by Keith Kelley–18 Dec ’14
Cheyenne East’s Tevis Bartlett joined the SportsZone this (Thursday) afternoon to talk about his verbal commitment to play football at Washington.
Bartlett also sent out a letter to the media of Wyoming, to explain the process of why he ultimately chose Washington. Here, in his own words, is Tevis’ reasoning behind the decision and the recruiting process:
To my family, friends and supporters,
I would like to start this letter off by thanking all of the programs that have invested so much time and energy in the recruiting process and giving me so many opportunities to continue my athletic career at the next level.
The first step in this process was to prioritize the key elements in both academics and athletics that I was looking for in a university. The three most important factors to me was getting the best degree I possibly could during my time at in college, establishing great relationships with the coaches, players and support staff at each institution, and finding the right the environment which included: campus life, dorms, city/town and proximity to family as well as how often I would be able to get home. Overall at the end of the process I was looking for the best fit. Having an idea of what I was looking for, all that was left was to start making decisions.
Decision number one was which sport I planned on pursuing at the next level. My junior year I entertained interest from many schools in wrestling including; Brown, Cornell, Duke, Nebraska, North Carolina, Northern Iowa, Old Dominion, Oregon State, Stanford, and Wyoming among others. When last July hit, I made the decision to following my dream of playing college football which meant letting many wrestling coaches know that I would no longer be pursuing the collegiate wrestling path.
With that decision made, the next item on the agenda was to decide where I would be taking my official visits to. With only being allowed five official visits I had to narrow my list down in order to reach that number. I had to choose between; California, Colorado, Colorado State, Iowa, Missouri, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming. Through the relationships built, I narrowed down the schools I wanted to take official visit to and chose Colorado, Iowa, Oregon, Utah and Washington with several unofficial visits also scheduled at Wyoming due to its proximity being close to home. On my official visits my main objectives were to gather information about the academics, get a feel for the relationships with the staff as well as the players, and see what the environment was like on each campus.
On each of the visits I felt that I gained the information I needed to be able to compare each of the schools equally on a level playing field.
After having all my official visits completed, the hard part of deciphering which school I would continue my academic and athletic career laid ahead. When I began looking over how I had felt each school had weighed-in in each area of the deciding factors, three schools separated themselves as the strongest candidates for what I felt was the best fit for me. In looking at these schools I knew that I would be very comfortable in attending anyone of them. However the times where I have grown the most, whether it was in athletics or in life, have been those times where I have pushed myself out of my comfort zone and pushed to stretch my limits. With that being said I felt that the University of Washington was the best fit for me.
I know that my decision will excite some and disappoint others as I am not choosing to stay in my home state. I grew up a Cowboy fan and the utmost respect for the new staff. The recruiting process has been very cumbersome and there are a lot of factors that go into a decision that the public is not privy to. I have had the opportunity to meet some amazing people through this process and am appreciative of the new relationships I have established. The hardest thing to do in this process was to make the phone calls to those institutions that I did not choose, as I know I have disappointed so many. However, only being able to choose one school, I feel my final choice was the best fit to help me attain my future goals.
Thanks to all for supporting me in this process.