Zavier Scott has rarely lived in one place for too long. Growing up, his family was always on the move after his father — a Sergeant First Class in the military — was transferred around the country — and the world.
Born in Texas, Scott and his family lived there as well as Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia and Germany, all before he turned 16 years old.
They moved to Vilseck, Germany before Scott’s junior year of high school, right when recruiting would heat up for a typical football player in America. But living thousands of miles away from the nearest college football team in a country that doesn’t play the sport, Scott was basically invisible to recruiters.
But he refused to let his situation prevent him from playing at the next level.
“I knew I had the opportunity and ability to play college football and that was in my mind the whole time I was in Germany,” Scott said. “I knew what I was working for, I knew the hard work I was putting in. I was technically behind [since I didn’t have] the opportunity some other kids had in the States, so I had to work that much harder to get to where I’m at.”
Playing football in Germany certainly wasn’t easy. Scott played for his military base’s team and they would travel around Europe to play other American military base teams. Trips for football ranged from just a few hours to over 12 hours away.
One such trip was up to Cologne, a four-hour drive. It wasn’t for a game, but for a ESPN exposure camp. It was there that he first caught the eye of UConn.
One of the people in attendance was a friend of the Huskies’ Director of Football Operations Ryan Steinberg. Scott caught the man’s eye and running back’s name was passed on to Steinberg.
From there, the recruiting process began and UConn flew Scott in from Germany for an official visit. Once he arrived in Storrs, Scott knew he wanted to make it his newest home.
“When I first came for the visit, I knew that’s where I was going to be,” he said. “I committed on my birthday and I just knew this was going to be the place.”
He didn’t commit to the Huskies until July before the season and redshirted his first year. Despite coming in as a receiver, he transitioned to running back to beef up a thin depth chart. However, it was far from a foreign position to him.
“I played both positions my senior year and a little bit of running back my junior year but mainly receiver,” he said. “My senior year I started moving to running back because the coach wanted to get the ball in my hands as many ways he could.
“The move from receiver to running back was a natural switch because I’m more of a running back, I’d say.”
He played well in the spring game with a 61-yard run and five catches and carried that momentum into the fall, earning the starting job at running back for the first game of the season against UCF.
Scott’s role wasn’t just the product of a thinned running back group due to Nate Hopkins’ departure and Donevin O’Reilly’s injury. Head coach Randy Edsall didn’t hold back when talking about his newest starter.
“He’s an every-down back. He can play first, second and third down,” the coach said. “He’s a one of those kids that you really like because he gives you everything he’s got all the time. For a redshirt freshman, he’s on our leadership council. He’s a leader.”
Edsall was bullish on Scott’s potential as well.
“He reminds me of some of the guys we’ve had here before at running back in terms of what he’s capable of doing, what he can do at all downs, not just first and second downs or third down guy,” he said. “He’s an every down back.”
For all the constant change he dealt with growing up, Scott looks to be settled for the foreseeable future for the first time in nearly his entire life. After a long journey that took him to five states and two countries, Scott has finally found a home with UConn football.