Two Tiger teammates head off to college

Bruchez, Letlow join opposing

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— Keenan Bruchez and Tyson Letlow laughed.

It was hard for them to imagine playing against one another; after all, they've been teammates since they were young boys.

But Bruchez, who will play football at Colorado School of Mines in the fall, and Letlow, who is headed off to play football at Mesa State College, will be opponents in future years.

The two schools belong to the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference.

"It's tough to tell how you'll be in college," Letlow said when asked to predict which team will be better.

While at Hayden, the pair of football, basketball and track stars teamed up to win Western Slope League championships, and they received numerous individual accolades.

Now, they will do something unique for each of them -- watch from the sidelines.

Bruchez and Letlow expect to red-shirt in the fall.

"It's exciting to see the kids, who have excelled academically and athletically, to send them off that way," Hayden High School athletics director Kevin Kleckler said.

Colorado School of Mines runs an offense similar to Hayden's, which should help make the transition smoother for Bruchez, who was recruited as a quarterback.

"It's exactly what we ran, but theirs is a lot more complicated than ours, obviously," Tigers coach Shawn Baumgartner said. "That was our shotgun offense. It was centered on his ability to throw the football. It's a good fit for him."

Mesa State coach Joe Ramunno, a former Steamboat Springs football player, is switching to a spread offense in Grand Junction.

"Tyson definitely does fit into a spread. He's 6-foot-1, 6-foot-2, and up to 190 pounds now," Baumgartner said.

Letlow was recruited to play wide receiver; Mesa State searches for players to use in its multiple-receiver sets. Letlow has the speed to go down the field and the size to go across the middle.

That Letlow and Bruchez will have to transition from being two-way high school varsity starters to college freshmen doesn't change the expectations of them, said Ramunno and School of Mines coach Bob Stitt.

"He told me he wants me to be the general on the field next fall," Bruchez said.

Both have received summer workout programs from their respective schools and have started getting in shape for the fall. Letlow has to report by mid-July. Bruchez will arrive on campus in early August.

"I run 70 minutes a day," Letlow said.

"My brother (Kelly Bruchez) lifts with me," Bruchez said. "If I don't stop, it takes me an hour and a half."

Bruchez left Hayden on Monday to head to Greeley for the Colorado All-State football game. The game is at 5 p.m. Saturday on the University of Northern Colorado campus.

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