Steamboat Springs Hayden High School senior Treyben Letlow is a little more than two weeks away from capping off what could be one of the best prep wrestling careers in Routt County history. But on Wednesday, he said the madness was behind him.
Letlow signed to play football at Colorado State University-Pueblo next year, bringing an end to a recruitment process that had its ups and downs, saw interest from all levels of collegiate football programs, and was punctuated by a torrid final two weeks.
“I developed a relationship with the coaches. That’s why I decided to go there,” Letlow said. “They’re just good people. I like them a lot, and I figure they’ll be good coaches.”
Settling on Pueblo wasn’t easy, Letlow explained. The Thunderwolves got in on Letlow early but faced stiff competition all the way up to Wednesday’s signing day.
Letlow attended football camps at NCAA Division I programs Utah and Wyoming and took an unofficial visit for a football game at the University of Colorado at Boulder.
Scholarship offers didn’t materialize from any of those schools, but competition to land Letlow heated up as signing day approached.
Letlow’s older brother Coy Letlow plays at the University of Northern Colorado, and the school made a late — too late, it turned out — push.
“It’s been a ride. The last two weeks have been a circus,” Letlow said.
Letlow shined on the varsity high school football field since first taking to it as a freshman. He played many different positions in his career as a Tiger, initially as a receiver for Hayden’s state semifinals teams in 2007 and later as a fullback, a tight end and a linebacker.
“He’s a physical presence on the field,” Hayden coach Shawn Baumgartner said. “Look at him talent-wise, his speed and ability, the way he flies around — he stands out.”
He was statistically one of the top defenders in the state as a senior, averaging nearly 17 tackles per game and helping his team to the state quarterfinals. He’ll play tight end in college, however. He caught 36 passes as a senior, racking up 551 yards and scoring five touchdowns. He also ran for three more scores in a short stint in the backfield.
“He’s a heck of an athlete with a lot of size,” CSU-Pueblo coach John Wristen said. “With that size, frame and motor, he’s really going to be a good tight end for us. We had a need there and those guys with that size are hard to recruit at this level.
“We were very much aware of him from last year and hoping none of the so-called big schools would go and recruit him. We’re glad they didn’t because we think we found a heck of a player.”
— To reach Joel Reichenberger, call 970-871-4253 or e-mail jreichenberger@SteamboatToday.com