Happy 35th, Damir Krupalija
Mike Pearson's Illini Legends, Lists & Lore: Brian Scott
On Sunday, it's happy 37th birthday to Illini football alum Brian Scott. The 1996 graduate of Urbana High School played for Coach Mason Minnes’ Tigers football squad, earning Big 12 All-Conference honors on both offense and defense.
When Illini coach Lou Tepper invited him to walk-on at Illinois, Scott became the first Urbana player to wear the Orange & Blue since linebacker Sam Ellsworth in 1987.
Scott endured a broken knee late in the UI’s ’96 season as a freshman, then broke his arm in the ’97 spring drills. As a senior offensive lineman in 1999, Scott was awarded a scholarship and became a valuable backup to Mark Butkus at center.
The ’99 Illini compiled an 8-4 record, including victories at Michigan (35-29), at Iowa (40-24) and at Ohio State (46-20). Illinois finished the season with a 63-21 victory over Virginia at the Micronpc.com Bowl in Miami, where Scott made the final snaps of the 20th century for the Illini.
Scott earned a degree from the College of Applied Life Sciences in kinesiology, finishing with a grade-point average of 3.2. He became a trooper for the Illinois State Police in 2001 and is now in his 13th year on the force, working out of District 10 in Tolono.
On March 25, 2013, Trooper Scott was in the ninth hour of what would eventually become a 121/2-hour shift, at which time he was dispatched to a spot on Interstate 57, approximately 5 miles north of Rantoul, where several vehicles had left the highway due to slippery wintry conditions.
One driver, among several, had gotten out of his car, waving at Scott for assistance from across I-57. As Trooper Scott was about to leave his car, another vehicle spun out and struck that individual, pinning him underneath on his back, with just his legs sticking out from under the car.
Scott dashed across the drifted, snow-filled median to assist.
Enlisting the help of two other men, they lifted the 3,000-pound vehicle just high enough so that the injured man could be pulled to safety, undoubtedly saving his life.
Brian, his wife Stacey, and their three sons —Camren, Caden and Charlie — currently reside in Tolono.
Sunday: Leila Cehajic, tennis (31)
Monday: Curtis Meyers, football (52)
Tuesday: David Williams, football (51)
Wednesday: Larry Lubin, basketball (57)
Thursday: Bill Cole, basketball (25)
Friday: Damir Krupalija, basketball (35)
Saturday: Herb Plews, baseball (86)
By Mike Pearson, author of Illini Legends, Lists & Lore.
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