B.C. high school football MVP Christian Covington is getting a full-ride scholarship to U.S. university
By Brent Mattson
The B.C. Catholic
VANCOUVER--It's been a good year in football for Vancouver College Fighting Irish defensive lineman Christian Covington.
After leading his high school to its first Varsity AAA championship since 1994 in December, Covington received a full scholarship to play for Rice University in Houston, Tex. It was officially announced at a Feb. 2 press conference in the B.C. Lions' locker room.
"It's a day of dreams right now, dreams come true," said the 6 foot 3, 270-lb.-plus Covington after signing the scholarship to the Rice Owls.
"It's been an amazing experience: to win in my senior year and to win for my school," he said. "It's been my dream ever since I was a little kid, just dreaming of signing div-1 and going to play professional football."
Covington was named B.C.'s defensive MVP for the 2010 season after racking up 83 tackles and 15 quarterback sacks in 14 games. He is ranked as the top defensive lineman in high school football in the country.
Also at the press conference was Kelowna Secondary School's Taylor Loffler, a quarterback-linebacker who signed papers for Boise State University.
"When you see two young men from your province going to major universities in the States, I think it shows you the growing, the progress, and obviously the hard work that's gone into these two young men," Lions head coach Wally Buono said.
The press conference took place on National Signing Day in the U.S., when many students in their senior year sign scholarship deals with American universities.
"I'd like to thank my family for being my number one fans and thanks for everything that they've done for me," Covington said. "And above all I'd like to give God glory."
Covington said that his father, CFL Hall of Famer Grover Covington, has been a major influence on him.
"He's always been my coach and always been my inspiration," Covington said. "He taught me the basics of football; he's been with me every step of the way."
His father said that the day was a dream come true, and how proud he is of Christian. "He's a very gifted young man. He's very intelligent. He's mentally tough. He's going 2,500 miles away from home, but he's going to handle it well," Grover Covington said. "He went to VC; VC prepares young men to do great things."
Other universities were interested in Covington, but Rice's academic reputation helped tip the scales in its favour for him. He plans on applying to the pre-med program that Rice offers, in the hopes of eventually becoming a cardiologist and working for Doctors Without Borders.
At the same time, he hopes to play football professionally.
"If football is a consideration, I know I will go down that path," he said. "If not, I will pursue medicine.
The Owls' head coach, David Bailiff, is excited to have Covington sign to the team.
"His upside is going to be amazing. He just turned 17 in October. He runs well and is very powerful. He's been well coached by his father and uses great technique," he said on the Owls' website.