Six Utah Football Players Named To Athlon Preseason All-Pac-12 Teams

Jun 23, 2020, 12:56 PM
Brant Kuithe - Utah Utes vs. UCLA Bruins...
Utah Utes tight end Brant Kuithe (80) celebrates after a catch and run as Utah and UCLA play a college football game in Salt Lake City at Rice Eccles Stadium on Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019. (Scott G Winterton, Deseret News)
(Scott G Winterton, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The University of Utah had six of their players receive preseason recognition from Athlon Sports leading up to the 2020 college football season.

Athlon Sports released their college football preview magazine which includes the preseason All-Pac-12 list and Utah has six players represented on the lists.

Britain Covey was listed twice as an all-purpose player and a punt returner. He is on the first team as a punt returner and second team as an all-purpose player.

First Team

Junior tight end Brant Kuithe made the first team as the only tight end in the Pac-12 on the preseason All-Pac-12 first team. Last season, Kuithe caught 34 passes for 602 yards and 6 touchdowns. He also ran for 102 yards on six carries and 3 touchdowns. The Katy, Texas native was named second team All-Pac-12 after a breakout sophomore campaign.

One of the many weapons at Britain Covey’s disposal is his punt return ability. Last season, Covey returned 9 punts for 69 yards in just four games before sitting out the rest of the season to recover from a knee injury. In 2018 as a sophomore, Covey returned 25 punts for 221 yards. As a true freshman in 2017, he had 21 punt returns for 246 yards and one touchdown.

Notable names that made the first team preseason All-Pac-12 list included USC quarterback Kedon Slovis, Oregon running back C.J. Verdell, Oregon State RB Jermar Jefferson, all-purpose back Max Borghi from Washington State, USC wide receiver duo Amon-Ra St. Brown and Tyler Vaughns along with former Desert Hills and current Oregon star lineman Penei Sewell.

On defense, former Bingham star and USC defensive tackle Jay Tufele, Oregon defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux, Colorado LB Nate Landman, Oregon State linebacker Hamilcar Rashed Jr., Washington cornerback Elijah Molden and Oregon safety Jevon Holland.

Second Team

Utah would’ve benefited greatly last season if they had a healthy Britain Covey available but in 2020, he is critical to Utah’s success. Last season, he caught 10 passes for 77 yards while running the ball 3 times for 22 yards in four games. In three seasons for the Utes, Covey has 113 receptions for 1,233 yards and 5 touchdowns while carrying the ball 30 times for 198 yards.

Center Orlando Umana will be expected to be a leader on the Utes’ offensive line that now has experience under their belt. Umana was a Pac-12 honorable mention last season after starting 12 games. He played 14 games on the offensive line in 2018 as a sophomore.

Offensive lineman Nick Ford will also be relied on to lead the o-line group for Utah. In 2018 as a redshirt freshman, Ford played in 11 games with 7 starts. Last season, he started all 14 games, 13 at right guard and the opener against BYU at right tackle. He received All-Conference honorable mention recognition.

With 9 starters from last season gone, defensive end Mika Tafua will be a leader for a young defensive unit for the Utes. The Pac-12 honorable mention had four fumble recoveries along with 8.5 tackles for loss and 3 sacks.

Notable names on offense that made the second team around the conference included Arizona State quarterback Jayden Daniels, wide receiver Frank Darby and Stanford offensive lineman Walker Little.

On defense, Oregon defensive lineman Jordon Scott, safety Brady Breeze, California linebacker Kuony Deng and safety Elijah Hicks are notable players that were named to the second team.

Third Team

Along with Tafua, linebacker Devin Lloyd is the only other returning defense starter from 2019. He had a breakout season as a redshirt sophomore with 91 tackles, 6.5 sacks and 11 tackles for loss last season. Lloyd was named All-Pac-12 honorable mention.

Notable names on offense for the third team included California quarterback Chase Garbers, Colorado running back Alex Fontenot, UCLA all-purpose back Demetric Felton, Washington State wide receiver Tay Martin and Oregon wide receiver Johnny Johnson III.

On defense, UCLA defensive lineman Osa Odighizuwa, Arizona linebacker Colin Schooler, California LB Cameron Goode and Arizona State cornerback Jack Jones.

Trevor Allen is a Utah Utes Insider for KSLSports.com and host of the Crimson Corner podcast. Follow him on Twitter: @TrevorASportsYou can download and listen to the podcast, here.

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