Scott Covert’s relationship with Iowa began when he was in eighth grade.
He wanted to participate in Iowa’s high school summer football camps, but he wasn’t quite in high school. Iowa coaches checked him out and decided he was big enough to handle himself.
“I kind of sneaked in there,” Covert said in September, when he committed to the Hawkeyes. “I was old enough and the coaches thought I was big enough, so I got a spot.”
Now, Covert really has a spot with the Hawkeyes.
He was one of three D-lineman Iowa signed Wednesday. Covert, the son of former Pitt all-American and Chicago Bears all-pro Jimbo Covert, picked the Hawkeyes over Pitt.
Covert said his high comfort level with coach Kirk Ferentz and assistant Reese Morgan made the decision for him.
“(Morgan, Iowa’s O-line coach) said he was surprised I’m coming in as a D-lineman,” Covert said. “I spent some time at Iowa camps on the offensive line, but I was always going to be a defensive lineman.”
Covert (6-2, 240) said his dad wanted him to make his own decision on college. So, unlike his dad, Scott picked Iowa over Pitt. Also, Scott is a D-lineman.
“He doesn’t want me to feel like I have to fill his shoes,” Scott said. “He wants me to just fill my own shoes, be my own players.”
Ferentz was a grad assistant at Pitt when Jimbo Covert played there in 1980.
“When I first met Jimbo, he was a redshirt sophomore and had just moved over from the defensive side that spring. My first practice at Pitt was his third on the offensive line,” Ferentz said. “It was amazing to me, as that was the first time I had been exposed to big time college football, to see a guy with his talents and attributes that didn’t have confidence at that point in his career. That changed.”
On the differences between father and son, Ferentz said:
“Different players. Jimbo was a prototype offensive lineman, Scott is different. He was linebacker projected into a defensive line body, and we project him with his hand on the ground. To me, he is the kind of player we have had success with, aggressive tough and active and he has real good growth potential. We are not the biggest team in the Big Ten. The thing that is common is his attitude and the pride he plays with and his competitive nature.”
Ferentz said the upside is a Mitch King and Matt Kroul defensive tackle type.