ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Three-star kicker Sean Covington (St. Petersburg, Fla./St. Petersburg) knew that if he kept booming punts, kickoffs and field goals, he would have a shot at being an All-American.
Still, when the 6-foot-1, 180-pound senior received his invitation to participate in the 2013 Under Armour All-America Game it was an exciting moment.
"I really wanted to play in the Under Armour Game and I've watched the game for the last couple of years," Covington said. "I told myself that I could be on that field some day, and it's awesome to have the chance to do it."
Covington earned his opportunity by becoming one of the nation's top kicking specialists. Ranked No. 2 at his position in the ESPN 150, Covington says his range on field goals is close to 60 yards and he is currently averaging 47 yards per punt. The only kickoffs that Covington doesn't place in the end zone are when he's asked to execute a squib kick.
Covington's ceremony was held in the school's meeting room with his Devils teammates in attendance. Head coach Joe Fabrizio wanted the entire squad to participate in his celebration.
"It's just a real honor to have the opportunity to coach an All-American," Fabrizio said. "You don't see a lot of players like Sean come through your school very often."
The UA Game came down to a field goal attempt two years ago, and Covington says he'll be ready if he finds himself in the same position in January.
"I don't even think about it really," Covington added. "I'm just going to go in there and kick."
While Covington's final game as a high school football player will be just a short ride from St. Petersburg's campus, his first college game will be more than 3,000 miles away. Last Thursday the kicker committed to UCLA after taking an official visit there.
"UCLA is just a great school and it was so beautiful out there," Covington said. "The minute I got off the plane I was ready to make a commitment. You see how Los Angeles is on television and the movies and it's a little like that at first, but once you get into the city it's so much different than people expect.
"It's a great academic school as well – one of the best in the nation, and it's a great situation with coach [Jim] Mora and that staff. They are doing a great job and rebuilding the tradition."
Covington is not sure if he will handle punts or field goal duties at the Jan. 4 Under Armour Game. At UCLA he will start out as the punter and kickoff specialist and hopes to become the placekicker by his junior season.