Scott Derry: Making the most of his time
While many college students may find it challenging to maintain the basic aspects of college life, Texas fifth-year senior LB Scott Derry has taken his time management to another level.
The quintessential multi-tasker from a young age, Derry's accomplishments began to mount during his career at Pearland High School where he was a three-year starter at middle linebacker. The Texas native was tabbed 5A first-team all-state and also helped lead his track team to the district title as a senior.
Derry was also one of Pearland's top students, as demonstrated by his outstanding high school academic achievements. A four-year member of the honor roll, Derry participated in 2002 Texas Boys' State, which honors academic and athletic excellence, and he also graduated in the top seven percent of his prep senior class.
After proving himself as a top student-athlete in high school, he brought his work ethic with him to Texas. In addition to being a seven-time member of UT's Athletic Director's Honor Roll, Derry received honorable mention All-Big 12 honors from The Associated Press in 2006 and is a two-time first-team Academic All-Big 12 honoree.
His mother, Beverly Derry, notes that he has always been extremely focused and driven.
"He has always had a tremendous work ethic," said Beverly. "When he was younger, he would often be reading two books at the same time while juggling school and sports."
"His time-management is second to none," added Beverly.
A large part of what makes Derry's schedule so exceptionally demanding is the fact that he is currently enrolled in the nation's top-ranked professional program for accounting. As a member of the prestigious Integrated MPA program, he will earn both a B.A. and master's degree from the Red McCombs School Of Business in only five years.
Despite his great desire to excel for himself and his future career, Derry admits when he first took on the challenge of the program, some doubted he would have time to balance its needs with those of playing football. Not only did those doubts not discourage him, they helped fuel him.
"Their doubt made me want to prove them wrong and show them that I can do it and I can succeed and go beyond what they expect of me in the program," Derry said.
Derry shares that dedication with his father, with whom he also shares the name Scott. The senior Derry, who owes his own business and serves as a firefighter, recognizes that his son has always been a go-getter.
"He's always been strong-willed," said Mr. Derry. "When he wants something, he works hard until he gets it."
That same determination has also showed itself on the field. Now in his senior season, Derry has recorded 131 tackles, including 14 tackles for loss, two forced fumbles and an interception in 32 career games. He has emerged as a tough, hard-hitting and consistent player who is one of the defensive leaders.
"I've tried to take my leadership responsibilities to the next level," said Derry. "I'm probably not the most vocal guy in the locker room, but I try to bring a certain confidence to the defense and make sure that there is a lot of communication on the field."
With the arrival of defensive co-coordinator and linebacker coach Larry Mac Duff, Derry has also proven his ability to adapt.
"When he first came in, I think he respected the seniors because of the time and effort we have put into the program," said Derry. "But now that he's been here and had the chance to interact with us, I think we've gained more respect from him because of our work ethic and what we do to help the young guys."
"We have gotten to know him better both on and off the field and we have really worked well with him," added Derry.
In fact, Mac Duff has seen the time and effort the seniors have dedicated just as Derry described.
"Scott is very intelligent, instinctive and motivated," Mac Duff said. "He is able to be a leader by example, so I am really pleased with his progress and I am very glad that he is part of my group."
Derry has further shown his flexibility with his aptitude to play all three linebacker positions.
"That is a strength of his," said Mac Duff. "He would be a guy that we would rely on to play multiple positions as the season goes on."
Besides achieving academic and athletic success, Derry is also a regular visitor at the Dell Children's Medical Center and manages to spend time with his fiancée, Tessa Ankenbruck, who will graduate with a corporate communications degree from UT in December.
"Even though he is really busy, we still get a chance to do things together," said Ankenbruck. "He has always worked really hard and he knows how to budget his time."
Although Derry's time at Texas is nearing an end, it is certain he will continue to be successful in whatever the future holds for him.