Utah star Britain Covey reveals the real reason why he chose the Utes as a recruit
Britain Covey’s Utah legacy is tremendous.
He arrived in Salt Lake City as a 3-star recruit, ranked 1,677th in his 2015 class, per the 247 Composite. His only offers came from the Utah schools—Utah, BYU, and Utah State. And he’s leaving the Utes as a multi-time All-American selection, as one of the best return specialists in program history, as one of the program’s career leaders in all-purpose yards, and as one of the all-time fan-favorites there is.
He was electric in the Rose Bowl, showing the larger college football viewing public just what Utah fans have gotten to enjoy over the last few years.
But on a recent podcast appearance, he revealed that had it not been for BYU slow-rolling him as a recruit, he might have played his college ball elsewhere.
Utah believed in him from the get go. That was key.
“I get asked this question a lot and I always answer differently depending on the scenario,” Covey said when asked why he chose Utah. “Here’s the real, genuine, authentic answer.
“Always grew up a BYU fan. Still have love for BYU in my heart, for sure. And my wife went to BYU. What happened was when I was in high school getting recruited, I reached out to a lot of schools and most schools responded back with, you know, ‘Well, maybe as a preferred walk-on.’ BYU actually offered me a scholarship. A lot of people don’t think BYU offered me a scholarship, but I was never the type of person that went out and proclaimed my offers online.
“But the first school to offer me was Utah. (The first) of any school—Division I, II—and that meant a lot to me. They trusted that I’d be a quarterback (who) could transition to something. What happened that kind of turned me away from BYU was when they offered me a scholarship, there were a few coaches in there and the exact words of multiple coaches were, ‘We decided not to offer you a few months ago because we thought you were too small. But then you came out to camp and you proved us wrong on the field, so we’re deciding to offer you.’
“I my mind I said, OK, I know what’s in the back of your mind. Even though you said I proved you wrong, you still think I’m too small and there’s some sort of thing in the back of your mind where you’re like, ‘OK, we’re going to have to bulk him up,’ or, ‘we’re going to have to do this.’ At 5-8, 160 pounds, you can’t afford to have anyone think that because you’re already up against the odds.
“From Utah, I didn’t feel that at all. And I wasn’t a Utah fan at the time but it was like, ‘You’re gonna come in and compete to be punt returner and kick returner right away. We’ve had some slots that are undersized.’ … And so that was honestly the main thing. It was hard. I still, you know, for a long time wanted to go there but I know I made the right decision.”
Covey’s career with the Utes featured five all-conference selections, three of which were first-team nominations. He was a freshman All-American in 2015. He’s the program’s all-time leader in punt return yards. He ranks fourth all-time in career all-purpose yards (3,989). He ranks sixth all-time in career receiving yards (1,977). And he ranks second all-time in career captions (181).
Not bad for a guy who was too small for Provo.