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Full boar: St. Johns CD star Taliah Scott with Razors signs with Arkansas

ORANGE PARK, Florida. – Taliah Scott had been committed to Arkansas for over a year, but still managed to pull off a surprise signing.

No, there was no reversal of situation or indecision at the last moment. Scott signed Tuesday with the Razorbacks, the crown jewel of Mike Neighbors’ Class of 2023. The 5-foot-9 combo guard is one of the best playing in the region, a five-star prospect with ambitions to play in the WNBA.

But Scott and his family added a touch of the unexpected to the ceremony with the help of a small ham.

Before St. Johns athletic director Traci Livingston kicked off the signing ceremony in front of an elaborate and festive installation honoring Scott, a little piggy wearing an Arkansas bandana was brought into the gymnasium. For as many signature day experiences that have taken place in St. Johns in the past, a live pig present as a nod to the Arkansas mascot was a first.

Woo Pig Sooie!

So how did the pig end up apart from Scott’s big day? Clever planning by Scott’s parents, Derrick and Marika.

“I was joking about it. I was like to my team, ‘like yeah, I’m about to take a pig out of Craigslist. I’ll bring it,” laughed Scott. “And then today people asked, ‘Are you really getting a pig?’ And I was like, ‘Oh no, I don’t think so. Craigslist fell through. And then seeing them walk in with a pig was just crazy. It was hilarious.”

While the pig was certainly a hit, Scott was the headliner. In her freshman season at St. Johns last year, Scott led the state in scoring (31.5 points per game) and finished fourth for the state’s Miss Basketball honor. For Scott’s swine song — pun intended — with the Spartans, his final season’s goal is a state championship. Scott and guard Mary Kate Kent give the Spartans significant scoring power.

“I am so, so super proud. As I mentioned when I was speaking [during the ceremony], I was a fan of Taliah before she came here,” Spartans coach Yolanda Bronston said. “And so, it’s just amazing to be able to coach her, to see how far she’s come, how far she’s taken the game, the girls’ game here in northeast Florida. And I am just super proud. Like I said, I want to find a way to clone her. If I can get a lock of her hair, here we go.

From a recruiting perspective, Scott is leading the conversation as the highest-rated prospect in the region’s history in the modern era of recruiting. She’s ranked No. 11 by ESPNW, a five-star player of which there haven’t been many in the area.

Ribault graduate Rennia Davis was the only other local graduate on the ESPNW HoopGurlz Rankings to earn both five-star and top-12 status. Davis, who signed with Tennessee and became a first-round pick of the Minnesota Lynx, was ranked 12th in the nation in the Class of 2017.

Former Potter’s House star Rellah Boothe was ranked No. 3 in the same class as Davis, despite transferring and finishing her high school career at IMG Academy. Scott is well-positioned to become the fourth McDonald’s All-American player from News4JAX’s North Florida region. Only Ribault stars Shante Williams, Erica White and Davis have earned this prestigious honor.

Scott, the reigning All-News4JAX Player of the Year and three-time first-team selection, starts the season with 1,829 career points. She is set to join the exclusive 2,000 point club by next month.

“I’m just super lucky to have the best parents in the world for making this all possible. I didn’t know exactly what it was going to be. They kept it up until today, but I’m so blessed for them and they made this the best signing they could have had,” Scott said. “I’m so happy. And then, with the support of the school, all the teachers and professors are here. It made it so much better, made it so surreal.

Copyright 2022 by WJXT News4JAX – All Rights Reserved.

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