The 2019 Big Sky Football Kickoff was held July 14-15 in Spokane, Washington. Two players and the head coach for all 13 teams were under one roof to discuss the upcoming season.
HERO Sports was on site and decided to go a different route when talking to the players. Sam Herder asked them which teammate had the best-hidden talent and which opponent not on their schedule they'd love to face in 2019.
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Who has the best-hidden talent on your team?
- Montana LB Dante Olson: "We have a guy, his name is Danny Burton. He plays wide receiver, and he's an incredible fisherman. He catches huge fish and knows all the best places."
- EWU DL Dylan Ledbetter: "I'll go with Keith Moore. He's like 6-foot-5 and 320 pounds, he's a phenomenal dancer. Kid gets down. And he can sing and play the piano."
- UC Davis QB Jake Maier: "I made this mistake last year, and I won't make it again. I would say the best-hidden talent is Sione Aliki. He's a phenomenal singer. He can sing any genre."
- SUU RB Jay Green: "One of our teammates makes music. It's more of rapping and hip-hop. Our safety AJ Stanley. I have to shout him out."
- UNC QB Jacob Knipp: "I'd have to say one of our wideouts Dante Jackson. He came in as a quarterback and is now a wideout. Super athletic. And off the field, he's just a character with his dancing. He's a fun guy to be around."
- PSU TE Charlie Taumoepeau: "Our d-tackle Semise Kofe can really sing. But he's a really reserved guy, so you'd never be able to tell."
- NAU QB Case Cookus: "I'd say Joey Gatewood. He's a good singer. He doesn't sing that often, but he was in choir one year, and I saw him perform and it was pretty amazing."
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What's one team not on your schedule that you'd love to face this year?
- NAU QB Case Cookus: "I'll have to go with UC Davis. These guys right here (points to UC Davis head coach Dan Hawkins who's at the table right next to him.) (Hawkins: 'Oh you want a piece!?') I played (UC Davis OC and former NAU coach Tim Plough) when he was at Davis when we were at home. But last year I missed out on playing them, so I want to play them one more time because he was my coach and I like a friendly rivalry."
- NAU DB Anthony Sweeney: "I'd say Cal Poly. In high school, both of our running backs now play at Eastern Washington, and we get to play them this year. The other is at Cal Poly, and I was hurt last year when we played them. It'd be awesome to play him again, and there are some other guys I went to high school with that are at Cal Poly."
- Montana LB Dante Olson: "In order to be the best you have to beat the best. I'd love to get a shot at North Dakota State. They're a well-oiled machine, and being able to play them would be sweet."
- EWU TE Jayce Gilder: "North Dakota State without a doubt. We definitely want that rematch with those guys."
- EWU DL Dylan Ledbetter: "NDSU or James Madison. They're always competitive and great teams. JMU is always making a run in the playoffs. Playing them would be fun, too."
- MSU WR Kevin Kassis: "Someone on the East Coast would be cool, like a Stony Brook or a team like that."
- MSU DB Jahque Alleyne: "I would pick two teams: James Madison and Jacksonville State. JMU because that's three hours from where I lived and because they're a good football team. JSU is a really good team as well."
- UC Davis QB Jake Maier: "JMU would be a cool matchup just because we have respect for any of those top programs. We see a lot of MVFC teams, and the CAA would be different. You hear a lot about James Madison so that'd be a fun one."
- SUU OL Zach Larsen: "Utah State. I've been wanting to play them since I got here and haven't had the chance."
- Weber DL Jonah Williams: "I'm originally from Washington, so it'd be cool to play at UW. Or Boise State to play in front of some family."
- Weber WR Rashid Shaheed: "I'd like another shot at Utah. They're crosstown rivals, and it's a good opponent."
- UNC LB Luke Nelson: "We don't play Weber this year, and last year we went there, and we played them close. They had a late touchdown to pull away. And that one stung, so that'd be a team I'd like to see again."
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