MILLVILLE – Caleb Lawver had a decision to make a year ago. When Mountain Crest High School split he had to choose between playing football for the Mustangs or going to the new Ridgeline High in Millville for his senior season.
Like many of his teammates he chose Ridgeline, but he might have never had much of a say anyway.
“I would have gone to Ridgeline regardless, because of my little sister who had to go there,” he joked. “My parents wouldn’t have let me.”
Lawver is currently in the middle of a playoff run with Ridgeline High, but he recently made another decision about where to continue his education and play football. The 5-foot-10, 215-pound long snapper recently committed to join the Utah State football team as a preferred walk-on in 2017.
It’s a decision that was as much about his education as it was athletics. Lawver has always been interested in aviation, and USU gives him an opportunity to pursue that. The proximity to his home is just a bonus.
“If I was living in St. George I would probably still come up to USU, just because it has that aviation program,” he said. “There are two other schools in the Western U.S. that have (an aviation program) and are big football schools also.”
Lawver wasn’t considering football at USU until last summer when attended a June aviation camp on campus. During that time he visited and practiced with special team coordinator Stacy Collins.
“I really liked Stacy Collins and I really liked the aviation program they had,” he said. “USU has kind of stuck since.”
Signing as a preferred walk-on, Lawver isn’t guaranteed an athletic scholarship, but he may have an opportunity to receive one in the future. Either way, he isn’t losing any sleep over it. He earned an academic scholarship and said most costs will be covered by that.
He plans on redshirting his first year at USU, which means he’ll still have four years of eligibility after the 2017 season. Lawver has already made plans for the time he’ll spend at school.
“I really want to get that pilot program done in the first four years I’m there,” he said. “Then work on a second degree, maybe something in business.”
When it comes to the football team, he plans on contributing in two ways. He said he can help bring the team’s GPA average up and give the long-snapping game some added consistency.
Long snapping has been a focus of Lawver’s for more than five years. He worried he would end up being too small to play center for a high school team, so he worked on developing a sought-after specialty. He has been attending camps set up by Chris Rubio, one of the top long snapping coaches in the country, Lawver said.
Lawver is hoping to get a few games of experience this month. After beating Snow Canyon at home in the first round of the playoffs, his Ridgeline High football team will travel to Desert Hills High School this Friday to continue its run. He wants to help his team get as far possible. Then, for Lawver, it will all be about USU.