Utes wide receiver Kenneth Scott eager to get back in the mix for Utah

Published: Thursday, March 27 2014 3:00 p.m. MDT

Utah Utes wide receiver Kenneth Scott (2) laughs with a teammate during spring practice in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, March 18, 2014.

Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah receiver Kenneth Scott is ready to spring back into action. After suffering a season-ending ankle injury in the first quarter of last year’s opener against Utah State, Scott is eager to get back on the field and make plays.

“It’s way nice,” he said. “It feels good to put the No. 2 back on.”

Even so, Scott acknowledges he’s working his way back into things, and at times it’s been a bit frustrating.

“I’m getting there,” he said, expressing confidence that everything is going to work out.

In the meantime, Scott’s reps are limited this spring as he fully recovers and regains his form.

“He’s not 100 percent right now but he’s doing some stuff in practice and he’ll be ready to go when the season comes,” said Utah offensive coordinator Dave Christensen. “We’re going to be smart with him during spring and get work done with him, but make sure he remains healthy.”

Scott, who is listed as a starter on the current depth chart, has been down this road before. He missed the entire 2010 season after breaking his ankle in fall camp. Between injuries, the 6-foot-3, 211-pound junior from Fontana, Calif., appeared in 23 games for the Utes and made 40 receptions for 501 yards and three touchdowns. The bulk of his production came in 2012 when he made 32 catches and 10 starts.

When that momentum was stopped in the opening game of 2013, Scott said it wasn’t easy.

“Man, it was stressful. There were nights when I was like really beating myself up because I just wanted to be out there so bad and it was just eating me up inside,” he said. “I always was still like the first one here, like watching film of the game or something, just to pick up new things — just give them my take on what I thought.

“It was frustrating, but I tried to stay positive and show the others that I care about them, too, instead of myself,” Scott added.

With Scott on the sidelines, Utah’s offense endured a sluggish campaign. Ultimately, Christensen was brought in to charge things up.

“The new offense is easy. I’m a quick learner,” Scott said. “All that stuff is easy to me.”

So, too, he explained, is developing rapport with whoever ends up quarterbacking the Utes this season.

“We’ve always got timing. Whatever quarterback is the quarterback I make sure I’ve got timing with them,” Scott said. “That’s how I’m going to eat. That’s how they’re going to eat. That’s how the offense is going to have success, if we’re both just on the same page.”

Speaking of being on the same page, senior receiver Dres Anderson is looking forward to having Scott back on the field. They give the Utes quite a pass-catching duo — teaming for 68 receptions in 2012.

“That’s my boy. That’s my partner in crime,” Anderson said. “They’re still kind of holding him back but he’s been looking 100 percent to me. He looks like he hasn’t even lost a step. So he’s been great.”

Anderson noted that Scott’s return will be a great addition to an offense that struggled last year. Anderson was one of the bright spots, making 53 catches for 1,002 yards and seven touchdowns. He became just the seventh player in team history to reach the 1,000-yard receiving milestone in a season.

“It’s for sure going to be a lot less stressful on me,” Anderson said. “A lot of defenses kind of put somebody over the top, and with Kenneth being back you can’t do that because you know he’s a deep threat as well. So you’ve got to cover the whole field.”

EXTRA POINTS: Redshirt freshman Felipo Mokofisi has moved up to the top of the depth chart this week at defensive tackle. … Junior Joseph Bryant is back at safety this week after a stint at linebacker. … Junior defensive tackle Seni Fauonuku has been placed on the inactive list this week for precautionary reasons because of an undisclosed injury. He could, however, return before camp concludes on April 19.

Email: dirk@desnews.com

Twitter: @DirkFacer

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