By the time Chance Cover arrived at Nolan Catholic he had already put together a solid résumé at Byron Nelson.
Cover made 112 tackles for Nelson during his sophomore season in 2016 and was voted district newcomer of the year.
“I knew about Chance a little bit from Twitter,” 4-star defensive end NaNa Osafo-Mensah said. “It’s been awesome to have Chance. It’s been a blessing. We’ve become closer and closer.”
Cover didn’t disappoint with Nolan last season, helping the Vikings to the TAPPS playoffs. But he wanted to make a bigger impact so the 3-star prospect decided he’s going to play on offense this season. He will play everything from tight end, full-back and h-back.
“I grew up playing offense,” Cover said. “I’ve always played both ways and just loved being a play-maker. It opened more doors and that’s what drove me to do it.”
“He always had the ability to do it,” head coach David Beaudin added. “We toyed around with it. He played offense very little last season. It was mostly lead blocking and goal-line stuff. But we reached a point where we’d be foolish not to play Chance on offense this year.”
It’s worked too. The Vikings won two separate 7-on-7 tournaments this summer.
They also finished as the top TAPPS team in the UIL state tourney where Cover caught seven touchdowns in five games. He caught 13 touchdown passes in 10 games during the TAPPS state tournament.
“I wanted to maximize my opportunities at the next level,” Cover said. “I think I can excel on both sides of the ball. I think it opens more opportunities up because now colleges can take me and they can pick a side. They would get a two-way player.”
Cover, who’s listed at 6-foot-2 and 220 pounds, is ranked as the No. 73 inside linebacker in the country and projected to commit with Texas State, per 247Sports.
He also holds offers from Air Force, Army, Citadel, Holy Cross, Dartmouth, Mercer and Stephen F. Austin.
“We wanted to do right by him,” Beaudin said. “Obviously he’s a great linebacker and will be successful on either side of the ball at the next level. But I think his ceiling is higher on offense.”
“Recruitment has been a blessing and great journey,” Cover added.
The Vikings have made the playoffs in three-consecutive seasons and 13 of 14 years. They won state in 2013.
“We are building a lot at Nolan Catholic,” said Osfao-Mensah, who’s committed to Notre Dame. “We have a chip on our shoulder and we all want that state championship. That’s going to drive us this year to get that ring.”
Beaudin said that Cover will bring added toughness to the offense.
“Chance will be a tremendous help for our football team and bring an element of toughness that we may have lacked at that position last season,” Beaudin said. “He’s a great football player and terrific athlete. He does well with the ball in his hands and has the skill for it all-around. He can catch and run routes well too.”
“He’s already a great linebacker, but I’ve seen what he can do on offense,” Osafo-Mensah added. “He’s one of the hardest hitting players and for him to bring that to our team on offense will be very beneficiary.
Chance is that type of guy that you don’t just become friends on the football field, but off it too. We hang out all the time. We’re brothers now.”
Cover said that the experience at 7-on-7 will not only help him, but the Vikings.
“Winning the 7-on-7 tournaments will translate to playing on Friday nights,” he said.
“I’ve been building my relationship more with my quarterback Luke Macias this summer, but still getting my reps in on defense,” Cover added.
Nolan Catholic will be loaded in 2018. Along with Cover, Osafo-Mensah and Macias, the Vikings also have highly-recruited 2020 linebacker Richard Silva, 2019 cornerback Shawn Holton, who holds six offers, 2019 WR Trae Young, 2019 ATH Danny Taylor and 2019 ATH Ben Cawyer, just to name a few.
“We’re going to have so many kids that will impact our team this season,” Cover said. “We’ll have players that are under the radar too that will shock a lot of people.”
The Vikings start practice on Aug. 1 and their season opener is Aug. 31 at home against Houston Kinkaid.