April 15, 2024

Elks in the Offseason: Scott Hutter

EDMONTON, AB – A versatile defender and special teams standout, Scott Hutter continues to be a valuable piece to the Edmonton Elks puzzle.

Still only 26-years-old, the former sixth-round pick has made the most of his time in the CFL since being selected from Wilfried Laurier University in 2019. Hutter was a regular starter at safety in 2022 and a major contributor on special teams last season. The Canadian led the Elks in special teams tackles with 17 in 2023 and looks poised to continue his steady development entering training camp this May.

In the latest Elks in the Offseason, GoElks.com sat down with the Canadian defensive back and discussed his offseason activities.

Where do you usually spend your offseason?

I’m in London. London, Ontario right now. This is where I grew up, so I always come back and hang out with the family. Mom, dad and I got two younger brothers that are still kicking around here, so I like to come spend some time with my family in the off season.

What does a day in the life of Scott Hutter look like in the offseason?

Well, it really depends on what portion of the off season. This one’s been a busy one for me. I was able to buy a condo here in London and so the early part of my offseason I was renovating that, taking care of floors, painting, you know, all the stuff that you need to do when you move into a place. Then from January ’till March, I’ve been helping run the off season program for the junior Mustangs organization the last couple years. So the minor football team here in London. We had three age groups, about 400 kids all together, all the way from grade 3 to grade 12. They would do one night a week doing their offseason stuff, for about eight weeks. That was really fun.

But basically the day-to-day is, I’ve been just training with a good group of CFL players from a bunch of different teams here in London. With Western University being here, and a bunch of great high school football here in London, there’s a lot of CFL talent that comes out of here. We have got a really good group together and we do a really good job of keeping each other accountable, which is important in the off season.

Also, I’ve been studying to take my certified strength and conditioning specialist test right before I fly out to Edmonton. That’s something that I’ve been having the goal of completing this offseason, so I spend a lot of my days of time doing that as well.

Sounds like a busy offseason.

It has been. But you know what? When you’re so used to being dialed in and during the season to being so busy, when you get some time off in the offseason, it quickly becomes kind of a nuisance how much time you have off. You got to look for ways to keep yourself busy and keep moving forward.

You said you were renovating your place. Is that something that comes natural to you? Or do you have a little bit of help with that, maybe watching YouTube?

Not at all going. This has been trial by fire for sure. Luckily for me, there hasn’t been anything too bad. Like, I had to hire out to get the floors done. I wasn’t going to take a chance it on that. I’ve become quite the master painter this offseason, painting the bedrooms, the bathrooms and whatnot. So, that was a little bit of learn on the fly but you know, how can you really screw up putting on a coat of paint?

Exactly. And if you screw it up, you just paint back over it, right?

That’s exactly right. Yeah.

You’ve been taking part in the CFLPA mentorship program this offseason, how was it?

Yeah. That was a great program. It was fantastic. It really gave, not specifically me, but I feel like a bunch of guys an opportunity to meet with people from the CFL head office and kind of express our opinions. You know, you work anywhere long enough, you have concerns and questions about how the business is run and they were very open about letting us ask some of those harder hitting questions. I really appreciated that. It was nice to get presentations from every department that works for the league, whether that’s marketing, sales, partnerships, you name it. Then going to visit the TSN studio, meeting with the producers that produce Grey Cups and all our games ,that was cool to be able to talk to them.

Then putting your GM cap on your coach GM cap and attending the regional combine in Waterloo was also cool. So, ultimately, it was just a great week of seeing what different career paths are available to us post football if we want to stick around the game in this great league.

You’re still only 26, but you’re one of the longest serving players on the team. How does that feel?

I mean, you don’t try to think about it too much. I mean, I think Tanner and I are the only ones left from the pre-pandemic team at this point, so that’s an interesting little battle we have going on (laughs). But no, I mean, every season’s a new group of men that try and come together and win a championship. I say men, but I mean, staff included. We have a bunch of women working for the organization now, too. There’s always new faces, there’s always new people and every year is a new story. You just try and kind of come in and put your stamp on it as best you can.

What have you learned about yourself as an athlete over the last four seasons, five years?

How to pick yourself up off the mat? I mean, it’s no question that we haven’t had success in the win column like any of us would like to, and the fans would like us to. But the frustrations from the city and the fans are only amplified in a locker room, I can, assure you as you well know.  You lose a lot of games, or if you lose a big one, you still have to come into the office the next week and prepare yourself as best you can to go win the next one. That doesn’t stop just because the record isn’t good. That doesn’t stop just because you’re not doing so great in the standings.

You have a debt to pay to the organization, and to the city, as a professional to come in each and every week and prepare like you’re playing the Grey Cup game. Hopefully, that dam breaks and we’re able to have a little more on field success. That’s definitely something that I’ve learned, is how to be a professional and come in each and every week with your heart hot, and your lunch pail, for lack of a better term, and go to work.

Jason Shivers was brought in to be the defensive coordinator. Is it exciting to see a guy that has a background in your position (defensive backs and secondary) to be a new DC?

For sure.  I’ve been around a lot of really good coaches. In my first year, my first DB coach ever was Baron Miles, and he was a CFL hall of famer at my position. So, right out of the gate I was blessed to have great coaching. And just the nature of where the team’s been at the last couple years, I’ve had a bunch of different coaches at my position and head coaches and defensive coaches. I would be sitting here all day if I had to name them all off. Some people would look at that as negative, and definitely that is a negative because the team’s not where we want it to be standings, however, you can see it as a positive.

In my case, I’ve been so lucky to be able to learn from all these great coaches and all these different people with all their different ideas on the great game that I love, and I’ve been able to draw from a bunch of different philosophies and kind of build my own theories of how to play the game of football. One day, if I’m blessed to be a coach at any level, then that’ll come in handy.

What’s the next month look like for you? You said you were finishing up the strength and conditioning course. Anything else?

Yeah, that is finishing up. Just finishing up our training. — our training is right at our peak right now. We’re going hard. Good group of guys, like I said, keeping each other accountable. But then, on the other side of things, just making sure that I spent some time with my friends and family, because of the nature of what I do and how far away it is, I’m not going to get to see them for the next six months. So, just being able to spend some quality time with friends and family, and making sure I’m training and treating my body the right way so day one at training camp, we’re able to come in and hit the ground running to go achieve our goals.