Wyoming's top high school football, Tevis Bartlett, is considering crossing the border and wearing the Colorado uniform at the next level.
The Cheyenne East junior was named the 2013 Gatorade Player of the Year in the Cowboy State after leading his team to a Class 4A championship. It was a dominating run, East head coach Chad Goff said, as Bartlett scored all of the Thunderbirds' touchdowns in the playoffs.
Bartlett compiled 2,921 yards of total offense with 32 touchdowns as a junior. Add to those numbers, 87 total tackles as the team's 6-foot-2, 215-pound safety.
"I've had a pretty good junior campaign so far, can't complain too much," Bartlett said in a recent phone interview with BuffZone.
His coach adamantly agrees.
"He's done a great job leading the offense the last two years. Defensively, playing the free safety position, he led the 4A in solo tackles, 57 solo tackles this year. He's not afraid to come up and make a hit. He plays safety like a linebacker. He's pretty valuable to us," Goff said.
Bartlett, a 2015 prospect who is unranked by the recruiting networks, is picking up steam on the Front Range and expects to hear more from the national camp as his junior year rolls forward. Bartlett headed South on Feb. 17 for a junior day visit with the Buffs and enjoyed his unofficial in Boulder.
"I've got a couple of offers," he said. "Not a ton of interest, you know, as far as nation wide goes. Regionally, you've got UW, CU and CSU, have all offered me.
"CU and UW are both my top [schools] right now. I really enjoyed talking to coach [Mike] MacIntyre and touring the facilities. I just met the new coaching staff over at UW and I can't help but say great things about both staffs."
The Buffs are recruiting Bartlett more as an athlete, while the Cowboys are going all in at quarterback. He's open to any college football position, whatever it takes to win.
"I know Wyoming, they want me to play quarterback. CU, they said they want me to come in as a quarterback, but also play football," Bartlett said. "If they have a starting quarterback, then I can play defense or wide receiver, wherever they need me.
"I'm the kind of guy, whatever coach needs me to play, that's what I'll play to help the team. I'm not really too worried about myself, whatever I can do to help the team. Quarterback is fun because you get to score a lot of touchdowns; safety is fun because you get to hit people."
Goff isn't sure what position Bartlett lands at, but said the school that signs the Cheyenne product will be getting a special player.
"All the schools I've talked to, they're kind of open right now," Goff said. "They haven't really said either. I guess it's just based on whatever college he chooses and the need they have him for, what he wants to do in college."
Bartlett grew up in Cheyenne and said he is a fan of the Laramie-based Cowboys. His parents are Wyoming natives and his father attended UW, but he's not ruling any school out at this point. He said he doesn't have a dream school, just a dream of playing professional football.
"You know, my dream is to play in the NFL," Bartlett said. "Whatever school gives me that opportunity, to help get me there, that's the school I want to go to. I've never had just one college that I've always wanted to go to. We'll see."
Bartlett does it all for East's athletic department. After football season he's on to wrestling, where he competes nationally. After that, it's on to track for four events. He said he wouldn't mind wrestling in college. It's a sport that he loves and one that helps on the football field.
"I'd definitely like to play football, but wrestling's not out of the question yet," Bartlett said. "It's a different kind of sport because in football you're relying on everybody; in wrestling, it's all on you.
"I've wrestled in a ton of high-pressure situations, so when you get on the football field it's a little different. It's not as tough, I think."
Bartlett plans to tour East coast schools with his father this spring during wrestling tournaments and intends to study secondary education with a minor in business.
Goff believes Colorado has a shot at landing Bartlett and said the Thunderbirds standout will make the best decision possible.
"I think they stand a good chance. They've done a good job with him and he likes the staff. He's liked the visits he's been on," Goff said of CU. "Tev's a pretty smart kid. He's going to weigh things out and see what's going to be best for his future."
College football fans in Wyoming and Colorado shouldn't expect a commitment any time soon, though.
"I probably won't make a decision until after my senior season," Bartlett said.