LONGMONT — Skyline's Jeremy Hollingsworth has been traveling a long and difficult road on the way to accomplishing his life-long dream of playing Division-I college football.
He has finally reached that road's end.
On Monday, Hollingsworth told BoCoPreps.com and announced publicly on Twitter that he has made his decision ahead of Wednesday's national signing day. The Falcons' star running back intends to officially accept a preferred walk-on spot at the University of Wyoming.
"It was a super tough decision," Hollingsworth said. "It was one of the hardest decisions I've ever had to make. I sat down with my parents to see what they had to say about it because their opinions are really important to me. After all of these conversations, and the thinking and the soul-searching, I decided on Wyoming."
Hollingsworth had a number of offers on the table from Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference and Ivy League Schools. He also went on official visits to Colorado Mesa University and Colorado Western State University, and had a preferred walk-on offer from Colorado State University. Hollingsworth said he had narrowed his final decision down to three schools — University of Wyoming, University of Colorado (preferred walk-on) and Colorado State University-Pueblo (scholarship) — once he had taken his final visit to CU on Saturday.
Growing up in nearby Longmont, Hollingsworth said he had always hoped, as many local kids do, to one day play football at CU. But with a limited number of other backs expected at this year's camp, a campus and coaching staff he liked and a D-I environment he felt both comfortable in and optimistic about, Wyoming rose to the top of Hollingsworth's final options.
"Throughout this last month of January, taking all of my official visits, I narrowed it down to those three," Hollingsworth said. "Each school was different and I got a taste of what it would be like at all of them. Just the opportunities that I'll be given at Wyoming and the positions I'll be put in to succeed while playing at a Division-I school were a big deal to me.
"That's what I've been wanting for a long time. They have a track record of moving kids up from preferred walk-on to scholarship and having those kids succeed. At the end of the day, I thought this was the best decision and the best place for me."
In his career, which began with one season at Niwot and finished with an average of 105.9 yards per game, Hollingsworth rushed for 4,766 yards and scored 66 rushing touchdowns in 45 career games. He also caught 48 passes in his prep career for 492 yards and three touchdowns. While leading his team to the Class 4A state championship game as a senior this past fall, Hollingsworth was second in Class 4A with 1,833 rushing yards and 25 rushing touchdowns.
"I'm excited for him and I think it's going to be fun," Skyline head football coach Mike Silva said. "He's betting on himself, which is a pretty cool thing. Wyoming is going to be right there where we can watch him, which is obviously great for us. He's a competitor and he has taken up a new challenge. I think he's in a good place."
Hollingsworth's commitment headlines a big week for the Skyline football team. The Falcons also expect to send Kyle West (Colorado School of Mines), Ethan Drewes (University of Northern Colorado) and Ricky Childers (William Jewell College), and possibly more, the next level on Wednesday.
A talented senior two-way player at nearby Fairview, Ashton Nichols also announced via Twitter on Friday that he committed to a walk-on spot at Purdue University. As a senior, Nichols caught 67 passes for 817 yards and six touchdowns while playing wide receiver. He also had 78 tackles, three sacks and one interception while playing defensive back.
Nichols is also a key element to the Knights basketball team that is making a run at the Front Range League title. On Twitter, Nichols posted: "Thanks to family and all my coaches throughout my football career. That being said I am going to be Continuing my football career at Purdue and will be a boilermaker for the next 4 years."