First-year Montana State head coach Jeff Choate is going through growing pains this season, but he and his staff are winning when it comes to recruiting.
The Bobcats clearly have one of the top recruiting classes in the Big Sky Conference so far with the 2017 class, and that's saying something because it is a competitive league and a competitive state for that matter. The Montana Grizzlies would love to keep their bitter rivals suppressed as long as they can, but it hasn't been happening on the recruiting trail. Both schools have been solid.
Take into account the commitment of defensive back Jalen Cole two months ago. Colorado State and Idaho wanted him to come play in bowl games in the FBS, and three Ivy League schools wanted him to come east from his California home.
He chose to play for a program that he sees as a powerhouse–very soon.
"I'm confident we can win the Big Sky next year, we're building something big in Bozeman," Cole told HERO Sports. "The coaching? They're genuine and they know what they're talking about. Look for us to make some big-time noise in the FCS and the Big Sky next year. The coaches say they love my speed, my heart I play with and they always tell me I have that 'dog' mentality. We need more like that."
Cole is a three-star prospect across the board with all three major recruiting services and is the No. 7 ranked commitment in the nation in the FCS according to the 247Sports.com composite rating, which averages all services. Quarterback Tucker Rovig (shown below) is another impressive recruit with a 3-star rating from two services. He was the first one on board back in June.
"I came into contact with MSU through (wide receivers) coach (Matt) Miller, who used to play at Boise State," Rovig told HERO Sports after committing. "He hosted a couple Treasure Valley camps after his senior year (at BSU) and I attended. That's where the relationship started and once he got to MSU the relationship grew with meeting the whole coaching staff and establishing a relationship with (coach Choate and offensive coordinator Courtney) Messingham."
Other players with star ratings included DL Travis Yates, DB Tyrel Thomas and LB Chad Kanow all out of California, as well as LB Mitch Johnson out of Oregon, the most recent commitment who verified Thursday he is still on board with the Bobcats. As we all know though, a lot of non-rated FCS prospects have gone on to be all-americans and even get drafted by the NFL, but the above facts show this is a solid group.
With 10 players on board already, this is clearly one of the top FCS recruiting classes up to this point. Don't be surprised if this program improves quickly.
|QB||Tucker Rovig||Meridian, Idaho||6'5"||205||6/25/2016|
|DL||Travis Yates||Orange, Calif.||6'3"||265||7/1/2016|
|DB||Troy Andersen||Dillon, Mont.||6'3"||210||7/19/2016|
|ATH||Tadan Gilman||Kalispell, Mont.||6'0"||205||7/21/2016|
|DL||Jaxen Hashley||Kalispell, Mont.||6'6"||260||7/23/2016|
|DB||Tyrel Thomas||Bellflower, Calif.||5'11"||170||8/21/2016|
|DB||Jalen Cole||Santa Ana, Calif.||5'9"||150||8/22/2016|
|LB||Chad Kanow||Temecula, Calif.||6'4"||210||8/24/2016|
|DB||Keaton Anderson||Billings, Mont.||6'1"||170||9/5/2016|
|LB||Mitchell Johnson||West Linn, Oreg.||6'3"||215||10/9/2016|