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Utah Utes football: Whittingham indicates that Huntley, Moss and Covey are ‘ready to roll’

Utah kicks off the season Thursday at BYU.

Utah’s Zack Moss looks for daylight during a game against BYU at Rice-Eccles Stadium in 2016.
Utah’s Zack Moss looks for daylight during a game against BYU at Rice-Eccles Stadium in 2016.
Spenser Heaps, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah coach Kyle Whittingham said that quarterback Tyler Huntley, running back Zack Moss and wide receiver Britain Covey, who suffered season-ending injuries late in the 2018 campaign, are looking good as Thursday’s opener at BYU approaches.

“They will be ready to roll. We are looking forward to having them back,” said Utah coach Kyle Whittingham. “That is a lot of offensive production that you just mentioned and it is great to have them back.”

Although Huntley’s status for the game hasn’t been in question, the same couldn’t be said for Moss and Covey. Utah’s team policy is to not comment on injuries unless they are season-ending.

Whittingham, however, offered some insight at his weekly press conference Monday. Both topped the depth chart that was released.

“They are both really good players and Zack Moss, we like to establish the run — that will never change. Zack is one of the best backs in the country in our opinion, so he is certainly going to get his share of touches,” Whittingham said. “Covey is our leading receiver returning, so yeah to answer your question, they will be a big part of the offense.”

FRIENDS MORE THAN FOES: Whittingham acknowledged that he has a good friendship with BYU coach Kalani Sitake, a former Utah assistant.

“We spend a lot of time together in the offseason, we have a lot in common as far as how we think, and similar personality-wise,” Whittingham said. “One of my earliest memories of him is when I interviewed him. Gary Andersen said: ‘Here is a guy I want you to take a look at’ for a spot on the staff, but didn’t necessarily say where.”

Sitake had spent much of his early career coaching offense.

“We spent a couple of hours talking that day and we hit it off right away,” Whittingham said. “I just really enjoyed his personality and his attitude.”

EXTRA POINTS: Whittingham explained that Tareke Lewis had edged out Josh Nurse for the starting cornerback spot opposite Jaylon Johnson. Both Lewis and Nurse, though, will play against BYU. ... The four players in the mix to get carries at running back include Moss, Devonta’e Henry-Cole, Jordan Wilmore and Devin Brumfield. ... Whittingham’s remarks began with a tribute to retiring Deseret News sports columnist Brad Rock.