With a solid quarterback, a veteran-led offensive line, great skill teams, and an average defense, the Utes are looking threatening in almost all areas this season. Almost all areas. If the Utes are going to end with a good record this season, the wide receivers are going to have to step up and prove themselves.
At the end of last season, the Utes lost Darren Carrington and Raelon Singleton, two veteran wide receivers who combined to make 40.6% of the team’s receptions. Carrington left due to graduation from school, and Singleton, to transfer to the Houston Cougars. The Utes lost a lot in terms of productivity and “threat” when these two players left, but they should have plenty of talent around to replace what’s missing. There are a couple of players to keep an eye on this season, and if these wide receivers prove to work out well, it seems like Utah football could end the season with quite an impressive record.
Britain Covey, 18
Britain Covey is just back from a two year LDS mission in Chile and eager to recreate some of the success he had during his freshman season. In 2015, Covey led the Utes with 43 catches and 519 receiving yards, all as a freshman. Young Covey ended his first season with five touchdowns and even ended up as a PAC-12 honorable mention return specialist.
Though Covey was not around for Spring camp as he spent time adjusting to life in the United States again. Covey is expected to make a full return to the team by the Fall and it should be interesting to see how quickly this now-sophomore will adjust to life back on the football field.
Siaosi Mariner, 8
Standing at an impressive 6’2′ and weighing 193 pounds, Siaosi Mariner (formerly Siaosi Wilson) is of perfect build to be an impressive receiver. Mariner started 10 of 11 games for the Utes in 2017 (only missing one due to an injury) with 20 receptions for 320 yards, Mariner, and his “good hands” proved important for the Utes.
It seems likely that Mariner will play a bigger role within the Utes offense now that Darren Carrington has graduated and left the program. Mariner has been a starter for the last two years, so fans should expect to see him return to the field as a starter, again. Keep an eye on Mariner, who seems to be an ever-dependable option for the Utes.
Demari Simpkins has played in all 26 Utah games since the start of his career at Utah. Starting in 11 of those games, Simpkins has 46 receptions for 512 yards and 2 touchdowns. Simpkins is a natural leader in the wide receiver spot and should be targeted by quarterback, Tyler Huntley, often.
If targeted by Huntley often, it’s likely that Simpkins will, in turn, become one of the most productive wide receivers for the Utes. Expect Simpkins to break his personal records (both in receiving yards and receptions) if Huntley makes him a favorite for receptions.
Bronson Boyd, 9
If you asked anyone who the best receiver of the group was coming out of Spring training camp, Bronson Boyd would have been the immediate answer. Boyd, a transfer from Texas Tech was dismissed from the team as a freshman and spent the season sitting out before transferring to Utah last year. Upon transferring to Utah, Boyd was redshirted and sat out the entire first season.
This year will be the first time that Bronson Boyd has played a game of football, but his showings in practice continue to impress. And as for his dismissal from Texas Tech, the Utes are leaving that in the past and choosing to focus on Boyd’s future with Utah.