Going into fall camp last year, Sean Savoy flew under-the-radar among the true freshman wide receivers with lots of hype surrounding Spring Game star Caleb Farley, and Kalil Pimpleton being seen as a candidate for early playing time after an early arrival.
However, Savoy quickly entered the radar of every team in the ACC, especially Boston College.
Savoy emerged as the Hokies’ #2 receiver early in the season on his way to finishing the season with 39 catches for 454 yards and 4 touchdowns, all of which were second on the team. Savoy was also relatively consistent with at least 4 receptions in six games including an impressive 9 receptions for 139 yards and a touchdown in his best game of the season against Boston College. Savoy also was a threat running the ball on jet sweeps with 2 rushing TDs, 116 rushing yards, and an average of 4.8 yards per carry.
However, Sean Savoy slowed down as the season went along with teams starting to pay more and more attention to him. After having 4+ receptions in five of VT’s first six games, Savoy only had 4+ receptions once in the final 7 games while not having a single reception in the Hokies’ Camping World Bowl loss to Oklahoma State.
During that time, some of the other young Hokie receivers stepped up their games with Eric Kumah coming on strongly in the second half of the season, and Hezekiah Grimsley and Phil Patterson both showing lots of potential over the final few games. Going into the spring, it was clear that Savoy would be in an open competition for playing time at WR next season, but also had the biggest reputation among the returning receivers given his strong statistical performance.
Savoy showed plenty of promise and talent during the 2017 season, but WRs coach Holmon Wiggins knew that Savoy has plenty of room to grow in every aspect of his game this upcoming year.
“Everything, he had to improve on everything. He was inconsistent, had too many drops, was a bad route runner and had bad practice habits. So I challenged him on everything. The great thing is that he is a challengeable kid and he wants to be coached hard. I had the luxury of recruiting the kid so we have a pretty good relationship. He knows where I’m coming from and he knows I’m going to love him just as hard as I coach him. He needs to get better in a lot of areas and he is working to get there.,” Wiggins said.
While there were plenty of areas where Savoy was strong in, his drops were a glaring issue with the D.C. native seeming to have at least a drop every game at times. If it wasn’t for the drops, Savoy quite easily could have had 6-8 more receptions at least and been on the radar for some Freshman All-American teams.
In addition, Savoy has room to grow in many of the areas that you would expect an 18-19 year old receiver would need to grow in like consistency and route-running, something that junior and senior wideouts almost always have an advantage in regardless of the number of stars a player brought with them to college.
Entering this fall camp, Sean Savoy is a much more well-known receiver among Hokie fans yet despite his strong season, indications are that he will be battling to earn a spot in the starting lineup this fall in a Hokie WR corps that is likely the deepest it’s been under Justin Fuente.
Skill groups from brief skeleton drill we saw:
1: QB Jackson/Willis, RB McClease/Peoples, TE Keene/Cunningham, WR Hazelton, Grimsley, Kumah.
2: QB Hooker, RB Holston/Wheatley, TE Cunningham, WR Patterson, Savoy, Turner. #Hokies
— Andy Bitter (@AndyBitterVT) August 6, 2018
Despite Savoy working with the second team offense both in the Spring Game and the Hokies’ open practice portion, the sophomore wideout has the advantage of having the most catches for any VT WR in a Hokie uniform with expected starting QB Josh Jackson knowing what he can expect to see out of Savoy.
“Sean is a smaller guy but he’s really quick, he can get into a second gear and he has good hands. He just gets open. It’s kind of funny because I always joke with him about us having the dad bodies on the offense, so it’s funny watch him juke guys out and then run away from them. He does a great job doing it.”
Savoy’s quickness and athleticism were on full display last season giving defensive backs plenty of problems in the slot and helping him get the type of separation that WR coaches look for from their smaller guys.
After a strong freshman season, Sean Savoy is back to work looking to re-earn his spot in the Hokies’ starting lineup as a part of one of the deepest wide receiving corps in years at Virginia Tech.