LOGAN — Savon Scarver is special.
The Las Vegas native has been one of the nation’s best kick returners ever since he stepped foot on campus at Utah State in 2017.
The winner of the Johnny “The Jet” Award in 2018 — which recognizes the top return specialist in the country — Scarver has five kickoff returns for touchdowns in his career, tied for the ninth-most in NCAA history and second-most in Mountain West Conference history. Scarver is also Utah State’s record holder for kickoff returns for touchdowns (all have gone at least 96 yards), has averaged 28.3 yards per return and returned 70 kickoffs for 1,980 yards.
A first-team All-Mountain West honoree last season and a consensus All-American in 2018 — just the third Aggie to ever earn that distinction — it came as little surprise Wednesday when Scarver was named to the 2020 Mountain West preseason All-Conference team.
“He is special. Every time he catches it, watch out,” Utah State head coach Gary Andersen said. “Unbelievable natural instincts. He has such a natural skillset, to see the field setting up in front of him. He has tremendous speed, unbelievable athletic ability.”
The MWC honor is the fourth of the preseason for Scarver, who was also named to the 2020 College Football America (CFA) Yearbook Group of Five Preseason Starting Lineup (CFA’s version of a Group of Five conference All-America Team), Phil Steele Magazine’s Preseason All-MW first team and Athlon Sports’ Preseason All-MW first team.
Scarver was the only Aggie named to the preseason All-Conference team (the only other Aggies on the ballot were safety Shaq Bond and safety-turned-nickel back Troy Lefeged Jr.). Mountain Division rival Boise State led all teams with eight selections, headlined by quarterback Hank Bachmeier. West Division favorite San Diego State, as well as Colorado State, secured four selections, followed by Air Force (3), Wyoming (2) and Nevada (2). The only team without any representation was New Mexico.
In addition to his role as a kick returner, Scarver has lined up as a wide receiver all three seasons in Logan. For his career, he has recorded 44 receptions for 657 yards and three touchdowns. Last season was his best to date, as Scarver hauled in 24 passes for 271 yards, including a career-high five catch day (for 90 yards) in Utah State’s 23-17 win at San Diego.
Heading into his senior campaign, USU needs more from him. With the departure of Siaosi Mariner, Scarver is expected to be one of the Aggies’ premier weapons on offense.
“Savon is going into his senior year,” Andersen told the Deseret News in March. “He has been tremendous as a kick returner, we all know that. He is one of the best of the best at that, and now he needs to show it at wide receiver. He has been really solid, but now we are expecting him to step up for us.”