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There's a highlight video from Britain Covey's junior and senior seasons in which he scores touchdowns for 8 minutes straight — the length of "Stairway to Heaven," or the time it takes to bake a small pizza.

There's no filler between snaps. No celebrations. Defenders zig and Covey zags until he reaches the goal line and starts over.

It's mesmerizing.

But it's not this video that sold Utah on Covey. Instead, Utah coaches reviewed the plays on which Covey WAS brought to the turf — when he bounced right back up.

"You could tell he was a tough kid," said special teams coordinator Morgan Scalley, part of the joint decision to offer a scholarship despite widespread doubts about the Timpview quarterback's ability to withstand Division I hits.

Doubters remain, but Covey has seized a major role as Utah's No. 1 punt returner and co-starting slot receiver. At 5'8, 166 pounds, Covey now hopes to show that he's more than a curiosity: He's a handful.

His bid to earn playing time as a true freshman began three weeks after he led a Thunderbird three-peat last November, when Covey — who knew Kyle Whittingham to be a stickler for ball security — decided to first master the art of catching punts.

His father ordered a JUGS machine on Amazon, and the Coveys invited BYU's Scott Arrellano to punt to Britain at Timpview and in the large grass field behind their house.

To add an element of suspense, Covey's brother Stephen, a onetime BYU slot receiver whose career was cut short by injury, bought a "super loud" air horn that he'd sneak up and blow intermittently during Covey's daily dose of 60 to 100 punts.

Timpview quarterback Dallen Engemann joined the effort, throwing to Covey while he honed his routes, and former Philadelphia Eagles receiver and return specialist Reno Mahe stopped by to share a few tips.

Covey's relationship with Mahe — whom he describes amiably as "classic" — began before Covey's junior season. The Coveys knew Britain would play quarterback, like his older brothers, but they also knew that wasn't his ultimate future.

So they asked the BYU legend for help.

Mahe had heard of Covey and was happy to pitch in, but he laughs at the suggestion that he has had much to do with Covey's success.

"There is something special about that kid," Mahe said. "He has a lot going for him. You rarely meet guys like him."

Utah began to see that firsthand after Covey reported for summer conditioning. He took every opportunity to catch extra passes or punts, he explained with his characteristic earnestness, "because I could use all the help I could get."

So can Utah, seeking a replacement for All-American punt returner and leading receiver Kaelin Clay.

For the uninitiated, this is what Covey does: He sees openings before they emerge and attacks those soon-to-be openings ferociously.

"My cuts aren't as cool or as shifty as some guys' are, but I feel like they're more effective, because I can do them at full speed, and I get upfield on them," he said.

It's long been the general idea that his success was a reflection of his competition, Stephen said.

In seventh grade, they heard that it wouldn't fly in eighth grade, and so on until Covey became Timpview's quarterback as a junior.

But even the Covey camp thought there might be some truth to the naysaying this time: Stephen figured it'd be midyear before Covey — who plans to serve an LDS mission after this season — earned playing time as a wideout.

Mahe, at least, is not surprised. "He's not just going to be a player in the Pac-12," he said. "He's going to be a force to be reckoned with."

Covey never sustained a major injury at Timpview. Head coach Cary Whittingham, Kyle's brother, said reports of a concussion during the 2013 4A title game were "overstated," because the trainer deemed Covey OK. But the sheer physics of Pac-12 football are undeniable: He will be pursued now by much bigger, faster people.

"Sometimes it's the luck of the draw," Whittingham said. "He's pretty good at avoiding those big hits in high school, but this is a different level of talent he's going against, where you may be taking those hits."

Dark as it may be, the uncertainty adds to the intrigue that made Covey one of the media's most-requested players during fall camp.

He gets it. His grandfather was the Stephen Covey behind "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People," and "I'm from this area, and I'm a small, little white slot receiver. I think it's just unique and not that common."

To his new teammates, who hadn't seen The Video, he was just another guy who scored a lot of touchdowns in high school. At first. He gained some respect with a 4.4-second 40-yard dash (showing he's more than just "quick," as he's often labeled) and he learned every player's name and made a connection with them.

That's not a tactic, Stephen said, it's a gift. Once, when Covey was 12 or 13, he called out to an elderly man at a golf course, "Hey, OJ!" and the man called back "Hey, Britty, how's it going?"

In response to Stephen's quizzical look, he explained that he'd seen that "OJ" had no partner the day prior and offered to join him, making fast friends.

"Age differences have never bothered him," Stephen said. "He's always been able to have relationships with older people."

He's also quick to credit others — like Arrellano, Engemann, Mahe and sixth-year senior Kenneth Scott — for his achievements, and to ask for advice.

Already, teammates grin widely when they walk past. Something about the sight of Covey, this 18-year-old kid they've known for a few months, improves their mood.

He's showing that he can lift people up.

Next, we'll see if anybody can bring him down.

Twitter: @matthew_piper —

Britain Covey

Vitals • 5-foot-8, 166 pounds, No. 18

High school • Led Timpview to three straight state championships, playing receiver as a sophomore and then going 26-0 with 100 touchdowns as a quarterback during his junior and senior years. Earned offers from BYU, Harvard and Utah State. Also played basketball.

Family • Is the grandson of "Seven Habits of Highly Effective People" author Stephen R. Covey and the younger brother of former Timpview star quarterbacks Stephen and Christian.