Cheyenne East football prospect Bartlett visits Stanford, Oregon

2014-07-29T18:11:00Z 2014-07-30T00:38:04Z Cheyenne East football prospect Bartlett visits Stanford, OregonMIKE VOREL Casper Star-Tribune The Billings Gazette
July 29, 2014 6:11 pm  • 

Throw out the old rankings.

Cheyenne East senior two-way football prospect Tevis Bartlett spent last weekend on the road, arriving in Palo Alto, California, for a camp at Stanford on Saturday, before driving to Eugene, Oregon, for an unofficial visit at the University of Oregon on Monday.

When the Star-Tribune last spoke with Bartlett earlier this month, the hybrid quarterback-safety had a loose order of the teams that had extended him scholarship offers, which went as follows:

1. Wyoming

2. Colorado

3. Oregon

4. Utah

5. Colorado State

Following his nearly 1,800-mile journey west and then north, the physical offers haven't changed. But as for the order?

Forget about it.

“You know, I don’t even think right now that I have rankings," Bartlett said on the phone from Portland, Oregon, with an exasperated laugh. "Things are kind of up in the air, and we’ve got to go home and lay out everything we’ve gathered and think it all through.”

Bartlett's initial destination was Stanford, where he competed in an abbreviated camp at both outside linebacker and safety on Saturday afternoon.

"Safeties were doing backpedals and covering. I did that, and then I went over and threw my pads on and hit with the linebackers and the fullbacks," Bartlett said. "I just did a little bit of everything.”

Bartlett wasn't ecstatic about his performance, considering that he was asked to play in man-to-man coverage -- something he never does at Cheyenne East -- and also jumped in at outside linebacker for the first time since his freshman season.

But Stanford's coaches, Bartlett was told, didn't judge nearly as harshly.

“The [Stanford] coach I’d been talking to told me, ‘I think you came out and did what you wanted to do. Don’t get antsy. Don’t get nervous. Just stay patient and we’ll get back to you,’" Bartlett said.

"They said they are going to take the film they have and take some other things into consideration, and they’ll get back to me hopefully in the next couple weeks.”

While the Cardinal have yet to extend Bartlett an offer, he came away impressed by his visit to the Bay Area. The dual threat athlete -- who threw for 1,521 yards and 13 touchdowns and ran for another 1,400 yards and 19 touchdowns as a quarterback last season -- spent part of Saturday cruising through Stanford's campus on a golf cart, becoming familiar with the academic buildings and scenery.

And while it's a far cry from Cheyenne, Bartlett can see the appeal of a collegiate career spent basking under the California sun.

“It’s definitely a lot different than Oregon or Laramie or Colorado or CSU," Bartlett said. "But who wouldn’t want to spend the next five years like they’re on vacation at a resort, you know? It was awesome.”

From there, the three-time state wrestling champion ventured north, where he spent the majority of Monday exploring Oregon's facilities and spending time with the coaching staff.

And after most recruits leave Eugene, that's typically the first thing you hear about: the facilities. They're big, bold, shiny and expensive.

Did Bartlett get the same impression?

“Oh, yeah. I would say I fall in that category as well," he said. "Everything they have is just so nice. It’s got a cool effect, that’s for sure. Everything is almost futuristic.”

Oregon's coaching staff told Bartlett he'd most likely be used as a linebacker, where his athleticism would allow him to rush the passer or just as easily drop into coverage. The 6-foot-4, 215-pound athlete has certainly shown the ability to do that at Cheyenne East, where he racked up 57 solo tackles, 30 assists and two fumble recoveries in 2013.

The actual campus reminded Bartlett of Wyoming, in that it's somewhat small and thus both classes and athletics facilities are easily within reach.

“Oregon met my expectations," he said of the visit. "I had pretty high expectations for that one, and they came in right at the bar.”

Going forward, the soon-to-be senior plans to go home, weigh his options and decide which schools he'll pick for an official visit. He likely won't make a verbal commitment until he completes his visits as well as his senior season.

All things considered, Wyoming -- which would allow Bartlett to play quarterback, unlike most other schools -- is still a definite contender. So are Pac-12 foes Oregon and Colorado. And if Stanford offers, too? Add them to the mix.

As the summer wanes, his decision is more muddled than ever. And while Wyoming fans cross their fingers, Bartlett will eventually start crossing schools off of his list.

"Now it’s time to go home and take in all the information that we got from this trip and the other visits we’ve taken," he said, "and sit down and start thinking it over."

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