Sawyer Goram-Welch’s process has involved a lot of research, consideration, discussion and travel when it comes to his future on the field.
On Tuesday, the Longview Lobo defensive lineman ended the process.
After narrowing his selection down, Goram-Welch announced that he has committed to Oklahoma State, choosing the Cowboys over SMU and Illinois.
Stability played a factor in the final decision.
“It was a tough decision,” Goram-Welch told the News-Journal. “Oklahoma State is a consistently-winning program. Coach (Mike) Gundy has been there a while so you know he’ll probably be there the rest of his career and that’s great.
“The coaching staff is great. Stillwater is a smaller town with a great college atmosphere and I really like that — really comfortable vibes. They have a ton of support with their fan base and alumni so there are plenty of resources up there.
“Also playing in the Big 12 is a big factor, getting to play against those offenses to see how I stack up.”
Goram-Welch took an official visit to SMU during early June and visited Oklahoma State and Illinois on unofficial visits over the summer.
Stability was a factor for sure but when it came to Goram-Welch’s recruitment, which included 15 total opportunities, it was the 6-4, 290-pounder’s versatility on the field that had coaches from across the country after his services.
“Just my versatility on the line,” Goram-Welch said of what he was hearing from coaches, including Oklahoma State. “With my body type right now, It can go either way with a three technique or a four.
“Oklahoma State is a three-man front, a lot like Longview, which is another thing I like. I know how to handle that.”
Handling opponents’ offenses is something Goram-Welch and the Lobos have been doing this season so far in a 6-0 start for the defending state champions.
With the decision over, Goram-Welch is looking forward to shifting his focus solely on the Lobos.
“The process has been long and I’ve learned a lot from the beginning,” Goram-Welch, who picked up his first offer from Louisiana Tech in June 2018, said.
“During the season last year, I had one offer so it wasn’t something that was weighing on my mind too much.
“This is my last year playing for the Lobos so I’m really trying to enjoy the moment instead of thinking about the future. Not that I’m not focused right here, right now but it’s always something that’s in the back of your mind.
“The relief is great. It’s a weight off my shoulders.”
As a junior, Goram-Welch finished the season with 65 tackles, 15 sacks, five tackles for loss and three forced fumbles for the 16-0 2018 Class 6A, Division II state champions.
His recruitment took off in January with 14 more offers, including SMU, Texas Tech, Illinois, Purdue and Oregon State.
Through six games this season, Goram-Welch has 32 tackles, eight sacks and five tackles for loss for a Lobo defense that has held opponents to 51 total points on the season.
“I’m proud of this team so far and it feels like our defense is a step ahead of where we were last year when we relied on the offense,” Goram-Welch said of the Lobo defense, which has held opponents to 17-of-75 of third-down conversion attempts and has allowed points to opponents after just two of Longview’s 12 turnovers.
“They bailed us out a lot last year and it’s a good feeling returning the favor in a way.
“We had a bad half this past week (against Mesquite Horn) and that’s something that we’ve learned from, something that great defenses do is learn.
“We have yet to reach our potential on both sides of the ball. We’re making mistakes but learning.
“I don’t think a lot of people have realized that this team hasn’t peaked yet. We’ve made progress but we still have so much potential.”
Now with the long process over and his future decided, Goram-Welch can focus on what is right in front of him.
Longview hosts Rockwall-Heath at 7:30 p.m. Friday night at Lobo Stadium.