Timpview High School is home to four players being courted by BYU. One, Stephen Covey, has already committed to the Cougars. Covey recently evaluated himself and his Timpview teammates for TBS and gives his projection on the likelihood of the Thunderbird Four riding together again at LaVell Edwards Stadium next season.
BYU has offered full ride scholarships to four Thunderbirds of Timpview High School. They are QB Stephen Covey, RB Harvey Unga, OL Matt Reynolds and WR Luke Ashworth. These four young men lead their team to victory against the Scarlet Knights of Lone Peak last Friday in the winner-take-all state championship game.
As a 5'11" quarterback, who really serves as a duel pass and run threat, Covey had shown a "Domanesque" like mentality when it came to leading Timpview's football team throughout the season. Recruited by BYU as an athlete, Covey has shown both heart and skill on the football field and racked up some pretty gaudy numbers along the way.
"I'm like at around 2300 passing for the season. I scored 30 passing touchdowns and 10 rushing. Rushing I'm close to 900 right now," said Covey. "Last year I was like at 1700 (passing). This year in comparison to last year, I ran the ball a lot more last year than I did this year, and that's because I have Harvey Unga as my running back. My coach is like why run me when we have Harvey Unga in the backfield.
"I have around 5 or 6 interceptions, and yards per carry, I think I'm around 9 yards a carry. It helps a lot when you have big Matt Reynolds in front of you."
By the time his senior campaign is completed, Covey will have amassed over 3,200 all purpose yards and 40 touchdowns in a single season.
BYU came calling and Covey has committed to play football for BYU fulfilling his childhood dream.
"It's kind of always been a dream to play for BYU, especially at the quarterback position," Covey confessed. "It's close to home and most of family has gone to BYU. I like program and I like the coaches there, but I don't know what's going to happen there now.
"I feel like he's [Crowton] had the worst luck ever. It just seems like when things go bad, they just do, and, I don't know, I think if he just got some good breaks things would be different. I think BYU should realistically have only lost 3 games this year. I like coach Crowton a lot and that would definitely make me sad if he wasn't there because he's been watching me over the years. I don't know, just the program as a whole, I've always wanted to go there. I've always wanted to go there and the coaches are important but it's mostly the program."
Crowton saw the talent and potential in Covey grow as he followed the prep star's progression over the years.
"Well coach Crowton, his son was on my team my freshman and sophomore years so he went to a lot of those games and saw me play there, Covey said. "Then I went to a lot of the BYU camps and over this summer I went to the BYU camp and half the day I went quarterback and the half I went defensive back with Bronco Mendenhall. They had sent me letters and I had sent them my tape and they said they were going to keep a good eye on me this year. After the first day I went to the camp, they offered me a scholarship because they really liked what they saw in me that first day. They said that I was a lot faster and quicker in person and a lot bigger than they thought I was on tape," said Covey.
BYU coaches told Covey he would get a shot at playing quarterback for BYU, but Covey will do what ever coaches ask of him to help the team succeed.
"Yeah, that's what they told me and they are going to let me tryout at quarterback to see how I like it, and me personally, that's what I want to do, and I know that I'm not as tall as others but I'm hoping that I'll grow when I go on my mission," said the confident young athlete. "I'm 5'11" right now but I hope I can grow a couple more inches. If I can help BYU out by playing defensive back and if I can start eventually, I would actually love to do it. It would be kind of nice to play something other than quarterback one time because then there wouldn't be as much pressure, and it would just be fun to hit someone once in awhile."
Another key cog in Thunderbird Four is Tongan running back Harvey Unga. A deceptive running back fashioned after the mold of former BYU great, Lakei Hemula.
"Harvey [Unga] is around 1300 or 1400 yards rushing," said Covey. "Harvey has around 20 rushing touchdowns and 1 receiving touchdown. Yeah, he's been offered by Coach Reynolds at BYU and also Utah. He [Unga] likes Oregon too, but I'm pretty sure it's between BYU and Utah."
Covey continued: "Without Harvey, both my junior and senior years, I wouldn't have half as many rushing yards. He's the one that opens up the holes for me because half the opposing defense is focused on him. He's one of the greatest team players. He doesn't care what stats he gets. All he cares about is helping the team win as much as possible, and I love the guy. He and I are really good friends on and off the field."
The third member of the group is wide receiver Luke Ashworth, an all around athlete that BYU offered over the summer in 2004.
"I think Luke is the best athlete I've ever met in my entire life," said Covey. "He does everything. He's fast, strong and what ever the coaches tell him to do, he'll do it. He's a really hard worker. In the off-season, we worked out a lot in the off-season throwing balls all summer. He's a funny guy too. He can be funny and make you laugh and yet at the same time he can be serious. He just one of those guys that's really loyal that you just like to be around him.
"He's got good stats also. He has around 1200 receiving with 12 TD's. I mean some of the catches he made this year really made me look better. Some of the throws I made where off or I've thrown into double coverage, and I know I'm throwing into double coverage but it's Luke, and I have so much faith he's going to make the catch. You need to have a receiver like him.
"Luke is one of those unselfish players that, as a receiver, doesn't care much about how many yards he gets, how many touchdowns he makes or how much of anything. All he wants to do is help the team win, and he's one of those receivers that will block for me down the field instead of taking the play off. That's what I love about Harvey and Luke is they're always just doing all that they can to help the team out and they are just great players."
Rated a four star recruit by Scout.com, the fourth and final member of the "Thunderbird Four" is offensive and defensive linemen Matt Reynolds. Reynolds is considered one of the top linemen on the west coast.
"He's got around 50 tackles on defense. I don't know how many sacks he has though. I love Matt. He's definitely one of the leaders on our team. He's definitely the leader of our lineman and he gets them going and stuff. I mean, I can't say enough about Matt. I only know of one play the entire year where he missed his guy, and every play, like when he pulls for counters, he crushes his guy. It's just incredible to watch him play.
"On defense he has to be double or tripled teamed on every play or he'll get in and make the sack. He's a lineman so he's one of those team players you know. I wish we could get him the ball and get him a touchdown because he deserves it."
Despite all four having received scholarship offers, only three will take official recruiting trips to BYU.
"I know Matt [Reynold], Luke [Ashworth] and Harvey [Unga] are all going [to visit BYU] and I kind of wish I was too, but Crowton asked me not to take a trip since I've already committed, and I'm fine with that," he said.
Despite the turbulence in BYU's athletic leadership, Covey feels the university has more to offer for LDS athletes than what can't be found at the University of Utah, and talks to other three about the over-all benefits and unique experiences BYU provides.
"I gotta make them see it because they just love Urban Meyer and I like that guy too, Covey revealed. "I met him and I think he's an awesome coach. He's got an intensity to him and he is so confident and in himself and his program that you just feel like if you go there you're going to be good and that you're going to play kind of feeling. He came to our school and he said he liked what he saw in me but he didn't promise me anything."
The four often talk about continuing their football camaraderie at the next level at BYU.
"Yeah, we definitely talk about it a lot," said Covey. "I know with Harvey and Luke it's basically between BYU and Utah for them, and we've talked lately and we really don't want this Friday to be our last game together. I think they are leaning more towards BYU right now, but they aren't going to decide until they take their trips. It's the same with Matt too."