ATLANTA – Safety Jake Scott, the MVP of Super Bowl VII who put the finishing touches on the 1972 Miami Dolphins’ perfect season, died Thursday in Atlanta, the Miami Herald reported. He was 75.
Scott, a record-setting defensive back at the University of Georgia, was visiting friends in Georgia and had been hospitalized after injuring his head in a fall a week ago, former teammate Dick Anderson told the newspaper.
“He was a great teammate and a great player,” Anderson told the Herald. “Jake was a unique individual. He was either yes or no. No middle ground with Jake. He had an opinion on everything.”
Scott won MVP honors in Super Bowl VII after his two interceptions helped the Dolphins defeat Washington 14-7 and complete a 17-0 season — the only unbeaten, untied season in NFL history.
Scott also recovered a pair of fumbles in Super Bowl VIII and added a 47-yard kickoff return as the Dolphins defeated the Minnesota Vikings, 24-7.
Scott played safety at the University of Georgia during the 1967 and 1968 seasons, WSB-TV reported. He set school records with 440 return yards on 35 returns and 10 interceptions. He led the Bulldogs to the 1968 SEC championship and was named the conference player of the year.
After a dispute with Georgia coach Vince Dooley, Scott left the school as a junior and played one season in the Canadian Football League. Underclassmen were not allowed in the NFL at the time, but he was eligible in 1970 when the Dolphins made him the 159th overall pick in the NFL draft.
Scott was traded to Washington in 1976 after feuding with Miami coach Don Shula, the Sun-Sentinel reported.
They did not speak to one another until they hugged at a memorabilia show in 2009, the newspaper reported
“It was time,” Scott said at the time.
Scott, who wore No. 13, was inducted to the Dolphins Honor Roll in 2010, the Sun-Sentinel reported.
“We are saddened to learn of the passing of Jake Scott,” the Dolphins said in a statement. “Jake made an impact from the day he joined the Dolphins in 1970, going on to earn five Pro Bowl selections, a place on the Dolphins Honor Roll and was the MVP of Super Bowl VII, capping off the only perfect season in NFL history.”
“If he was your friend, he was the best friend you could have,” Anderson told the Herald. “If not, he wouldn’t bother with you. He enjoyed living in Hawaii. It was quiet. He had a fishing boat. He was a phenomenal teammate.”