He’s also a great leader. I guess that’s just expected when you have the last name ‘Covey,’ and he’s a leader in every way for us. He has that ability to know when it’s time to work and be serious, but also when you can relax and have fun. – Britain Covey

PROVO — Off the field, Timpview's Britain Covey may not look the part of a superstar football player.

But on the field, it's an entirely different story.

During his incredible 26-game stretch as the Thunderbirds' starting quarterback, the 5-foot-10, 170-pound senior sliced and diced opponents to the tune of 7,396 yards of total offense and 100 touchdowns. More importantly, he led his school to 26 consecutive wins and a pair of 4A state championships.

As a result of his efforts, Covey has been named the Deseret News Mr. Football recipient for the 2014 season.

“He’s a one-man offensive machine,” said Timpview coach Cary Whittingham. “What he’s able to do on the field is unlike anything I’ve coached, and he does it just about every time he‘s out there. He’s a one-of-a-kind talent and truly a special athlete.”

Since arriving on the Timpview varsity scene, Covey has employed a rare combination of quickness, speed and smarts, allowing him to play bigger and rise higher than just about anyone in the state.

As with most top athletes, however, simply being uniquely athletic is only part of the equation.

“He’s remarkably tough for someone of his size,” Whittingham said. “He’s also a great leader. I guess that’s just expected when you have the last name ‘Covey,’ and he’s a leader in every way for us. He has that ability to know when it’s time to work and be serious, but also when you can relax and have fun.”

With regard to his toughness on the field, a big part of the credit should go to his older brothers Stephen and Christian Covey.

Britain grew up idolizing his two older brothers, who both played quarterback for Timpview, and he would often find himself competing with Christian, who was four years older.

Those competitions didn’t always turn out so well.

“Christian would always bring over one of his friends and they’d just kill me. ... They were twice as big as me and they would show me no mercy,” Britain said. “But I think it taught me from an early age how to play against people who are bigger and stronger.”

Beginning with the second grade, his father Stephen started coaching him in flag football, which is where Britain began to show he had the tools — superior speed, quickness and passion — for playing quarterback.

“I knew I wanted to play quarterback almost from the time I first started to pick up a football,” Britain said. “I love everything about the position, and yeah, it was the position my brothers played, so I’m sure that was a big part of it as well.”

Covey played quarterback most years up until the time he was a sophomore in high school. It was then that two of his biggest desires crossed paths and didn’t exactly mesh with one another.

First and foremost was his desire to play at the varsity level, but with senior Jake Lloyd manning the starting quarterback spot, Covey knew he’d have to find a different position to see playing time. Fortunately coaches saw immediately the need to get him on the field.

“We could see right away that he could do some really good things with the ball in his hands,” Whittingham said. “So that first year he did real well returning kicks and playing receiver.”

Covey caught 14 passes and scored five touchdowns his sophomore year in 2012, and was ready for more in 2013. But where he’d play hadn't yet been determined.

“I knew I wanted to play quarterback, but I also just wanted to play and play as much as possible,” Covey said.

Leading up to the 2013 season Covey found himself splitting practice reps with Preston Brown and Isaiah Holloway at quarterback. Coaches decided that he'd split time at both quarterback and receiver.

That plan only lasted two games.

An early-season loss to Pleasant Grove led coaches to move Covey to quarterback full time, and he responded by leading Timpview to 12 straight wins and a 4A state championship.

"It was something we knew going in that would probably play out like it did," Whittingham said. "It became apparent early on that Covey needed to be the guy, so we made the move and he responded very well."

Come 2014 the starting quarterback spot was all his, and despite being the team's lone returning offensive starter, he rallied his teammates to form yet another prolific offense.

"He's a guy that teammates really respond well to with how he works and how he leads," Whittingham said. "I think you really saw that this last year when we didn't have a lot of returning guys."

"I actually think it helped that we lost a lot of guys because no one went in entitled to anything," Covey said. "It kept us humble and working hard and it also kept us hungry despite winning two straight championships. And the reason I'm getting the awarded of Mr. Football really is more of a credit to all of them than it is to me. It's their reward."

With his remarkable high school career behind him, Covey now looks to the future, where he'll again work to prove he belongs given the limitations of his stature. He'll likely work to prove himself again at receiver, and is currently considering all options, including two scholarship offers from BYU and Utah.

"I'm excited for the opportunity and a new challenge," he said. "It's exciting to be at this point and it's a credit to so many people who have helped me along the way. There's seriously at least 50 guys I could name and I'm very thankful for all of them."

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As for Whittingham, he'll certainly miss having his star QB around.

"I really don't know how you replace Britain Covey," the coach said. "The simple answer is you don't. With everything he brought in athletically and with his leadership, you don't ever really replace that and he'll be missed. But it was a great pleasure to coach him and he certainly has a bright future ahead of him."

Email: bgurney@desnews.com

Twitter: @BrandonCGurney

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