NFL: What nickname has Britain Covey already earned with the Eagles?

For former Utah large receiver and kick return extraordinaire Britain Coveyit is virtually like beginning over once more.

An undrafted free agent, Covey stories to the Philadelphia Eagles Sunday and is taking part in coaching camp, which kicked off Tuesday.

“Oh completely. It positively appears like being a freshman once more, which is one thing that I like,” Covey informed the Deseret Information final week. “I’ve all the time had a mentality of studying from guys which can be older than you; simply take knowledge from all people which you could.”

All through his life, the 5-foot-8 Covey has heard the disparaging feedback, and doubts, that he is too small to achieve success in soccer. However he proved the doubters unsuitable at Timpview Excessive and later at Utah.

Has it sunk in but for him — that he’s an NFL participant?

“I believe it would sink within the first time we put the pads on,” Covey mentioned. “However I’ve had a few moments already at (organized group apply actions). The primary time I received hit after I had a ball that was thrown a little bit excessive. I received hit by three guys on the identical time. That was a kind of moments the place it sunk in a little bit bit. I am positive I will have a few these wake-up moments as soon as I get there.”

Signing an NFL contract was thrilling for Covey, who has exceeded expectations at each stage.

“It is one thing that, even rising up, I dreamed extra of taking part in faculty soccer than I did the NFL, simply because I did not know anybody that performed within the NFL,” he mentioned. “I met a few guys like (former BYU stars that performed for the Philadelphia Eagles) Vai Sikahema different Chad Lewis, and another guys. However I did not know anybody actually. So I dreamed of taking part in faculty soccer. It is such a singular alternative.”

In his closing recreation as a Ute, Covey, the all-time chief in punt return yardage in Utah program historical past, had an electrifying kickoff return for a landing in opposition to Ohio State in a slender loss to the Buckeyes within the Rose Bowl.

After final April’s NFL draft, Covey attended rookie minicamp and his Rose Bowl TD run was a subject of dialog.

“That is the place most individuals knew me from — or the punt return in opposition to Oregon,” he mentioned. “’Pac-12 After Darkish’ is what folks watch on the East Coast late at night time. I had fairly just a few guys who knew who I used to be. It is humorous for a 25-year-old, a rookie and married. not the norm.”

Throughout the summer season, Covey and his spouse, Leah, took a visit to Europe, visiting Austria (“which is my favourite nation in Europe”), Switzerland, France and Italy.

Now, he is in full soccer mode as he seems to earn a roster spot with the Eagles.

Covey talked with the Deseret Information about a wide range of matters pertaining to his NFL profession, the 2022 Utah soccer season, and his future after his taking part in days.

He additionally mentioned his experiences this summer season figuring out with former BYU gamers in Provo like Zach Wilsonnow the beginning quarterback for the New York Jets, in addition to the nickname Covey’s Philadelphia teammates have bestowed upon him.

Desert Information: What was your expertise like at rookie minicamp?

Britain Covey: Rookie minicamp was an incredible transition interval for me. I used to be going in opposition to faculty guys, principally. I really feel like I’ve performed in opposition to sufficient nice competitors all through my profession that I felt actually assured going into it. I did nicely. It was an excellent transition for when OTAs got here and the entire vets confirmed up. The whole lot’s been clean for me. We have not accomplished any (kick) return stuff but. It has been nice as a result of I have been capable of present what I can do strictly as a receiver after which I am excited to indicate that further aspect of my recreation as soon as camp hits. It was good as a result of I believe I shocked lots of people with how fluid I used to be as a receiver. I believe that is helped me out.

DN: Are you prepared for the standard, good-natured rookie hazing that occurs within the NFL?

BC: (Laughing) I am gearing up for it. I do know I will should sing at a expertise present. I will should inventory the receivers’ room with treats. There’s simply that ceremony of passage, and I adore it. I simply hope they do not make me pay for a giant dinner. I do know they are going to however I hope they’re having just a few different receivers pay for it so we are able to break up the verify.

DN: What’s it been studying the Eagles’ playbook? How completely different is it from the playbook you had at Utah?

BC: I performed for 3 completely different offensive coordinators on the U. Three completely different kinds. I’d say that the NFL is most just like how (offensive coordinator Andy) Ludwig runs his offense, simply by way of the vocabulary, the cadence. … That is been nice as a result of I really feel prefer it’s been loads simpler for me than lots of guys who’ve come from offenses in faculty the place they run strictly alerts from the sideline and no-huddle. I have been extra in an NFL model for the final couple of years. In order that’s been a clean transition for me.

DN: Vai Sikahema was a particular groups star in Philadelphia many years in the past. Have you ever been capable of join with him?

BC: He texted me the second that I signed. Vai is such an excellent particular person. He’s positively looking for me and I will keep in touch with him over the subsequent couple of months. They love Vai there (in Philadelphia). I believe it will be fairly enjoyable to attempt to keep it up his legacy a little bit bit.

DN: Which former Utes have helped you probably the most throughout your transition to the NFL?

BC: (Buffalo Payments operating again) Zack Moss. We’re actually shut and he is speaking to me by way of lots of issues. Zack’s been nice; Tim Patrick, Garett Bolles, Chase Hansen, all these guys. It is such a cool brotherhood when you get to that stage. Everybody seems out for each other. Hopefully I keep it up that custom. You identify the participant that is come by way of the U. and I’ve had some contact with them. (Baltimore Ravens quarterback) Tyler Huntleygiving me recommendation, wishing me the most effective, stuff like that.

DN: Former Utah quarterback Brian Johnson is now the quarterbacks coach for the Eagles. How nicely do you know him earlier than you signed with Philadelphia?

BC: I did not know him very nicely. It is humorous as a result of I received an 801 quantity calling me in the course of the draft. I believed, “Which certainly one of my fool pals is asking me in the course of the draft?” It was him. He is received an 801 quantity. He is such a cool man. He is so good. You’ll be able to inform he is been part of some superb methods. He has some nice information. He positively seems out for me. Throughout OTAs, he may inform after I was having a day after I was struggling. Or I had questions. He’d take me apart, beneath his wing. I actually appreciated that for him. It has been enjoyable. I believe it is enjoyable for him to have a fellow Ute as nicely.

DN: How assured are you that you’ll make the Eagles’ roster?

BC: My reply to that query proper now’s, ask me in two weeks. I believe it will be a problem to make (the 53-man roster). I believe it is sort of this psychological state you must get in the place you are very assured in your talents however you are additionally very conscious of the state of affairs and also you’re very sincere with your self about what must occur so as so that you can make it There are a few guys forward of me which can be being paid fairly much more. I will should outperform them if I will have a shot. As a result of if we’re neck-and-neck or even when I am just a bit bit higher, they’re going to hold them.

So you are not going to chop somebody that is making $5 million and nonetheless should pay them (that cash). There are fairly just a few issues which can be working in opposition to me as a rookie and I perceive that. Nevertheless it does not make me doubt my talents in any respect. That is what I can concentrate on in my circle of management and my circle of affect. Hopefully that grows as I proceed to play nicely and attempt to not get too upset with issues. I do know I will have a pair days the place I really feel like I do not get any reps. I am mentally getting ready for that. There shall be days the place I do not play nicely and I get nervous about being lower. I am visualizing each the great and the unhealthy, if that is sensible.

DN: How necessary is it so that you can make an impression with the Eagles as a receiver, not simply as a return man?

BC: It is necessary as a result of possibly 15 years in the past you might, however you may by no means make the group as only a return man as of late. You have to be a receiver first, a return man second. That is why I used to be excited to do OTAs, understanding we would not do very a lot particular groups. I did rather well. No less than I really feel like I did. I received some good compliments from the quarterbacks and the coaches. I used to be getting reps with those and the twos as a result of AJ Brown and DeVonta Smith are gone for a apply and so they want somebody to step up.

I’ve all the time prided myself on my information of the sport. I knew each place so I jumped in there. Whether or not it is inside receiver or outdoors receiver, it does not matter. A few tight ends went down so we began going four-receiver units. I bounce in there on the fourth receiver/tight finish place. Simply making myself obtainable. For lots of coaches that did not know me very a lot popping out of school, and doubtless anticipated me to simply be a return man, I believe I shocked them a little bit bit, which was an excellent factor.

DN: As you talked about, you are not a traditional NFL rookie due to your age and background, comparable to serving a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Chile. Do you get questions on your mission out of your new teammates?

BC: Completely. Similar to faculty. It has been enjoyable to share what’s distinctive about me and what’s distinctive about them. That is what I really like about soccer, truthfully. You discover power in your variations and distinctive backgrounds. It is actually cool. A few guys nicknamed me “The Mormon Missile,” so we’ll see if that carries on.

DN: What have you ever been doing to organize for minicamp this summer season?

BC: The final three weeks I have been working loads, primarily receiver-specific stuff. I have been taking place to BYU to catch punts from (BYU punter) Ryan Rehkow. He is received an NFL leg. When Zach Wilson’s been on the town I have been throwing with him. different Cam Rising. It is enjoyable. I’ve received nice relationships with gamers from BYU and clearly gamers at Utah. I have been backwards and forwards from Provo to Salt Lake, wherever I can practice. (Former Utah and BYU receivers) Samson Nacua has been certainly one of my finest pals since highschool. We have been working collectively a little bit bit. It is good. We have an excellent little neighborhood on this state the place I believe all people desires all people to succeed.

DN: You began as a freshman at Utah in 2015. How unusual is it to not be taking part in for the Utes anymore? And the way do you assume Utah will carry out this season?

BC: It is bizarre. I already miss it. I went as much as the ability (final week) and threw with all of the receivers. I went over some issues they train us within the NFL. I really feel prefer it’s such a household up there. I will be near them my complete life. That group is so particular to me. I’m going up there every time I can.

Possibly that is the homer in me, however I really feel very assured about them this yr, particularly if Cam stays wholesome. They’ve one other yr in coach Ludwig’s system, the place they’ll hit the bottom operating in camp and never should go over each little factor. I believe they’re actually going to excel. I believe Devaughn Vele’s going to have a giant yr. You are going to have lots of completely different weapons escape this yr within the operating recreation, not simply Tavion (Thomas). I believe Jaylen Dixon goes to have a giant yr. I am all the time hesitant to say this in entrance of individuals as a result of they are saying I am biased, however I really feel very assured about this yr’s group.

DN: Does teaching nonetheless curiosity you when your taking part in profession ends?

BC: It is a kind of issues the place in the event you do not strive it in your life, you may all the time surprise and remorse. I positively must strive it. I do know I do. I really like that age group — 18-24. I believe children are searching for route of their lives. There’s a lot you possibly can train them. There’s a lot I used to be taught by coaches. I’d love to educate faculty soccer. And I really like the sport. I am probably the most aggressive folks you may ever meet. My spouse and I can hardly play tennis collectively with out being (aggressive), you recognize. Even in golf, I simply cannot assist it. I really feel prefer it’s proper up my alley. I’d like to.

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Former Utah soccer participant Britain Covey sprints throughout Utah’s per day on the Spence & Cleone Eccles Soccer Heart in Salt Lake Metropolis on Thursday, March 24, 2022.

Laura Seitz, Deseret Information

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