SALT LAKE CITY — As part of an annual Thanksgiving tradition, the Ute football players each approached Utah coach Kyle Whittingham after practice Thursday and told him something they’re thankful for.
The answers ranged from “the team” and “coaches” (Whittingham definitely liked that response) to “academic advisors” (he liked this one even better) and Britain Covey’s humorous exclamation that he’s happy to still have some hair left on his head.
Whittingham joked back at his multipurpose athlete, “Little bit of hair. It’s going fast.”
The Utah football program posted some snippets of the heartwarming moment on social media.
Whittingham has plenty to be thankful for this special team, which is 10-1, ranked No. 6 and on the verge of an invitation to the Rose Bowl or College Football Playoff semifinals.
A college football analytics website tweeted out one fun fact that certainly ranks high on Whitt’s to-be-thankful-for list.
Senior Zack Moss is the nation’s highest-graded running back through 11 weeks of action.
Moss, the Utes’ all-time leading rusher, grades out at 92.2, which puts him ahead of Wisconsin’s Jonathan Taylor (91.2), Boston College’s A.J. Dillon (91.2), Clemson’s Travis Etienne (90.2) and Oklahoma State’s Chuba Hubbard (89.0).
Moss also earned a spot on PFF’s Eckrich National Team of the Week after rushing for 203 yards and a touchdown in Utah’s 35-7 win at Arizona.
Moss has rushed for 1,158 yards and 14 TDs this season while averaging 6.4 yards a carry.
• Who needs pie when you get a birthday cake like this?
“I’m thankful for having a strong, hardworking, loving and beautiful mother like you. Thank you for all the sacrifices you made and for not giving me what I WANTED but what I NEEDED in life.”
• Fox Sports analyst Joel Klatt, who has the Utes ranked No. 4: “Right now, you don’t want to play @utahfootball.”
• Taysom Hill wasn’t the only former Utah college standout to have a good Thanksgiving on the gridiron. Former Utah defensive lineman Star Lotulelei had an interception in Buffalo’s big win over Dallas.
AND FINALLY ...
Moss was one of the 20 players Whittingham thanked on Thanksgiving Day — and will thank again Saturday on Senior Day (5:30 p.m. kickoff vs. Colorado).