Two weekends ago I spent some time on the University of Minnesota campus to watch the Gophers’ prospect camp. A handful of guys stood out during the camp, but most of them I expected. Guys like Evan Hull, Cole Kramer,…
Two weekends ago I spent some time on the University of Minnesota campus to watch the Gophers’ prospect camp. A handful of guys stood out during the camp, but most of them I expected. Guys like Evan Hull, Cole Kramer, and Jonathan Mann stood out and were a focus for the Gophers’ staff. One more guy who the Gophers’ staff put some extra time into was Buffalo’s Treyton Welch. I overheard the coaches asking him to spend some time running routes as a receiver and some time showing his coverage skills at corner. Often during one-on-ones, when Mann was set to go – regardless of if it was Welch’s turn, the coaches bumped Welch up in line to see the two highly ranked prospects go head to head.
I came away impressed with Welch but with one big question – what position or positions can he play in college? It is a question many college coaching staffs are struggling with – including Big Ten schools.
Last season Welch and the Bison had a season of near misses. They finished 4-5.
“We lost two of our games because of a play or two,” Welch said. “Overall our team played well. Next year I think we will be able to take advantage of other teams’ mistakes.”
Welch – who plays wide receiver on offense, benefited from a wide-open offense.
“Our offense is an air it out offense, but we were able to run the ball too,” Welch told northstarfootballnews.com. “We threw the ball a lot, and that opened up the running game.”
“On defense,” Welch continued, “we had a good pass defense. When we could stop the run, we really came together.”
Welch felt he could have done more to help his team – especially on offense.
“I dropped too many balls last season,” Welch admitted, “but I had a good season. Being double covered is hard. It is awesome because it frees up teammates, but it is difficult at the same time.”
Playing cornerback on defense, even though he lined up on the best receiver, Welch didn’t get thrown at much. He found other ways to keep his focus.
“I gave up about 58 yards passing this year – mainly because they didn’t throw my way,” NFN’s 31st ranked senior-to-be said. “Even though I know they aren’t going to throw at me I like to get physical with guys at the line of scrimmage. We play a lot of running teams, so I stay involved there too.”
On offense, Welch lined up all over the field – often as a decoy.
“I believe my strength is going up and getting the ball – winning 50/50 balls,” Welch said. “That is going to be my ball. I am able to use my size and strength.”
This winter he played hockey as a power forward, and in the spring, he plays lacrosse. For the second year in a row, Welch was selected to play on the U16 and then the U17 national football teams.
Welch knows he is moving from corner to linebacker for his senior year, so this summer he has been working on his tackling and lowering his pad level. On offense, he has been working on his speed – an aspect of his game that has college programs trying to figure out what to do with the 6’4″ 205-pound athlete.
“I am working on my speed and shiftiness, so I can get around people instead of always using my physicality all the time.”
Off the field, Welch’s religion has become one of the focuses of his life.
“It started with my parents,” Welch said, “but I have just continued to understand what Christianity really means to me and to my life.”
Because he doesn’t have the speed most programs want, Welch has been looked at as a tight end, linebacker and receiver. Iowa and Iowa State are looking at Welch. North Dakota State, Western Illinois, Northern Iowa, Augustana, Northern Michigan and the University of Mary have offered Welch. Minnesota has him as a preferred walk-on.
Beyond his senior year of high school, no one knows where Welch will be playing. No one knows for what program or even what position, but one thing the Gophers’ camp helped everyone to know that Welch will be playing somewhere next year on Saturdays.