Covey inks with Citadel

PICKENS — Gunner Covey admittedly had some minor discipline issues early in his Pickens High School career.

“I struggled the first couple years of school,” he said recently. “I goofed around and didn’t do everything like I should.”

But Covey, a leader for the Blue Flame football team over the last four seasons, has turned things around in a big way, culminating in the senior signing a national letter of intent March 11 to play for The Citadel.

Covey“I’m very excited to get an opportunity to play at a great school like The Citadel,” he said. “It’s an honor more than anything.

“It’s going to be rough the first year — everybody tells me that. But once you get over that first year, you should be pretty good.”

An all-region performer in 2014 and 2015, Covey compiled more than 3,000 yards from scrimmage during his career at Pickens. He rushed for 2,446 yards on 427 carries and had 45 receptions for 563 yards. He scored 34 career touchdowns and had a career rushing average of 5.8 yards per carry.

When asked what his program will miss most about Covey, Pickens coach John Boggs rattled off a list of adjectives.

“Versatility, leadership, intensity, toughness — all that stuff he brings to the table,” Boggs said. “His physical presence alone demands respect, but he is a guy that everybody in the locker room looks up to.”

In addition to his primary position of fullback, Covey played deep snapper, defensive end, linebacker and tight end throughout his career.

Covey said signing the letter of intent lifted a weight from his shoulders.

“It’s very humbling to come from a school like Pickens that has a great community and a great fanbase,” he said. “I’m going to miss family and how close everybody is around here.”

He also said he will miss the coaching staff at Pickens.

“I had some great coaches who are all like second fathers to me,” he said.