Bobcats Land Diverse Recruiting Class for 2015 - News, Sports and Weather

Bobcats Land Diverse Recruiting Class for 2015

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If variety is the spice of life, Montana State's 2015 football recruiting class carries some serious heat.

“I really like the variety in this class across the board,” said ninth-year head football coach Rob Ash. “I like that we're adding 10 players from Montana, counting walk-ons. It's a priority for us to reload with Montanans every year. About two-thirds of this class is on the defensive side, but that's where we lost the most players. We got some really key spots filled in on offense, so that's good.”

The 2015 class' most noticeable element is the transfers, an unusual signing day occurrence at MSU in recent years. With seven departing starters on defense, Ash said the reinforcements are welcome. “Defensively we took six transfers – two linemen, two linebackers, two DBs – so I like that balance,” Ash said. “These are guys that can contend (for starting jobs) and play early. The other thing that I'm excited about is we lost five linebackers but we picked up six, so we filled our roster up there. Two of them are transfers, so they're not all in the same class.”

A trio of new Bobcats are already current Bobcats, having transferred at the semester. Receiver Brandon Brown comes to MSU from Baylor, and reunites with former prep teammate and Bobcat quarterback Dakota Prukop. Ash calls Brown a “tough, savvy receiver with good speed” who can boost MSU's fortunes in the passing game. Safeties Desman Carter (Alabama-Birmingham and Nevada) and Bryson McCabe (South Dakota State via Iowa Western) each have Division I experience, and give the Cats depth and talent in the secondary.

The summer months will bring linebackers Zachary Stern, a former junior college track athlete who brings speed as an outside linebacker, and Cincinnati transfer Marcus Tappan, who Ash characterizes as a tough inside linebacker, to the Bobcat program. Similarly, defensive end Shiloh LaBoy and tackle Joe Naotala each shore up an area of the defensive front.

“The transfers aren't promised anything,” Ash says. “They'll have to come and earn jobs. They have the talent to do that.”

Among the group of high school newcomers, Ash is pleased with the balance and variety, geographically and positionally. “Coach Mac (Jason McEndoo) has done a good job finding players from the Midwest, and we think he has another one this year in Sam Plucker. We went a little heavier in California than Texas, but a lot of that is because most of the junior colleges we recruit are in California. As long as we don't go extinct in Texas we're fine, and we kept that pipeline going again this year. I like that we reloaded in the state of Montana, with players that range from the Class AA Defensive MVP all the way to a Class C Six-Man all-state player.”

The Bobcats also pulled some family strings in this year's recruiting class. Missoula defensive end Byron Rollins' father Josh played at MSU under Cliff Hysell and Mike Kramer, Mitchell Brott comes joins his brother Wilson, a Bobcat tight end, and Marcus Ferriter's brother Sean is currently an MSU track and field star. “We have others that grew up as Bobcat fans, and it's always great to bring in kids who have always wanted to be a Bobcat,” Ash said.

The element of this year's class that Ash appreciates the most, though, is its depth. “We wanted to build depth with this class, to bring in quality players to balance out classes and positions. That's why we divided up scholarships and end up announcing 30 today. We needed to replenish the depth and talent on our roster, and these guys help with that.”

The complete recruiting class can be found by clicking here.

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