Red All Over: Ute playmaker Britain Covey is back on the field, doing more than expected on Day 1

Chris Detrick | The Salt Lake Tribune USC Trojans defensive tackle Cody Temple (98) tackles Utah Utes wide receiver Britain Covey (18) during the game at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum Saturday October 24, 2015.

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Utah receiver Britain Covey met his short-term goal of participating Wednesday in the team’s first practice of preseason camp, giving himself a chance of playing in the Utes’ season opener Aug. 29 at BYU.

The only reports of a Utah player's availability come from the coaching staff. Coach Kyle Whittingham said Covey is “on a pitch count,” limiting his participation in camp. Offensive coordinator Andy Ludwig said Covey “didn't take every rep, but he got a good workload.”

Offensive lineman Bamidele Olaseni is Utah’s biggest other personnel variable. Whittingham said the latest plan is for Olaseni to arrive next Wednesday, after completing academic work at Garden City (Kan.) Community College.

This week’s biggest news is the retirement of linebacker Manny Bowen, a graduate transfer from Penn State, who was expected to become a star in Utah’s scheme. Devin Lloyd is eager to replace him; the next issue is Utah’s depth behind Lloyd and Francis Bernard.

Football scheduling news is always a case of delayed gratification, but Utah’s home-and-home series with Arkansas in 2026 and ’28 is a major development. The accompanying question is whether Utah will play BYU in ’26, with Houston and Arkansas on the schedule.

The Pac-12 Football Media Day last week was my first opportunity to check in with Ute running back Zack Moss since he was injured in November. He’s ready to run.

In the follow-up from the Hollywood session, I looked closely at Utah’s first two conference opponents. USC will be a big challenge at the historic Coliseum in Los Angeles and, based on recent history, Washington State will be a tough test at Rice-Eccles Stadium in September.

Utah basketball player Donnie Tillman entered the NCAA transfer portal nearly two months ago, but Tillman’s signing with UNLV this week coincided with guard Naseem Gaskin’s deciding to transfer. Tribune columnist Gordon Monson analyzes the trend of coach Larry Krystkowiak’s program.

Ute gymnastics star MyKayla Skinner has finalized her plans to defer her senior year of school to 2020-21 while pursuing a U.S. Olympic team berth in 2020.

Other voices

Christopher Kamrani of The Athletic picks Utah’s all-time team of the Pac-12 era (ATH).

Pac-12 expert Jon Wilner examines the South division’s outlook (MERC).

Dirk Facer of the Deseret News discusses Utah’s outstanding defensive line (DNEWS).

Around campus

• Dr. Clint Norseth’s job as the athletic department’s coordinator of mental performance starts Thursday. He has worked at Utah State and BYU the past two years and will be involved with both mental health and mental performance, the subject that once was known as sport psychology.

• The popular Utah Red Zone Fan Fest, an opportunity to meet athletes and coaches from all 19 varsity sports, is scheduled Aug. 17 from 6-8 p.m. at Rice-Eccles Stadium. Admission is free.