Last weekend Montana State Bobcats' true freshman running back Isaiah Ifanse ran for an astounding 227 yards in the Bobcats game against Cal Poly, breaking Montana State's freshman single-game record, and seventh best in program history. To add to the record-breaking performance, Ifanse found the end zone three times throughout the contest.
In the following days, he was named Big Sky Conference Offensive Player of the Week. 'Cats head coach Jeff Choate spoke to this saying, "this is such a hard league to get a player of the week award in because you have 13 teams in this league and everyone has good players. Statistically, it's almost like getting the SEC Player of the Week. That's hard to do."
Ifanse was the 2017 Gatorade Player of the Year in Washington state, and was recruited by several Big Sky schools, including teams like Idaho and Sacramento State. With the talent he has displayed so far this year, I'm not sure why bigger name schools passed up on him, and I'm sure they feel the same.
So far this season, Ifanse has racked up 713 yards on 123 carries. In addition, he has accrued 87 receiving yards, giving him a cool 800 all-purpose yards through the Cats' nine games. He has also accounted for seven Montana State touchdowns this season.
More impressive may be the fact that Ifanse has been struggling with hamstring injuries throughout the 2018 season; many weeks he has been limited in practice or has sat out practice all together, and he still continues to keep up the strong performances.
Among the country's 2018 freshman class, Ifanse is currently fourth-most in rushing yards and yards per carry, and tied for fourth in rushing touchdowns, and my bet is by the end of the year he will tack on a few more. He is also on track to set Montana State's freshman rushing record, set by Chris Murray in 2016 (860 yards).
With two games left in the Bobcats' season, and hamstring troubles hopefully behind him, he has the opportunity to add to his already notable stats.
When you look at the 2017 Freshman All-Americans, Ifanse's stats fit in quite well, his total rushing yards is on track to be within the vicinity of the 935 yards averaged by AA running backs last year, and his seven touchdowns, and most likely more, will certainly help to boost his case.
With two regular season games left, Ifanse has the chance to set himself apart from the competition and make himself a freshman all-American. Either way, like Choate said, "Ifanse has a bright future at Montana State."