BAM! NCAA Gives Utes Green Light For British Invasion

Oct 1, 2019, 10:32 AM
Utah Utes football helmet...
General view of a Utah Utes football helmet during the Utes game at Rice-Eccles Stadium on November 11, 2017 in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr/Getty Images)
(Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Utah football team is about to get a boost to its offensive line. A big boost.

Listed at 6’7″, 337 pounds and boasting an 88-inch wingspan, Bamidele Olaseni was one of Coach Kyle Whittingham’s prize recruits this past February.

“He looks huge,” coach Whittingham said after his team defeated Washington State on Saturday night. “Doesn’t he look good in that uniform? Gigantic.”

On Saturday he dressed for a game for the first time since arriving in Salt Lake City from Garden City Community College in Kansas where he was a JUCO All-American.

Prior to playing with Garden City, “Bam” was a standout for the London Blitz U19 team of the British American Football Association.

The London native’s debut with the Utes has been on hold while the NCAA did some digging to determine the amount of eligibility he had remaining. Whittingham and the Utes finally have some answers. When he sees his first in-game action is being strategically determined by Whittingham and his staff.

“We got the information back from the NCAA. He’s going to have one less year than we thought. He’s going to have two years to play one,” Whittingham informed the media in his post-game remarks.

With seven regular-season games left on the Utes schedule, Olaseni could play in four of those games and still have a full year of eligibility with the Utes in 2020.

“He’s going to be in the rotation right now. We’re going to get him up to speed the next few weeks and then pick our four games and pick our spots where we want to utilize him. So that worked out probably as good as we could have hoped for,” Whittingham said.

Covey’s Season Could Be Done

Coach Whittingham also indicated in his post-game press conference that Utes wide receiver Britain Covey may not play again this season.

“It’s up in the air right now. Went through the first four weeks as you all probably could tell he wasn’t himself. He’s just not who he is. He doesn’t have that lightning quickness and speed that make him the weapon that he was prior,” Whittingham said.

The option of using a redshirt season for Covey has not been ruled out. The Utes will be monitoring Covey’s health on a week to week basis with a final decision coming soon.

“At some point, there will be a point of no return,” Whittingham said. “Probably another two or three games beyond now we’ll make a final decision.”

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BAM! NCAA Gives Utes Green Light For British Invasion