Quarterback Matt Scott will take the field Saturday as a new man.
Maybe it's because 673 days have passed since Oct. 30, 2010, the last time he played in a college game. Maybe it's the way the senior, who redshirted last year, has filled out physically at 21, or the new spread-option offense the Arizona Wildcats are running under first-year coach Rich Rodriguez.
Or maybe it's just the jersey.
Scott has switched his number to 10, after wearing jersey No. 4 for the first three years of his Wildcats career. The number is a nod to his two older brothers, both of whom wore 10 while quarterbacks at Corona (Calif.) Centennial High School. Matt wore the same number as a prep star, but found that it was unavailable after arriving at the UA in 2009.
In honor of Scott's new number - and because, well, we needed a figure - here are 10 little-known facts about the Cats' starting QB.
1 Football runs in his family. The youngest of four boys, Scott grew up on the football field. Older brothers Robert and Christopher both played quarterback at Corona (Calif.) Centennial High School; little Matt followed when it was his turn. Matt was the best of the three. As a senior, he led Centennial to a 13-2 season and the CIF Division I Championship.
2 He grew up with Devils. Scott played at Centennial with a half-dozen players who moved on to Arizona State. Among them are former linebacker Vontaze Burfict and current quarterback Michael Eubank. Scott's brother and Burfict's brother were good friends; Scott said he and the combustible linebacker were friendly in high school, but aren't close.
3 He goes by "MARS" … Scott got the word MARS tattooed down his throwing arm during the summer before his sophomore season. The vertical ink serves as his initials: Scott's full name is Matthew Allyn Russell Scott.
4 … or "Chewy." Scott's older brother, Christopher, struggled to pronounce the name Matthew shortly after the Cats' quarterback was born. The adorably bungled name, Mattchew, became "Chewy"; it stuck. "It's a big one back home," Scott said. "Nobody calls me Matt." At Arizona, Scott goes by "Matty T" - "I have no idea why," he said - or "Matty Ice."
5 He loves the Worldwide Leader in Sports. Scott's television is always tuned to ESPN, though you'd be surprised at his favorite show. Scott loves "SportsNation," an afternoon program that includes Internet videos, online polling and wild graphics.
6 You won't catch him at the Maverick anytime soon. Scott listens to hip-hop, rap and R&B - "anything but country," he said. The quarterback grumbles when Arizona's coaches blast the stuff at practices.
"Just not feeling it," he said.
7 He's a hit at the cages. Scott played shortstop and pitcher in high school - "that's where the arm came from," he said - and still likes to blow off steam by hitting the batting cages. When they're home, Scott and his brothers frequent a favorite spot in Norco, Calif.
8 He's learning how to slide. Coaches have spent years teaching Scott how to slide on quarterback sneaks - a way, they say, of cutting down on injuries and keeping him safe. Scott won't get to sneak - or slide - until Saturday's season opener against Toledo; coaches have forbidden teammates from hitting and sacking him in training camp.
9 He's a pasta guy. Modern science has debunked the power of carbo-loading, but the Wildcats' quarterback likes his Italian food anyway. His favorite: Corona's New York Pizza Department.
10 He wants to make it big. Scott drives a 2008 Chrysler Sebring, but dreams of the day when he can upgrade. A successful season could lead to a pro career, either in the NFL or in Canada. Scott already knows what kind of car he'll get. "Range Rover," he said.