Head Coach Rob Ash and the MSU football staff worked last week to ensure Bobcat dominance of the Big Sky Conference. On national signing day, the Bobcats kept with tradition and signed 11 players from the state, including 2013 Montana Gatorade Player of the Year Gunnar Brekke of Helena.
Brekke averaged over seven yards per carry, amassed 1,285 yards and scored 16 touchdowns. The six-foot, 180-pound running back also boasts a big brain and even bigger heart. He maintained a 3.53 GPA at Capital High in Helena and volunteered his time to a church construction project and flood relief efforts. Brekke should be a great addition to a team that values community service.
“I think their desire and their work ethic are tremendous in those Montana kids and they also have a deep-seated loyalty to the institution,” said Ash. “They understand the rivalry and they understand the importance of football in the state of Montana.” More than half of the student-athletes Ash signed are from the state, but he also reached out to players in Washington, California, and football hotbed, Texas.
“I know when guys were down on the road it was very easy to talk about,” Ash said of his staff’s recruiting trips. “The parents would say, ‘Well, I want to watch my son play,’ and we could say you’ll be able to do that because the games are all on TV.”
Ash made it clear that the most important thing about out-of-state recruiting is helping the families afford a college education. “When you think about what it means for the families, I mean we’re talking about, in the case of an out of state student, probably a $150,000 value that this young man just signed when he signed his financial aid agreement.”
Though there are five quarterbacks in this year’s recruiting class, only one is expected to start throwing the ball immediately, and that’s Manhattan, Mont. standout Quinton McQueary. The rest are listed as athletes and are expected to play either safety or receiver.
“I really like this class, I think it’s as good as any class we’ve brought in,” said Ash. “We got somebody at just about every position across the board and that’s what we needed to do.”