, in the front yard. Spent my whole life here. I know everything about it. I wouldn't want to trade this place for the world."

Scruggs says losing for the first time last year put this senior campaign into perspective. "Last year, we did not want to feel that feeling again, so after that game, we were like, 'It's time to crack down, get to grinding so we could make it back to states.' Because we did not want to be in that position again, ever again."

Now, Scruggs and his teammates need just one more win to reach the mountain top yet again.

"It would mean a lot because, in the beginning of the season, we had a lot of people doubting us. Didn't think we would make it this far, but we just had to stay strong, have faith and show 'em that we had what it takes."

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