Football: Overland’s Alijah Halliburton commits to Wyoming

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Overland senior safety Alijah Halliburton (21) pursues Columbine quarterback Jake Lowry during the Trailblazers' 2015 opener against the Rebels. Halliburton made 125 tackles on the season and gave his verbal commitment to the University of Wyoming over the weekend. (Photo by Courtney Oakes/Aurora Sentinel)
Overland senior safety Alijah Halliburton (21) pursues Columbine quarterback Jake Lowry during the Trailblazers’ 2015 opener against the Rebels. Halliburton made 125 tackles on the season and gave his verbal commitment to the University of Wyoming over the weekend. (Photo by Courtney Oakes/Aurora Sentinel)

AURORA | One of the city’s most versatile prep athletes is headed to the University of Wyoming, as Overland football standout Alijah Halliburton announced his verbal commitment to play in Laramie.

The 6-foot-2, 170-pound Halliburton played safety at a high level for coach Seth Replogle’s Trailblazers in the 2015 season, as he racked up a total of 125 tackles — including 86 solo stops — plus two sacks and an interception on his way to first team All-Centennial League accolades.

Overland senior safety Alijah Halliburton earn All-Centennial League accolades for each of his past two seasons. (Photo by Courtney Oakes/Aurora Sentinel)
Overland senior safety Alijah Halliburton earned All-Centennial League accolades for each of his past two seasons. (Photo by Courtney Oakes/Aurora Sentinel)

Halliburton is set to join a Wyoming program that continues to stockpile local football talent. The Cowboys, who just finished a 2-10 season, had several Aurora players on the roster in Halliburton’s former Overland teammate Kevin Prosser, plus Tanner Gentry (Wyoming’s leading receiver) and Eddie Yarbrough (the team’s sacks leader) from Grandview and another safety, Xavier Lewis of Eaglecrest.

“The Wyoming football staff really took the commitment to make me a top priority,”  Halliburton told the Sentinel. “Education wise it had my major and I believe in Wyoming’s football team.”

Off the field, Halliburton said he hopes to pursue a major in graphics and animation 3D and minor in business and finance. To that end, he believes Wyoming’s atmosphere will help him focus on his studies.

Halliburton said he also visited Colorado and Colorado State, but appreciated how much coach Craig Bohl and his staff wanted him.

The Cowboys intend to keep him at safety, where they likely appreciate his athleticism and playmaking ability as much as did Replogle, who saw Halliburton earn all-league second team honors as a junior and better that performance as a senior.

“Everybody judges athletes in different ways; it’s not that he jumps out of the gym or runs like a deer — which he does — it’s just the sense of awareness of what his body is doing,” said Replogle, who said Overland tailored its defense to give Halliburton the chance to make plays, which he did repeatedly.

“To me, that is a better sign of athleticism than a vertical jump or 40 meter dash times,” Replogle added. “Those things are important, but having good body control is the biggest thing. He’s going to explode in college.”

Wyoming also has several familiar faces for Halliburton, who said he just spent last weekend with Prosser and 2015 Overland grad Austin Conway — a member of the school’s men’s basketball team — and also knows Ralston Valley grads and current football players Collin Root and Dewey Wingard.

Currently, Halliburton is trying to help the Overland boys basketball team win a second straight 5A state championship. He’ll play a bigger role for the Trailblazers this season alongside Indiana University signee De’Ron Davis due to the graduation of some big players from last season’s team.

Halliburton has also competed for the Overland track team.

In late October, another Aurora All-Centennial League first team selection — offensive lineman Ashton Torres of Cherokee Trail — verbally committed to Montana.

Courtney Oakes is Aurora Sentinel Sports Editor. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. FB: Aurora Prep Sentinel