JEROME — Jerome High School held a college signing ceremony for three senior football players on Thursday afternoon.
Colten Craig signed with the College of Idaho, Jordin Myers with Rocky Mountain and Dallyn Koch with Lewis-Clark Valley.
Colten Craig, College of Idaho
Craig was one of Jerome’s best players on both sides of the ball. Right now, Craig plans to enter Caldwell as a linebacker, but he said the chance of playing running back is still there.
Either way, he’s relieved to have his college destination finalized, and he’s thrilled to continue his football career.
Thursday’s signing also went by oddly fast.
“I spent all four years dreaming of this moment. Within 10 minutes, it’s like, ‘Well, what’s next?’” Craig said. “I know what I’ve gotta do next to further myself, but it’s crazy to think I got through all those four years just to get to this point, and not know what to do next.”
Craig said he also drew interest from Montana State University-Northern, Montana Tech and Rocky Mountain, but the College of Idaho stood out for a few reasons. For one, Caldwell is only a two-hour or so drive from Jerome.
“It’s far enough away that I can live my life and and experience life on my own,” he said, “but it’s close enough that if I do need anything, I have family and friends right there.”
Craig will also receive a significant amount of money in academics scholarships (no athletic aid yet), he said, and he was impressed by the school’s biology program. His career goal is to become a conservationist.
“I’ve lived my life outdoors. I go hunting, I fish, I go driving around the desert,” Craig said. “If I can major in (biology) in one of the best schools in the country, then I’m happy.”
Jordin Myers, Rocky Mountain
Myers shared a backfield with Craig at Jerome, and he’ll continue to play quarterback at Rocky Mountain. The Bears play in the same NAIA conference (the Frontier) as the College of Idaho, so in a couple of years, Myers and Craig could be on the same field, but on opposite sides of the line of scrimmage.
“Being able to see him across the way, going against each other, is gonna be a little different, but it’s gonna be fun,” Myers said. “We’ll be pretty good rivals.”
Myers said he received a partial scholarship, and he plans to redshirt this coming season. He also expects to study physical therapy when he gets to Billings, Mont.
He talked with MSU-Northern and Montana tech, but Rocky Mountain separated itself.
“Rocky was a better fit academically,” Myers said. “As far as their football program, the coaching staff is great.”
Myers was named the Great Basin Conference’s first-team quarterback following the 2017 season.
Dallyn Koch, Lewis-Clark Valley
Koch, like Craig, starred on both sides of the ball for the Tigers. The plan right now is to play offensive line when he gets to Lewiston, he said, but he might see some action at defensive end.
Unlike Craig and Myers, Koch joins a new and unconventional program. Lewis-Clark Valley, an affilate of Lewis-Clark State College, was formed in 2013 “due to the absence of NCAA-Division III (and D-II) football programs in the state of Idaho,” according to its athletics website. The Loggers play against smaller programs in the region, aiming to provide opportunities and exposure for players like Koch.
“They really care about their players,” Koch said. “They’re like, ‘Hey, if you’re interested in playing, we’ll give you a shot. You’ve just gotta show up and prove that you can do it.’ That’s what I really like about them. They’ll give anybody a shot.”
Koch said the bulk of his financial aid will be academic.
He drew interest from a couple schools out of state, he said, but Lewis-Clark Valley’s offer was too good to pass up.
“You get a pretty cheap, good education from it,” he said, “and you get to play some pretty good football.”
Wood River receiver secures spot with Montana Western
On Wednesday, Wood River senior Jaren Bothwell signed with Montana Western to play wide receiver and return kicks/punts.
Bothwell said he will join the Bulldogs as a preferred walk-on, which means he’ll be guaranteed a roster spot even without receiving a scholarship. He plans to redshirt in the fall.
Bothwell got in touch with Montana Western about a year ago. He visited a couple other college camps, but the Bulldogs were the only program to offer a guaranteed roster spot.
“I definitely enjoyed Western more than the other ones,” Bothwell said over the phone on Thursday.
Despite not receiving a scholarship, Bothwell — listed at 5-foot-9 and 155 pounds — was included in Montana Western’s 21-player 2018 recruiting class.
“Although not the biggest player, Jaren has quick feet, good hands and a sense for the game,” Bulldogs head coach Ryan Nourse said in a news release. “Jaren is a great student and he loves to compete.”