SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Sports) – Get ready for another Covey comeback.
One of the positions of strength for the Utah football team this season is wide receiver, and a big reason why is the return of Britain Covey.
After missing all but four games last year because of a knee injury, Covey is back. And if it seems like he’s been at Utah forever, he kind of has.
“I’ve been around about 30 years,” Covey said.
Actually, this will be Covey’s sixth year as a Ute, counting his LDS mission. And believe it or not, he’ll still have two years of eligibility left after this year.
After exploding on the season as a freshman back in 2015, Covey returned from his mission to have his best season in 2018, when he had 60 catches and 809 total yards.
But Covey suffered a knee injury in the Pac-12 Championship Game that year, and after just four games last season, his knee couldn’t take it anymore.
“I genuinely tried to fool myself that I was 100 percent,” he said. “Looking back at it now, I realized I was about 60 to 70 percent. No matter how hard I pushed it, it seemed like my body wouldn’t respond the way I wanted it to. At that point, I just realized that the best thing for me and the team would be to shut it down.”
Covey said his road to recovery was enhanced by playing on the scout team at the end of the year, going against Utah’s NFL-caliber secondary.
“I spent every practice going up against Jaylon Johnson, Julian Blackmon, Terrell Burgess, Javelin Guidry and Josh Nurse,” Covey said. “I mean, those are five guys that are in the NFL. I learned more in those five weeks than I have my whole career about how to be a good receiver.”
Covey said he’s 100 percent healthy now, and is eager to make an impact on what could be a dynamic Utah offense, and well as a returner on special teams.
“I’m much stronger and faster than I’ve been even since my mission,” he said. “It was a blessing in disguise, that last year.”
“I think what he brings is a dynamic player after the catch,” wide receivers coach Guy Holliday said. “He’s somebody that can make the first player miss. He gives you a lot of versatility as far as you can hand him the ball, you can throw him the ball.”
Covey has been a part of back-to-back Pac-12 South championship teams. This year however, the Utes were picked to finish third in the division, something Covey said the team is using as motivation.
“I think maybe because I’ve always smaller my whole life, I look for anything to give myself a chip on my shoulder,” Covey said. “I think our team is kind of like that. There is a little bit of pride at stake. We want to return as the Pac-12 South champs, and we wanted to be the Pac-12 champs overall.”
Utah kicks off the 2020 season November 7th at home against Arizona.