Signing Day started B.C. prep stars’ journey

 

 
 
 
 
Christian Covington #95 of the Houston Texans celebrates as he walks off of the field after defeating the Cincinnati Bengals 10-6 at Paul Brown Stadium on November 16, 2015 in Cincinnati, Ohio.
 

Christian Covington #95 of the Houston Texans celebrates as he walks off of the field after defeating the Cincinnati Bengals 10-6 at Paul Brown Stadium on November 16, 2015 in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Photograph by: Andy Lyons, Getty Images

More on This Story

 

Not one of the teenagers who commit to NCAA schools on National Signing Day has played a down of college football, yet their signings are hailed with as much anticipation as the homecoming game on campus.

It’s one of the more arcane rituals in mainstream American sport — and it even reaches up to Canada.

In 2011, two B.C. high schoolers with outstanding prep football credentials — defensive lineman Christian Covington of Vancouver College and Kelowna secondary linebacker-quarterback Taylor Loffler — put pen to paper at a ceremonial news conference held inside the B.C. Lions’ locker-room in Surrey.

They went off with the hopes and dreams of playing elite-level college football, perhaps graduating to the pros one day.

For Covington, that dream came true in May when, after declaring for the NFL draft following his junior year at Rice University, he was selected in the sixth round by the Houston Texans. Playing nose tackle on a rotational basis, Covington recorded his first career sack Monday night, as Houston upset the previously undefeated Cincinnati Bengals 10-6.

“I’m blessed to have two all-star veterans (two-time NFL defensive player of the year J.J. Watt and five-time Pro Bowler Vince Wilfork) to learn from and try and get better,” Covington told the Houston Chronicle.

The son of Grover Covington, the Canadian Football League’s all-time sack leader, Christian also was selected in the fifth round of the 2015 CFL draft by the B.C. Lions. It was a what-have-we-got-to-lose bid by Covington’s hometown team to claim his playing rights if he should end up in Canada at some point in his football career.

Loffler, who had an injury-plagued career at Boise State, suited up for 12 games before announcing his retirement for medical reasons following his junior year. Now, with a business degree in hand, he is playing a one-and-done season with the Vanier Cup hopeful UBC Thunderbirds in hopes of being selected in the 2016 CFL draft — another calculated crapshoot, not a guarantee, just like National Signing Day.

mbeamish@vancouversun.com

Twitter.com/sixbeamers

 
 
 
Font:
 
 
 
 
Christian Covington #95 of the Houston Texans celebrates as he walks off of the field after defeating the Cincinnati Bengals 10-6 at Paul Brown Stadium on November 16, 2015 in Cincinnati, Ohio.
 

Christian Covington #95 of the Houston Texans celebrates as he walks off of the field after defeating the Cincinnati Bengals 10-6 at Paul Brown Stadium on November 16, 2015 in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Photograph by: Andy Lyons, Getty Images

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
We encourage all readers to share their views on our articles and blog posts. We are committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion, so we ask you to avoid personal attacks, and please keep your comments relevant and respectful. If you encounter a comment that is abusive, click the "X" in the upper right corner of the comment box to report spam or abuse. We are using Facebook commenting. Visit our FAQ page for more information.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Your voice