National Signing Day part two is officially in the books for the Montana State Bobcats. The Cats added 11 to the 2018 recruiting class, bringing their grand total to 27. However, only six of those will play on the offensive and defensive lines, which Bobcat Head Coach Jeff Choate said came a little bit by design, and a little bit due to circumstance.
"We just made a conscious decision to," said Choate. "We were happy we had focused on those areas in the last two recruiting cycles for offensive and defensive line and turn our attention to getting the best skill players that we could get."
The Cats announced the addition of 27 athletes in total, including nine hailing from the Treasure State. Choate mentioned the additional focus on skill positions, and that focus is evidenced by the addition of five running backs, the most of any position. And while the Cats added just two native Montanans on Wednesday, Choate said that is more of a product of his recruiting philosophy than anything else.
"Most of the time, it would be nice for us to take care of the Montana kids first," said Choate. "And you saw maybe a little more Montana flavor in the first signing period, and then here we focused more on some out of state kids."
Choate repeatedly praised the recruiting efforts of his assistant coaches, but said the unsung MVP of the year may have been quarterback signee Casey Bauman.
"One of our best recruiters was Casey Bauman," he said. "And he committed to us as quarterback in the first cycle and that guy was reaching out to every single commit that we had, every single guy that was on a visit."
Looking at the recruiting class as a whole, Choate said Montana State is easy to sell and he sees bright things in the Bobcat's future.
"This is a heck of a place," he said. "I think we have a great degree to sell. I believe in the young men that are going to coach these guys down the road. And I believe in our locker room. I think we're going to win big."
Choate ended his press conference by announcing that spring football will start March 3, with the Spring Game roughly one month later, on April 7.
Courtesy of Montana State Sports Information:
Blake Allred, FB 5-11 200 Fr Billings, MT (Senior)
Ryan Barkley, OL 6-5 275 Fr Durango, CO (Durango)
Seer Deines, DL 6-3 270 Fr Connell, WA (Connell)
Koby Duru, WR 6-2 195 Fr La Puente, CA (Bishop Amat)
Greg Filer III, CB 6-0 170 Jr Compton, CA (Compton College)
Isaiah Ifanse, RB 5-10 190 Fr Bellevue, WA (Bellevue)
Donny Long, OL 6-3 280 Fr Norco, CA (Norco)
Mekhi Metcalf, WR 6-4 180 Fr Seattle, WA (Garfield)
Treyton Pickering, TE 6-4 220 Fr Sunburst, MT (Sunburst)
Malik Putney, S 6-0 200 Fr Tacoma, WA (Eastside Catholic)
Sherod White, TB 5-10 175 Fr Menifee, CA (Heritage)
James Williams, NT 5-10 305 Fr Aledo, TX (Aledo)
*-Confirmed intent to attend as preferred walk-on by signing admissions acceptance
High School - Montana - December
Nolan Askelson, LB 6-1 205 Fr Billings, MT Senior
*Jory Choate, LB 6-2 185 Fr Bozeman, MT Bozeman
Mark Estes, WR 6-1 180 Fr Kalispell, MT Glacier
Logan Kleinhans, WR 6-1 195 Fr Bozeman, MT Bozeman
Joe McElroy, OL 6-5 255 Fr Missoula, MT Loyola
Lane Sumner, RB 5-8 183 Fr Huntley, MT Huntley Project
Kaleb Winterburn, DB 6-2 190 Fr Helena, MT Helena
*-Confirmed intent to attend by signing admissions acceptance
High School - Out-of-State - December
Casey Bauman, QB 6-6 225 Fr Somas, WA Nooksack Valley
Justin Cauley, RB 5-9 195 Fr Venice, CA Venice
Ty'Rese Gibson, DB 6-0 165 Fr Lawndale, CA Paramount
Ty'Rhae Gibson, DB 6-0 165 Fr Lawndale, CA Paramount
Derryk Snell, TE 6-2 235 Fr Anchorage, AK Chugiak
Transfers - December
Name, Pos. Ht Wt Class Hometown High School Previous College
Tristan Bailey, K 6-1 215 Jr Colo. Springs, CO Rampart Coffeyville/Wyoming
Travis Jonsen, QB 6-4 210 Jr Fullerton, CA Servite Riverside CC/Oregon
Tyler Natee, RB 6-1 260 So Euless, TX Trinity Indiana
Bryce Sterk, DL 6-5 250 Jr Lynden, WA Lynden Washington