LARAMIE -- Brycen Lotz wasn't having much luck at the lake on Monday afternoon.

He thinks he had a bass on the line, but it broke off. The six other college coaches who were seeking Lotz's services know that feeling all too well.

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The 6-foot-5, 260-pound offensive tackle verbally committed last Saturday to Craig Bohl and the Cowboys. The Braham, Minn., product, who is also the No. 17 recruit in the state, per, also had offers from FBS programs Central Michigan, Army and Northern Illinois. North Dakota State, South Dakota and defending FCS champion South Dakota State also wanted a piece of the three-star prospect.

He chose Wyoming.

"To be honest, Wyoming made it easy," Lotz said. "Right when I rolled into town, I knew this was the place. My parents told me being in Laramie was the happiest they've seen me. The mountains and nature part of it also appealed to me. It's a small town like Braham and the school spirit is everywhere. Everything has the Cowboy logo on it.

"I loved it. It's better than the city life. I'm made for the outdoors."

That's not all.

Lotz said the Pokes' run-first offense was also attractive. A quick glance at his high school stats will show you why. Braham ran 496 plays last fall throughout its 10-game schedule. Just 72 of those were passes.

Sound familiar?

Cowboy ball carriers capped the 2022 campaign with 479 rushing attempts compared to just 304 throws.

"We probably threw the ball two times per game," Lotz joked. "I'm very set on run blocking."

The UW coaching staff, Lotz said, is one of the main reasons this decision came so natural. Offensive coordinator Tim Polasek recruits Minnesota. Lotz's future position coach, Joe Tripodi, and graduate assistant Taylor Lucas sealed the deal.

Lotz competed in Wyoming's annual junior camp two weeks ago in Laramie. There he faced players from around the country who were more polished and from bigger programs. Braham is a 1A school. Only 9-man is a smaller classification in Minnesota.

It served as an eyeopener for Lotz.

"I wasn't discouraged," he said. "I worked my ass off to beat them or at least make it close."

Apparently he did enough.

"That was a very exciting moment," Lotz said, referring to receiving the offer from Bohl. "My parents were really happy for me. I knew when I got the offer this was the place for me. From my mom's standpoint, it was really hard to hear. She wants the best for me, but she's sad I'm going to be so far away."

Lotz has scoured YouTube, attempting to get a glimpse of a game-day atmosphere inside War Memorial Stadium. The facilities? He was wowed.

The fact current players Treyton Welch (Buffalo), Forrest Scheel (Cambridge), Charlie Coenen (Chanhassen), DeVonne Harris (Big Lake) and fellow 2024 recruit Adrian Onyieo (Rogers) are from his home state certainly didn't hurt.

Past UW linemen under Bohl like Eric Abojei (New Hope), Latrell Bible (Minneapolis) and former Washington Commanders center Chase Roullier (Burnsville) also hail from the Land of 10,000 Lakes .

If there was one concern, Lotz said, it was the altitude.

"It's for real," he said. "It was really tough, especially for a lineman."

That's OK. He should have plenty of time to adjust. Lotz said he wants to be developed.

He came to the right place.

"I need to learn a lot," he said. "Everything they were teaching me in camp was brand new. I need time to get into the playbook and be coached by Tripodi."

UW vs. NIU September 11, 2021

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