When Rochester senior tailback Talon Betts received a call from Eastern Washington University football coach Aaron Best on Wednesday night offering him a preferred walk-on spot. Betts didn’t need long to contemplate.
“He was saying I should go think it over,” Betts said. “I was like, ‘I’m gonna stop you right there, coach. I’m all in.’”
Betts first saw Eastern Washington University’s red turf football field while attending a football camp in sixth grade and instantly fell in love with it.
Now, six years later, he will soon be playing on that field for the Eagles after verbally committing to Eastern on Wednesday and announcing the decision Friday morning.
“I always had the dream of playing there ever since and it was a lifetime goal of mine,” Betts said. “You can’t beat the red field.”
Everything has come full circle for the 6-foot-1, 170-pound tailback who is one of the most electric athletes in southwest Washington.
The two-time, all-2A Evergreen Conference running back and two-time Chronicle all-area pick, racked up 1,142 rushing yards, 307 receiving yards and scored 17 touchdowns in nine games as a senior. He was even more deadly on kick returns, taking three to the house while only being kicked to seven times all season.
He even scored the Kansas Tiebreaker-winning touchdown against Shelton that gave the Warriors their first playoff appearance in nine years.
Betts is also a track star who won the 200-meter dash at districts as a junior in May 2021 with a time of 22.88. He was second in the 100-meter dash after running an 11.14.
A 2-star athlete, according to 247Sports, he spurned offers from seven other college programs to sign with his dream school.
Betts first contacted Eastern during the summer of 2021, and he soon developed a relationship with running backs coach Aaron Prier. It kicked off from there as Betts soon began receiving offers from all over the Pacific Northwest, including Linfield College and Pacific University.
But even as his senior season ended this fall, Betts held out and waited for the one offer he really wanted. The patience paid off.
“It’s a huge blessing,” Betts said. “It was a really, really stressful process, but in the end it’s all worth it. I’ve been dreaming about this for a long time.”