Caine Savage likes to work quick, whether it’s his burst to try to catch a ball in the air, his ability to shake a defender trying to tackle tackle him or his opening to the 2019 season for Anaheim Western High.
Savage ran the season-opening kickoff back for a touchdown. He added 10 catches for 125 yards in that game against Pasadena John Muir and has 23 receptions for 382 yards in the three games since, according to MaxPreps.
It has been a continuation of Savage’s monster junior season when he had more than 2,100 yards receiving and scored 34 total touchdowns. His 32 touchdown receptions set a Southern Section record for a season. He scored multiple touchdowns in 11 of 15 games, leading Western to its first section title.
Quarterback Anthony Munoz, who tied JT Daniels’ Southern Section record with 61 touchdown passes is gone, so it took Western a little bit of time to get rolling under senior Isaiah Del Toro.
Savage’s kickoff return touchdown was the Pioneers’ only score against Muir, but he quickly learned getting the ball to Caine and his twin Cassius was the key to success.
“John Muir was blitzing every play and he wasn’t used to it yet,” Caine said of Del Toro. “He was overwhelmed that game. The Monday we came in after John Muir, we didn’t want to lose any more games throughout the season, so we came in hard, on everybody. After practice, we go out, run routes and catch balls and do whatever we can do to get better as a team.”
Western (3-1) has outscored its last three opponents 104-0. Cassius is second on the team with 332 all-purpose yards and in scoring with three touchdown receptions and a two-point conversion catch.
The brothers also play important roles on defense. Cassius is a rangy, 6-foot-1 safety while Caine often takes on the opposition’s best receiver at cornerback.
Caine’s athleticism, versatility and big-play ability drew attention and scholarship offers from several colleges. Some schools like him as an offensive weapon. Others see the 5-foot-11, 175-pound playmaker as a future defensive back. Arizona State’s coaches want the whole package.
“They said they like everything that I do, that I can play pretty much any position on the field — kick return, punt return, receiver, DB, pretty much an athlete,” Caine said. “I took a visit there. I got to meet some of the coaches. All the coaches up there are cool. I had a strong connection with them as soon as I met them.”
Caine committed to the Sun Devils in June, but this wasn’t a decision he could quickly make like his moves on the field. He chose Arizona State over offers from Oregon State, Utah and Washington State as well as offers to five FCS and Group of Five schools.
On the same day Caine announced his commitment, Cassius chose San Diego State from a trio of Mountain West offers. The twins, who have the same classes at Western, do everything together and are always with each other, agreed to go their separate ways.
“I wanted to play in the Pac-12,” Caine said. “Most of the offers he had, I had, but he didn’t have any Pac-12 offers, so we kind of did it based off that. He was fine with it. He’s just waiting on a Pac-12 [offer].”
While both made commitments, they are still keeping their options open on the chance that a Pac-12 school extends a scholarship opportunity to Cassius.
Caine still wants to take all five of his official visits, including trips to Utah and Washington State along with Arizona State. Cassius could join him on those trips, but per NCAA rules, the school isn’t allowed to pay for the travel and lodging expenses for anyone outside of the student-athlete and his parents on the visit.
“We haven’t really signed any letter of intent or anything,” Caine said. “If somebody does come up and gives us a better [option], like a deal together, then that’ll probably be an option for us.”