University of Maine senior wide receiver Zavier Scott is leading the football team in receiving yards this season. Credit: Seth Poplaski / UMaine Athletics

Army brat. Base kid.

You can call University of Maine senior wide receiver Zavier Scott either one.

His father, James, was in the U.S. Army, and his tours took their family from Texas to Tennessee to Kentucky to Virginia and then to Germany. Scott was born at Fort Hood in Texas.

Every three or so years, Scott found himself having to adapt to a new locale and new classmates and teammates.

Learning to fit in has served him well at UMaine, where he leads the team in receiving yards this fall with 220 and in receiving yards per game with 55. His 16 receptions through four games is second on the team behind tight end Shawn Bowman’s 18, and he is tops in yards per catch (13.75) among players who have at least four receptions.

He said the positives outweigh the negatives when it comes to being a military brat.

“Leaving your friends is not the most fun thing to go through. But the transition from place to place was pretty smooth because I had my family. That made everything a lot better and easier,” said Scott. “And it has really set me up well for college.

“You learn how to make new friends and adjust to new environments. That’s a huge skill that military kids can take advantage of,” he added. “I was also able to be around a lot of different coaches who had different styles. So I was able to learn from all of them and that was beneficial.”

He noted that he also got to play with a lot of talented players who were from all over the United States.

“And I had friends from Germany who were very talented as well,” he said.

You will never hear him complain about UMaine’s grueling travel schedule because he spent his junior and senior years of high school traveling across Europe to play other Army and Air Force base teams for his Germany-based Vilseck High School football team.

University of Maine senior wide receiver Zavier Scott is leading the football team in receiving yards this season. Credit: Seth Poplaski / UMaine Athletics

 “I got used to long bus rides. It was an awesome experience to share with my teammates,” Scott said.  “I have great memories. It was fun.”

Scott has been a valuable contributor in the Black Bear offense. In addition to lining up as a wide receiver, he also lines up in the backfield, where will occasionally take the direct snap from center and run out of the Wildcat formation.

The 6-foot-1, 220-pound Scott has carried the ball four times for 30 yards and has returned two kickoffs for 35 yards. His 285 total all-purpose yards is a UMaine career-high for him, and he is second on the team to Trevin Ewing, who has amassed all 331 of his yards on kickoff returns.

“He is a reliable player,” said UMaine head coach Jordan Stevens. “He is dependable. He is really knowledgeable of our offense. He is coachable and wants to get better. He has been outstanding.”

Stevens said Scott is playing with more confidence.

“You felt that in the Boston College game. He definitely stood out as an explosive player,” said Stevens.

Scott caught a team-high eight passes for a game-high 135 yards against the Eagles.

Stevens said Scott is well-liked by his teammates.

“He is a great teammate, a team-first guy,” said Stevens. “He wants to take on more leadership. He always wants to do more.”  

Scott transferred from the University of Connecticut in the Football Bowl Subdivision, which has more resources and 22 more scholarships than UMaine’s Football Championship Subdivision.

In 2018, he was UConn’s second leading receiver with 33 catches for 228 yards and third-leading rusher with 210 yards on 34 carries.

He appeared in four games for UConn in 2019 before deciding to transfer.

“Maine was the only school that offered me a full scholarship. Other schools talked to me but Maine was the only one to pull the trigger and take a chance on me. It was meant to be,” said Scott, who added that he “loves” being at UMaine.

He has been grateful for the opportunity and glad he has earned the trust of the coaches. He hopes to continue to get better and contribute any way he can.

“It definitely took time. But I have never had anything handed to me. I always had to earn it,” he said.

Scott played his first two games for the Black Bears in the spring of 2021 and had seven catches for 101 yards and one carry for four yards.

Last fall, he carried the ball 35 times for 119 yards and caught 11 passes for 114 yards. He also returned three kickoffs for 36 yards.

“I have learned a ton since I’ve been here,” said Scott, who mentioned that former UMaine All-Colonial Athletic Association wide receiver Andre Miller and current center Mike Gerace have taught him a lot. “They are both good at what they do. It helps being around guys who create a healthy culture. It’s good for me.”

The Black Bears, 0-4 overall and 0-1 in the conference, will try to pick up their first win when they face first-year CAA member Hampton University on Saturday at 2 p.m. in Virginia. Hampton is 3-1 and 0-1.

“I’m taking it day by day. I’m just going to attack what is in front of me,” said Scott.