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Singletary has doppelganger in Bears draft pick's father

Bears Hall of Fame linebacker Mike Singletary and rookie receiver Tyler Scott's father, Reginald
Bears Hall of Fame linebacker Mike Singletary and rookie receiver Tyler Scott's father, Reginald

The first time it happened was back in the early 1990s when Reginald Scott was eating dinner at a Denny's restaurant in Akron, Ohio.

A stranger approached the father of Bears fourth-round draft pick Tyler Scott, a receiver from Cincinnati, and asked him a question he wasn't expecting.

"Some father came over and said, 'My kid over there swears up and down that you're Mike Singletary," Reginald Scott said with a laugh. "I said, 'No, I'm not Mike Singletary. No, I'm not.'"

When you see Scott, you'll understand why he's often mistaken for the Hall of Fame middle linebacker, who played his entire 12-year NFL career with the Bears from 1981-92. 

To this day, Scott estimates that he's asked a couple times a month whether he is Singletary. Even though it's happened for more than 30 years, the 58-year-old is still amused by the question. 

"It never gets annoying," Scott said. "It just makes me chuckle every time it happens."

It happened frequently when Scott made campus visits with his son when Tyler, then a star running back at Norton High School in Ohio, was being recruited.

"We went to several colleges and several people came up to me and said, 'Do you know who you look like?" Reginald said. "I said, 'Let me guess, Mike Singletary?' And they said, 'Yeah, exactly!'"

The irony about resembling Singletary is that Scott grew up in Akron idolizing another Bears Hall of Fame middle linebacker. 

"My favorite Bear, way back now, was Dick Butkus," Scott said. "I was a high school linebacker and I read his book, telling his story about when he grew up and how he became a Bear. I took to it—his hard work, his dedication. I wanted to be just as ferocious of a linebacker as he was."

Like his father, Tyler Scott appreciates and knows a lot about NFL history. Reginald insists that it's mostly because his son took an interest in the game but concedes that he often told him stories about Butkus.

"I used to tell him all the time," Reginald said. "One thing that stood out about Dick Butkus is that he'd talk about how he would train on his own. He would take his car to a dead-end street and just push it back and forth."

Although Tyler's workout regimen never included pushing a car, he was just as serious about getting his body ready to play football as Butkus.

"He works hard at it," Reginald said. "One thing I used to tell him was that if you want to be the best, you have to train like the best. When other teens are playing video games, you need to be doing extra things, getting out there running and working out and doing drills, and he took it to heart. That's what he did.

"I didn't have to push him or anything. He'd get a couple buddies, they'd bring cones, footballs and an agility ladder to a football field and they'd do drills, run sprints; they did it all."

The intensive training paid off for Tyler, who earned a scholarship from Cincinnati, where he converted to receiver. The speedy 5-11, 185-pounder appeared in 30 games over three seasons for the Bearcats, catching 87 passes for 1,439 yards and 14 touchdowns. Scott blossomed last year, setting career highs with 54 receptions, 899 yards and nine touchdowns.

As you'd suspect, Reginald Scott is proud of his son and can't wait to see him play in Chicago. But just remember that if you happen to be dining in the same restaurant with him, he may not be who you think he is.

Darnell Wright, Gervon Dexter Sr., Tyrique Stevenson, Zacch Pickens, Roschon Johnson, Tyler Scott, Noah Sewell, Terell Smith, Travis Bell and Kendall Williamson. See photos of all the new Bears rookies selected in the 2023 NFL Draft.