Justin Veltung of the St. Louis Rams returned to his former stomping grounds during the final week of the NFL’s regular season.
Veltung, a 2009 Puyallup High School graduate who played college football at the University of Idaho, was back on familiar turf in the Pacific Northwest when the Rams played the Seattle Seahawks on Dec. 29 at CenturyLink Field.
It was the same field where Veltung once corralled six catches for 167 yards and two touchdowns when he led Puyallup’s 20-19 victory against the Bellarmine Prep Lions in the 2008 Emerald City Kickoff Classic.
Before I wanted the regular-season finale, I didn’t even know Veltung was on the Rams’ roster. The last time I checked, he was a member of the Rams’ practice squad.
When I saw Veltung get ready to return Jon Ryan’s punt on my TV, I shouted out to my buddies: “He graduated from Puyallup. I interviewed him a lot when he was in high school. He was legit at football, soccer and track.”
Veltung returned three punts during the Rams’ 27-9 loss. Despite the setback, it had to be an awesome moment for Veltung. He got to play in a NFL game just 32 miles from where he grew up.
I checked my Twitter feed during the game, and there were multiple people I follow who were tweeting about Veltung’s appearance. He was one of the most exciting athletes I covered during his high-school days. I watched him not only dominate the football field, but also on the soccer field and as a sprinter during his senior year.
The community should be proud of Veltung as he’s achieved his dream to play in the NFL.
Sports Editor Shaun Scott can be reached at 253-552-7002 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter, @herald_shaun.