On Monday, Iowa extended a scholarship offer to the versatile Wyoming athlete. Oddly enough, despite identifying him early, the Hawkeyes began playing catch-up in the pursuit of Bartlett.
"They've been recruiting me since the get-go. The thing with Iowa is it's been different from a lot of the other schools. We never talked onTwitter direct message where they asked me to call them at a certain time. We haven't really had that personal contact. It was more form letters, the kind of stuff you send out to everybody, I think," the 6-foot-3, 210-pound Bartlett said.
Bartlett said Iowa Recruiting Coordinator Seth Wallace followed him on Twitter Sunday. Monday, the Hawkeye assistant called Cheyenne East High to offer a scholarship.
"It was kind of out of nowhere. It happened kind of fast, so I was surprised. I talked with Coach Wallace about the offer. He said that I fit the mold that they're trying to get as far as players go. They're recruiting me as an athlete because when the coaches watched the film together, different position coaches felt like I could play their position," Bartlett said.
Bartlett, a three-time state wrestling champion, believed linebacker and tight end were the most likely positions he'd play in college. As a prep, he's been the team's starting quarterback since he was sophomore and also played safety and linebacker. He led the state in rushing yards last year.
While Iowa waited until Monday to act on mail sent early and often, other schools have built relationships with Bartlett. He reported offers from California, Colorado, Colorado State, Oregon, Utah and Wyoming.
"I've been offered by seven different programs and I think all seven are great. I like the coaching staffs that I've talked to. I like the people I've met everywhere I've been. It's going to be a tough decision. When it's all said and done, I probably will end up taking all five (official visits)," Bartlett said.
Bartlett has set up one official to date. He's scheduled to be at Oregon on the weekend of Oct. 17-19.
Bartlett said he also has built strong bonds with Colorado, Wyoming and Utah.
"Those schools would make sense to take an official visit to," he said. "With me, the relationships are a big factor. That's how to get to know people. If you're going to make a decision to go play somewhere for the next five years, these are the people you're going to spend most of your time with.
"You look at a place like Colorado, we've been talking to them, face-to-face, or on the phone, or however, and there's personal connection for a whole year and a half now. Utah, we started talking towards the end of last school year. I've gotten to know those guys. With Oregon, we got out there this summer and sat down with everybody. Places like Wyoming and Colorado and Utah we have to think seriously about taking official visits just because we have built up those relationships. I'm not saying that we won't take visits other places but I think it's important to look at those schools you've built a relationship with."
So, where does that leave the Hawkeyes?
"I hope to make a decision by late November, early December. Whatever relationship we can build before then, we'll do. I'm really interested in Iowa but they're a little bit behind. But that's OK. It's not going to hurt them. In my mind, I don't think it's as big a deal. We just need to get that relationship opened up. And I think they're willing to do that. Coach Wallace said he's going to try to make it out for a game or at least a practice sometime early in the season. That would mean a lot if they were willing to make a trip out here," Bartlett said.
Wyoming hired head coach Craig Bohl in December. He won back-to-back FCS national titles at North Dakota State the last two seasons and has worked hard to convince Bartlett to stay home.
"They're going to bring in a winning tradition. I think a lot of people around the state are really excited about that. Obviously, you want to see your hometown guy play for your hometown team, so I think that the pressure is there. But I'm not too worried about that. I'm going to make the decision that's best for me and my family and everybody is just going to have to live with it," Bartlett said.
Bartlett said he's considering a college major in secondary education but likely will start undeclared to check out all of his options.