2011 Intro: Josh Covington

CHARLOTTE, N.C. --- Finally given the opportunity to be the feature ‘back, Josh Covington led Mecklenburg County in rushing last fall.

"When you put the ball under his arm, he can move the chains for you," Providence Day School head football coach Bruce Hardin said.

Covington, a 5-foot-7, 172-pound tailback, played two seasons at West Charlotte High School, before transferring to Providence Day School prior to his junior season. While at West Charlotte, Covington was behind Jalen "Scoot" Simmons, who recently verbally committed to Duke, on the running back depth chart.

"Part of the coaching staff [at West Charlotte] was one of the problems – there were a lot of things that were going on that shouldn't have been going on," Covington said. "[West Charlotte] is in the middle of a bad neighborhood and a lot of things were going on related to that. I had to get away from that type of situation."

Shortly after transferring into Providence Day, Covington won the starting running back spot. He went on to rush for 1,416 yards and 13 touchdowns on 200 carries.

"The two things I like about him: he'll run hard inside and he can catch a football," Hardin said. "He has speed and good field awareness and he runs hard."

Covington also contributed to Providence Day's passing game. He is a target out of the backfield and will also be flankered out on occasions.

"When we go to an empty set, we put him out there [at receiver]," Hardin said. "We try to match him up in a one-on-one situation with a linebacker. Usually he holds his own with a linebacker."

Covington also returns kickoffs and is a gunner on the punt team.

"He's the complete package for a football team," Hardin said.

Covington's size, though, has hurt his recruiting stock.

"He's not very tall, but he's thick," Hardin said.

Still, though, Covington is receiving interest from Arkansas, Clemson, Louisville, NC State, North Carolina, and Oklahoma.

Although he would welcome a scholarship from any school, Covington is focused on one school – UNC.

"Really, that's my No. 1 choice right now," Covington said. "That's what I've been training every day just to build on my speed, strength just to get ready because that's the school that I want to be at. I grew up a Carolina fan, I'm from North Carolina, [and] Coach Butch [Davis] is an awesome coach and a wonderful guy."

If UNC offered Covington a scholarship, it would likely eventually lead to a verbal commitment.

"If they offered, that would be my first choice," Covington said. "I always want to wait and see what else will come in. But nine-out-of-ten, if they offer me that's the school I'll be attending."

Covington has made 3-4 visits to UNC. His most recent came approximately a month ago, when he stopped by the football office.

"I was talking to the running back coach [Ken Browning] and also met Ryan Houston, we talked for a good minute," Covington said. "… [Browning] was basically talking to me about ball security, working on block protection – he said that's the main key they look for in a ‘back my size."

On March 27, Covington plans to return to UNC for the Tar Heels' Junior Day.

Covington has also already visited Duke and NC State.

This summer, Covington plans to camp at Arkansas, Duke, UNC, and Oklahoma.

Covington also runs track for Providence Day. He participates in the 100- and 200-meter dashes and 4x100 and 4x200 relays. His personal best 100 is 10.8 seconds and his personal best 200 is 22.8 seconds.

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