‘I don’t want to take my pads off,’ Utah’s Brother Covey said after scoring two goals in his final college game


The wide electric receiver and kick returner hit a total of 252 yards in the Utes’ Rose Bowl debut

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) Utah Utes wide ball receiver England Covey (18 years old) makes the ball, during the Rose Bowl game between the Utah Utes and Ohio State Buckeyes Pasadena, on Saturday, January 1, 2022 .

It’s fitting that the first player to score in the 100th Rose Bowl Game was the game’s only centenarian.

OK, so Brother Covey doesn’t have many years behind him. But the University of Utah long-tooth player, 24, likely the oldest player on the field on Saturday, indicated he’s been looking forward to playing in the Granddaddy of Them All for at least that long. .

Another hundred years may have to pass before he forgets it.

Covey has marked his time with Utes – which started in 2015 and will end with him gave up his final season of qualifying to pursue playing time in the NFL – with one of the best games of his career in the biggest game to date in show history.

And it’s almost enough to win.

Instead, a goal at the Buckeyes with just 12 seconds left to destroy the Utes’ explosive Rose Bowl debut as No. 6 Ohio State overcame No. 11 Utah, 48-45, in Pasadena, Calif.

“A lot of things need to be involved,” Covey said in a wavering voice when asked about his feelings during his post-match press conference. “Eventually it started hitting me. I don’t want to take my pads off.”

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Utah Utes wide receiver England Covey (18 years old) collided with a teammate while performing a return kick for a touchdown as the Utah Utes faced the Ohio State Buckeyes at Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California, on Saturday, January 1, 2022.

The enormity of the historic moment didn’t surpass Covey, who is listed at 5 foot-8 and 170 pounds. He set the tone for the Utah win, 252 yards total and two touchdowns. Both scores are constructive. One was the opening goal of the match, when he made a pass from the Cam Rising midfielder 19 meters into the final area. That left the Utah heavyweights crowd and the Utes electrified, who would go on to score on their next three properties. The other was a 97-yard return kick for a score that was a ball hit in the middle of a wild run in which teams traded five TDs in intervals of 2 minutes, 43 seconds, or about once every once in a while. 30 seconds.

As Utah coach Kyle Whittingham put it, “The fans and the networks deserve their money from it.”

Covey’s greatest contributionhowever, it could simply be, as it has been almost as much since he arrived on the Salt Lake City campus months ago, as team leader.

When reserve defender Bryson Barnes replaced an injured Rising in the fourth quarter with Ohio State ending with the Utes, Covey was the signal caller that young Eddie was stable. Barnes, a freshman from Milford, did not attempt to pass or rise above the college level. And although he can count on backrunners to start, with the fourth half remaining, he will eventually have to pitch.

So who came out on top among his first finishes? Covey, of course. Then, as Barnes got the hang of things, he hit a 15-yard pass to Dalton Kincaid in the late-game zone that tied the game in the 45th minute.

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Utah Utes wide spotter Brother Covey (18 years old) performs a kickback for an encounter as the Utah Utes face the Ohio State Buckeyes at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California , on Saturday, January 1, 2022.

However, the Buckeyes reacted by pushing his way into goal to take the lead with just nine seconds remaining. And as the Utes line up to receive the opening match, chant “Co-vey! Co-vey! “covers the stadium. Players whose motions in video games have led to so many standout moments over the years may have a chance once again.

For his part, Covey said he was really surprised to see the ball come his way. “Usually you have three or four chances,” he said, “and then they stop kicking you.”

But it’s finally time for Covey to leave college football and start working towards the next step in his career.

He headed to the NFL Draft having accumulated 3,989 versatile yards and 14 touchdowns and the respect and admiration of Utes fans everywhere. Simply put, the old man had grown in them over the years. And the feeling is mutual.

“Just proud of this team and this program and this university. I just have so much love for the University of Utah,” he said in his post-match interview, just before tears started rolling down his cheeks and his words choked.

“Sorry,” the manager, “I’m just grateful.” ‘I don’t want to take my pads off,’ Utah’s Brother Covey said after scoring two goals in his final college game

Beth Allcock

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