INSIDE SLANT: Justin Veltung, WR

Earlier this week GoVandals.net reported that Puyallup High (Wash.) speedster JUSTIN VELTUNG had made a verbal commitment to Robb Akey and the University of Idaho. Sporting a swift 4.39-forty and a penchant for the endzone, he was named an All-League selection at three positions, and was also named to the All-Area Team as a return specialist, despite missing the last half of the '08 season.

It's no secret that Idaho, under third-year head coach Robb Akey and in just its fifth season as a member of the Western Athletic Conference, continues to invest in speed throughout the roster. It takes years to accumulate the speed – and experience – required to truly be a player in the WAC, and each year Akey has signed athletes with impressive numbers on the clock.

And speed can mean an opportunity to play early.

Last year Hawaii high school record-setting tailback Kama Bailey joined the Vandal program in August and by mid-season was the team's starting kick returner as a true freshman. Numerous true freshmen the last two years have joined the program and earned immediate playing time and starting roles.

This week, GoVandals.net confirmed that Puyallup speedster Justin Veltung (5-10, 170) has made a verbal commitment to Idaho. What stands out about Veltung, in addition to the list of honors he accumulated in his injury-shortened senior season, is the impressive 4.39 – forty he registered at the Spanaway Competitive Edge Combine - the top forty time of all participants.

It is that kind of speed that will get a player noticed.

A two-way starter (wide receiver and defensive back) and special teams demon, he swept all of his league's position honors despite playing in just the first five games of the season. That is the kind of reputation he had in the tough South Puget Sound League.

"I committed to the University of Idaho," Veltung told Scout.com. "I liked it over there, the coaches and players."


He made his decision during his official visit on December 13th, and was hosted by Idaho standout true freshman wide receiver Preston Davis. Idaho Recruiting Coordinator and Wide Receiver Coach Luther Carr is leading the charge in recruiting Veltung.

"They were very excited," Veltung said when asked to describe how Coach Akey and Coach Carr reacted when he committed. "He [Akey] yelled and screamed when I committed," he added.

In an article that appeared in The Tacoma News Tribune earlier this year, Veltung's football coach made the following assessment: "Any time he has the ball in his hands, he's got the speed to outrun anyone on the field," Puyallup coach Tom Ingles said. "He can score on any play."

"Justin is an incredible athlete," Ingles said. "He runs extremely well, he has great balance, great hands. He can do a myriad of things."

Through the first five games – before suffering a season-ending turf toe injury – Veltung scored five touchdowns on plays longer than 50 yards, including an 85-yard kickoff return and a 74-yard punt return. He also had another long punt return for a touchdown called back because of a penalty.

He finished his senior season with 481 receiving yards (fourth in the SPSL) on 19 receptions (also fourth in the SPSL) and finished with 944 all-purpose yards.


Despite the injury shortened season, he was named First Team All-SPSL South at wide receiver, defensive back, and as a return specialist. He was also named to The Tacoma News Tribune All-Area Team as a kick returner.

As would be expected with a player that brings this magnitude of speed to the gridiron, he has no plans to redshirt the 2009 season. "I'll play," Veltung told Scout.com. "I'm being recruited as a wide receiver. I'm going to play slot, and I'll do kickoff returns and some punt returns."

He lists his speed and route running precision – plus having the speed to beat converging tacklers for extra yardage or a score – as his biggest assets moving up to the college level. Idaho is now building solid depth at the wide receiver position, but a player with 4.39 speed will have every opportunity to compete immediately.

And football isn't his only game. As a junior last year he was named the League MVP as a soccer forward and an All-State selection.

Veltung reports that he is fully qualified and ready to take his game to the next level.


PLAYER PROFILE: Justin Veltung, 5-10, 170, WR



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