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Britain Covey breathing rare air for the Utes

Covey’s 902 career punt return yards surpasses the mark held by LaVon Edwards, who recorded 892 career punt return yards during his Utes career

Utah Utes wide receiver Britain Covey carries the ball during season opener at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City.
Utah Utes wide receiver Britain Covey carries the ball during season opener at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City on Thursday, Sept. 2, 2021. On Saturday, against Washington State, Covey became the Utes’ all-time leader in punt return yardage.
Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

Utah’s Britain Covey is now the school’s all-time leader in punt return yardage.

Covey accomplished the feat during the Utes’ 24-13 victory over Washington State last Saturday. He broke the record during a return in the fourth quarter.

Covey has 902 career punt return yards, surpassing the mark held by LaVon Edwards (1988-91), who recorded 892 career punt return yards.

Earlier this season, Covey amassed 132 punt return yards, including an 80-yard touchdown, against San Diego State, which was a career-high and the most in the FBS this season. It ranks sixth all-time at Utah for a single game.

Britain Covey is a weapon for us. We know what he can do in the punt return game,” coach Kyle Whittingham said after the SDSU game. “That’s no secret, that’s no surprise. That’s what he’s been doing his whole career here.”

Weekly awards

Three Utah players earned weekly awards from the Reese’s Senior Bowl and the Pac-12 Conference.

Linebacker Devin Lloyd was named defensive player of the week by the Senior Bowl, while Van Fillinger was tabbed the defensive line player of the week and linebacker Karene Reid was selected as the freshman of the week by the Pac-12.

In the Utes’ win over Washington State, Lloyd recorded eight tackles, one sack and an interception. Fillinger had three sacks, the first of his career, against the Cougars.

In making his first career start, Reid collected 15 tackles, a sack and an interception.

Markgraf honored

Nominated by Utah as the team’s best scholar-athlete, long snapper Keegan Markgraf was announced as a 2021 semifinalist for the William V. Campbell Trophy.

It is given annually by the National Football Foundation to the nation’s top football scholar-athlete.

Markgraf maintains a 3.83 GPA in economics.

Past winners of the award include Peyton Manning (Tennessee), Chad Pennington (Marshall), Tim Tebow (Florida), Justin Herbert (Oregon) and last year’s recipient Brady White from Memphis.

Mental Health Week

The University of Utah will participate in College Football Mental Health Week (Oct. 2-9) alongside more than 55 other schools around the country.

The week is organized by Hilinski’s Hope — the foundation Kym and Mark Hilinski started in honor of their son Tyler (former Washington State quarterback) who died by suicide.

Utah will be participating in activities through the week to honor Tyler Hilinski and others who are suffering.