Top 20 prep football players countdown: Taylorsville’s Mori Savini

The top 20 blueprint wasn’t necessarily based strictly on recruiting interest, although it did play into account, but rather a collection of players that influence the outcome each Friday night in the realm of Utah high school football.

I’ll publish a blog post each day unveiling the top 20 impact players in the state — in no particular order — in my unabashed opinion. All selections are entirely my own. Submit your feedback in the comment section below, and I’ll respond accordingly. Stay up to date with Utah high school football on Twitter by following me @TPhibbsDNews.

Now, without further adieu:

20. Korey Rush, East. Defensive End.

19. Baron Gajkowski, Lone Peak. Quarterback.

18. Gaje Ferguson, Mountain Crest. Running back; outside linebacker.

17. Cole Nelson, Juan Diego. Quarterback; safety.

16. Nolan Gray, Orem. Receiver.

15. Mori Savini, Taylorsville. Defensive tackle, fullback.

Taylorsville's Mori Savini, No.56, celebrates after a safety in the 5A championship last season for Jordan.

Taylorsville’s Mori Savini, No.56, celebrates after a safety in the 5A championship last season for Jordan.

Nitty-gritty: 5-foot-10, 265-pounds; undeclared.

Qualifications: Taylorsville has been downtrodden for sometime now, and hasn’t had a winning season dating back to 2003. Since that year the Warriors have gone 9-80 and 3-42 in region play. Right now, the program is lacking the foundation. The players need to taste success — to at least be competitive — in order to start investing into philosophies.

That’s why Mori Savini’s value this season is immeasurable. Savini (highlights) is a two-star defensive tackle that led Jordan during its championship run last season with 7.5 sacks; the Warriors had 5.5 sacks total. According to scout.com he’s receiving interest from Alabama, Boise State, BYU, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, TCU, UCLA, USC, Utah, Utah State and Wyoming.

Savini joins Taylorsville after his family relocated into the boundaries, and his accolades — Defensive MVP at Oakland NFTC (Nike Football Training Camp) and All Poly Camp and Deseret News Second-Team All-State — aren’t nearly as important as his experience.

With Savini demonstrating proper work ethic, the Warriors are learning what it takes to win off the field from one of their own. Savini is an absolute beast in the weight room. He set a new record at the University of Utah high school day with a 678-pound squat and 49 bench reps of a 190-pounds.

He’s been to the top, and although the Warriors are certainly far from that point, he can lead by an example, and potentially influence a culture change within the program.

Savini inherits a vastly different role than he played at Jordan last season. He’ll primarily be featured at defensive tackle still, but he’ll also play extensive snaps at fullback. I spoke with Taylorsville coach Rod Wells several weeks ago about his vision of using Savini in the backfield, and he said because of his height he’s being overlooked on defense, but at fullback he’s a legitimate college prospect.

Taylorsville, obviously, isn’t competing for a state championship this season. But, Region 2 is clearly the weakest region in 5A. If it can string together a few mistake-free quarters, maybe — just maybe — it could surprise a few teams. Either way, Savini is going to be miserable on both sides of the ball.

Email: tphibbs@deseretnews.com 

10 comments

  1. Pete J

    Wait, so if I move to another address I can just transfer schools? Well this makes it easy to shop around all I have to do is move. This is especially easy for poor families that rent. It’s easy to move.

    • Trevor Phibbs

      @ Pete J

      That’s usually how transferring works. It would be pretty illogical to commute long distances — especially the under privileged families you spoke of that typically don’t have several forms of reliable transportation — in order to get to school every morning.

      Obviously, some families are able to take advantage of moving for athletic purposes, but insinuating that Savini moved for athletic purposes — is pretty hard to believe. He’s started for one of the top programs in the state for two years. Why would he abandon the groundwork he’s built at Jordan to help Taylorsville? Even so the UHSAA evaluates every transfer.

  2. G-House

    “easy for poor families”…do you know that they are poor? Agree with Trevor, why would he leave Jordan High with a great QB in #7 for Taylorsville?

  3. Carlos_Danger

    Not sure where you have gotten your information @FriarTuck5 but 7 transfers from Jordan did not come with Mori to Taylorsville

  4. SamTaylor

    @ PeteJ – You sound exactly like the coach at Jordan (degrading, low class) and the reason why Mori and others left.
    This family is far from being poor!
    @ FriarTuck5- Go down to Taylorsville High School and look for yourself instead of making BS accusations online.
    If indeed Dave Berg shared this information to your face then Dave Berg must be blind or plain Jealous with all the great things that are happening to Taylorsville Football Program but hoping thats not the case.
    There is nothing FISHY about any of this just men gossiping, BS’ing as usual, wasting people’s time.

    UHSAA is very aware of Mori’s situation and has been very supportive. Leave the boy alone. The bottom line is….
    “ITS NOONES BUSINESS” where this goes or wants to go!!

    Good Luck to Mori…..May you continue to be the best in the State in Utah.

    OFA ATU!

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