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University of Utah high school football programs well represented when Chiefs meet Eagles in Super Bowl

GLENDALE, Arizona, January 29, 2023 (Gephardt Daily) — The game for Super Bowl LVII is ready and several players and coaches with Utah ties will be on the field February 12 in Arizona for the big game.

Brigham Young University graduate Andy Reid leads the Kansas City Chiefs back to the Super Bowl for the third time in four seasons after Sunday’s 23-20 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals in the AFC Championship game in Kansas City, Missouri.

“There’s nothing like winning the league at home,” Reid told reporters after the game. “I mean, it’s just a special feeling. … To be at home and do it, it’s amazing.”

Kansas City, the No. 1 seed in the AFC, will face the Philadelphia Eagles, the NFC top seed who defeated the San Francisco 49ers 31-7 last Sunday in Philadelphia.

Reid, an offensive lineman at BYU in 1978-80, began his coaching career as a graduate assistant with the Cougars in 1982. He is now in his 10th season with the Chiefs and his 24th as an NFL head coach.

Before taking over at Kansas City in 2013, he spent 14 seasons as head coach in Philadelphia, leading the Eagles to an NFC Championship after the 2004 season.

“I had a great time there,” said Reid, who coached the Eagles from 1999 to 2012. “I’m happy for them. I am happy for the city. They are passionate; they love soccer. Man, I can’t wait for Kansas City and Philadelphia to collide. It’s going to be great, man. What a great Super Bowl it will be.”

Reid won a Super Bowl with Kansas City in 2020, with the Chiefs defeating the 49ers 31-20, but lost 31-9 to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2021. Last season, the Bengals represented the AFC in the Super Bowl after beating the Chiefs 27-24 in Kansas City.

Reid also has a couple of assistants with Utah ties on his staff in Kansas City. Former Brighton High School defensive star Alex Whittingham, a 2013-2017 University of Utah linebacker who went on to play for his father, Utes coach Kyle Whittingham, is a defensive quality control coach; and BYU graduate Porter Ellett is an offensive quality control coach.

Andy Reid trains from the sideline of the Chiefs 23 20 victory over the Bengals in the AFC Championship game Sunday January 29, 2023 Photo Chris DonahueKansas City Chiefs

The Chiefs currently have no players with Utah ties on the active roster, though two former Cougars — cornerback Zayne Anderson and tight end Matt Bushman — join former Layton High School wide receiver Marcus Kemp on the practice squad.

The Eagles also have an assistant with Utah ties in quarterbacks coach Brian Johnson, who played QB for the Utes in 2005-08 and served as an assistant coach at Utah in 2010-13.

Two former Utah prep stars are also expected to suit up and play for Philadelphia in the big game at State Farm Stadium: wide receiver/kick return specialist Great Britain Covey, who played at Timpview High and the University of Utah; and linebacker Christian Elliss, who played at Judge Memorial.

Two other players with Utah ties, former Weber State offensive lineman Sua Opeta and Hunter High tight end Noah Togiai, make the Eagles’ practice squad.

All former Utah college or high school football players listed below are on the NFL playoff active rosters unless otherwise noted. Players are listed by name, position, and former college and/or high school, along with a summary of their performance in conference championships.

Cincinnati Bengals

Kansas City Chiefs

  • Zayne Anderson, CB, BYU/Stansbury: Signed to the practice squad on August 31st.
  • Matt Bushman, TE, BYU: Signed to the practice squad Dec. 20.
  • Marcus Kemp, WR, Layton: Signed to the practice squad Oct. 3.

Philadelphia Eagles

  • Britain Covey, WR/RS, Utah/Timpview: Fielded punt but had a return in Eagles win over 49ers.
  • Christian Elliss, LB, Judge Memorial: Made a solo tackle in the home win.
  • Sua Opeta, OL, Weber State: Waived Jan. 6 and signed to practice with the team Jan. 9.
  • Noah Togiai, TE, Hunter: Signed to practice squad Sept. 1.

San Francisco 49ers

  • Fred Warner, LB, BYU: Finished with eight tackles (four solo) and one tackle for a loss in the 49ers’ loss to the Eagles.
  • Mitch Wishnowsky, P, Utah: punted four times for a 42-yard average, including a 46-yard long punt, and charged three inside the 20-yard line.

Positions: Center (C), cornerback (CB), defensive lineman (DL), kicker (K), linebacker (LB), long snapper (LS), offensive lineman (OL), punter (P), quarterback (QB), running back (RB), return specialist (RS), safety (S), tight end (TE), wide receiver (WR).

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