Timpview vs Woods Cross 10

Timpview quarterback Britian Covey scrambles for yards during the UHSAA 4A semifinal game between Timpview and Woods Cross at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake Ciy on Friday, Nov. 14, 2014. Timpview won the game 41-13. IAN MAULE, Daily Herald

BYU may have had genealogy on its side, but Utah had the Pac-12 and for Timpview’s Britain Covey, the opportunity to succeed in Salt Lake City was enough to get him to pass on playing in Provo.

Covey explained why he chose Utah over BYU.

“Utah offered me first, actually a while before any other schools did and I got to know them a little bit better and I got excited about it,” Covey said. “I still love BYU but I wanted to best thing for me.”

Covey helped Timpview complete a perfect season with a 28-7 win over Roy in the state 4A title game. He finished the season with 2,600 yards passing and completed 72 percent of his passes. He threw for 30 touchdowns but he was more dangerous as a runner. He rushed for 1,775 yards on scored 26 touchdowns. He averaged 9.6 yards per carry.

Covey, who is 5-foot-9, has exceptional quickness and made a living at making defensive players miss. It is his creative elusiveness that attracted Utah, BYU, Utah State and Harvard, all of which believe he can make an impact at the next level as a slot receiver.

“I’m going to go hard to try and be on punt and kick returns next year and I hope I can get some reps in a receiver,” Covey said. “I think they want to use me in the slot. They want to get the ball to me in space with bubble screens and fly sweeps and things like that which I’m really excited about.”

Covey’s older brother Stephen was also a quarterback at Timpview. After a redshirt season and a church mission, Stephen Covey suited up as a Cougar at the slot receiver before a back injury cut his career short in 2009.

Britain Covey plans on playing for Utah next year before taking a two-year break to serve a church mission.

“The bottom line was I knew that if I went to Utah I would have no regrets and I don’t know if I could say the same thing about other schools. I felt so good about the program, the facilities and the area. It’s just a good overall fit for me,” Covey said. “A couple of other things were big for me.  I had the chance to go into the locker room before the Oregon and the USC game and it was it hyped atmosphere. I got to feel what Pac-12 football was about and it made me excited for college football. It was nothing against BYU, I just loved Utah.”

Covey is the second Utah Valley player to commit to Utah. The Utes also got a commitment from American Fork lineman James Empey, who played both sides of the line for the Cavemen and was a Daily Herald Elite 11 player.

Empey opened many rushing lanes for running back Zach Katoa, who committed to play for Oregon State. Katoa rushed for 1,685 yards and scored 25 touchdowns as he helped the Cavemen reach the state 5A title game.

Katoa said he decided on Oregon State over Utah State after making a campus visit to Corvallis.

“I loved the town and the school. I really loved the fans and felt like it would be a really good fit for me,” he said.  “One of the things I was impressed with was how much they care about the players and they are a  Pac -12 school who plays really good competition.”

OSU will have to be patient with Katoa, who said he plans on serving a church mission before resuming his football career.

American Fork linebacker Nick Bernardo also made a decision on his future. He committed to play for Southern Utah.

The most sought after player in Utah Valley is still undecided. Salem Hills’ Porter Gustin got a visit from Ohio State coach Urban Meyer on Tuesday night.

Meyer attended Gustin’s basketball game before he made a recruiting pitch in Gustin’s home.

“He was very impressive. I don’t know if Porter was ready for that. It opened things back up pretty good,” said Salem Hills coach Joel Higginson. “His (Meyer) whole approach was telling Porter that Ohio State has proven it can win. He told him, ‘Some coaches have faith that they can get there but I’ve proven that I can.’ ”

Gustin is most interested in USC, Arizona State and Ohio State. Utah may not have a shot at him -- he is scheduled to visit Utah on Thursday.  Gustin will announce his decision on Tuesday at 11 a.m. at a planned pep assembly at the high school. The official signing day is on Wednesday.

​Daily Herald sports writer Neil K. Warner can be reached at nwarner@heraldextra.com.

Twitter: @theGreatZuke

Neil K. Warner has been a sports writer for 25 years. He is the author of four books and is also known as the Great Zuke. He primarily covers Preps, Utah Valley University and BYU.

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