If Utah sophomore receiver Kenneth Scott is in need of a nickname, “Radar” would be most appropriate.
Like the ever-prescient corporal from the old TV series “M*A*S*H,” Scott almost always seems to know when and where the ball is coming. Throw the ball somewhere in his direction and the 6-foot-3, 202-pound receiver from Fontana, Calif., finds it — virtually every time.
He made a great leaping catch to score a touchdown against Utah State, tiptoed the line with an 11-yard touchdown pass against USC and had another 44-yarder called back, thanks to an ineligible man downfield.
Those plays are among the highlights that show just what he can do.
“He is long and has a knack for finding the ball like David Reed could,” said passing coordinator Aaron Roderick of the former Ute, who was drafted by the Baltimore Ravens in 2010. “He has a lot of body control and can go get the ball at the highest point.”
The issue for the Utes is Scott’s penchant for finding the ball might be spot on, but he isn’t on the Utes’ radar enough. He has just eight catches for 157 yards for the season.
Getting more production out of him is becoming a priority as the Utes install more elements of the spread offense.
“We have to get him more involved,” Utes coach Kyle Whittingham said. “It seems like every time you throw it to him he comes down with it and that is on us as coaches to do a better job to design things for Kenneth to get him more touches, more opportunities. That is something we’ve been looking at and talking about.”
For his part, Scott said he isn’t getting discouraged. He is still one of the last players to leave the practice field and is one of the hardest working players on the team, coaches say.
“I am trying to keep the grind on and be consistent,” he said. “I know I still have to get better, too.”
Scott said he modeled his football skills after Brandon Marshall, Chicago’s 6-4 receiver who is known for his physical play.
“I love what he can do physically and I want to imitate that,” Scott said. “He is a very demanding player to go up against.”
Scott is earning a similar reputation, particularly as the Utes strive to match up with Pac-12 talent. His physique and fearless attitude represent the kind of receiver the Utes need to compete in a BCS league.
“On that touchdown that was called back, he went over a 6-1 corner and a 6-3 safety and got the ball,” Roderick said. “He goes up like the ball belongs to him and takes it personally. We need more players like him at every position, not only for his length and athletic ability but for his toughness and work ethic.”
Now if the Utes can just get him on their radar, Scott might just rise above opponents’ defense systems.
“I’m taking everything as is and making the most of it,” he said. “Hopefully if I stay level-headed I’ll be able to get to that higher level.”
Utah’s leading receivers
Player Rec Yds TDs
DeVonte Christopher 14 145 1
Jake Murphy 14 132 2
Dres Anderson 13 163 1
Kenneth Scott 8 157 3
Reggie Dunn 7 66 0
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