Could this be the last home game for British football from Utah Covey?


The University of Utah will host Seniors’ Day festivities Friday afternoon before the Utes host the University of Colorado (2 p.m. Fox), but who exactly will be involved is a mystery.

Utah coach Kyle Whittingham said Monday morning that “we’ll probably have 15 to 17 guys walking, going out for the senior presentations.”

The Utes roster has 10 listed players with senior eligibility, meaning that as of Monday morning Whittingham expected at least five and up to seven non-seniors to participate.

Redshirt junior receiver / returns specialist Britain Covey said on Monday night after practice that he would make the senior day, but has not made a decision on his future beyond that.

“I’m going to go out and walk as a senior just in case, but it’s a decision my family and I will make before the bowl game, but after the Pac-12 championship game,” Covey said. “I just want to focus on the next two weeks, but I’m going to walk.”

Covey, 24, is a fifth-year junior with a career dating back to 2015. The longtime Ute indicated during fall camp that he at least considered this could be his final college season.

“In case they change their mind by then, I just don’t want to mess things up with this,” Whittingham said. “Some of them are still deciding. It’s not 100% set now, which will work and which aren’t, so that’s just a rough guess.

“That doesn’t mean that each of these junior guys is definitely making the decision to move on. We could very well make the guys going through this ceremony decide to come back, which we would love to see. It is better to be wrong on this side than not to make them walk, and then if they go, not to recognize them.

The Utah roster lists 17 eligible players for juniors and 18 sophomores. For what it’s worth, some of these sophomores are eligible for the NFL Draft, having been out of high school for at least three years. The draft-eligible sophomore pool includes quarterback Cam Rising and running back Tavion Thomas.

“There are quite a few guys in one place, subclasses that don’t know what they’re going to do yet,” Covey said.

One of those players Covey alluded to is fifth-year junior defensive end Mika Tafua, a two-time All-Pac-12 selection who is heading for a third honor this fall. Tafua, the Pac-12 leader in the sacks with 8.5, said on Monday he was not sure if he would walk on Seniors Day.

Among Whittingham’s non-seniors, fifth-year junior linebacker Devin Lloyd technically has one more year of eligibility, but has already accepted an invitation to the Senior Bowl and is screened as a first-round pick in the NFL Draft. April 28.

Another fifth-year junior with a season of eligibility remaining, all-round All-Pac-12 offensive lineman Nick Ford, is also expected to declare himself for the NFL Draft.

Lloyd, Ford and All-Pac-12 tight end Brant Kuithe, Utah’s main receiver in 2018, 2019 and 2020, all flirted with the idea of ​​dropping out of school for the NFL Draft there. was a year before the three finally decided to return.

Whittingham remains in favor of 12-team college football playoffs, if not more

The fact that Whittingham had been a strong supporter of an extension of the college football playoffs returned around Monday after what his team had done less than two days earlier.

Utah’s 38-7 victory over No.3 Oregon knocked the Ducks and, by extension, the Pac-12, out of the PSC. The conference will be excluded from the four-team event for the fifth consecutive season, with only two Pac-12 teams, 2014 Oregon and 2016 Washington, have already qualified.

“The Pac-12, we’ve been saying this for many years now, is very competitive, very balanced,” said Whittingham. “No one has had this breakthrough year where you walk through the league without a spot, through the season undefeated. That’s about what it takes with the four-game format.

The proposed formats for the 12-team playoffs, including one that guarantees entry to every Power Five champion, have been talked about for months. Such a format would solve the Pac-12’s problem of being kicked out every year, while potentially having the Pac-12 Championship Game finalist in the mix for a general spot in a few years.

Changes to the CFP format could happen before the end of the year, but would not take effect until 2024.

Whittingham has expressed support for 12 teams in the past but, citing more money up for grabs, ultimately believes the future will see it expand even further to at least 16.

“I think sixteen would be ideal, but 12 is a step in the right direction,” said Whittingham. “I think 16 would be the ultimate, but it’s not going to go down there right away from what I understand.”

Devin Lloyd named Butkus Prize finalist

Lloyd was named a finalist for the Butkus Prize, awarded annually to the nation’s top linebacker, on Monday. Lloyd was also a finalist for the Butkus Award in 2020 as Utah only played a five-game season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The other finalists are Darrian Beavers of Cincinnati, Leo Chenal of Wisconsin, Damone Clark of LSU, Nakobe Dean of Georgia and Chad Muma of Wyoming.

The Butkus Award, named in honor of the College Football Hall of Fame and Professional Football Hall of Fame linebacker Dick Butkus, will be presented by the Butkus Foundation no later than December 7.

Lloyd is also a semi-finalist for the Bednarik Award, presented annually by the Maxwell Club to the country’s best defensive player, but the finalists have yet to be announced. The honor will be presented on December 9 as part of ESPN’s College Football Awards Show.


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