Following a season of record-setting offense and defense that finished near the bottom of the national ranks, the theme of the 2015 Bobcat Recruiting Class was simple: retool on offense and rebuild the defense. With 30 commitments and pending a 31st from athletes across the country, the Bobcats may well have accomplished both tasks.
Head football coach Rob Ash took to the podium on Feb. 4 at Bobcat Stadium to announce the newest members to the Bobcat football family. “The class is heavily tilted to defense … this should come as no surprise … we actually lost 12 seniors on defense.” Overall 17 of the Bobcats 25 scholarship players will play defense. In addition to the class’s size, the Cats went about signing a greater number of transfer athletes, “We have seven transfers … six of the seven of those transfers are on defense … and we expect all of the transfers to compete for playing time early.”
With the majority of last year’s defensive starters gone, the Bobcats concentrated on all defensive positions. The Cats inked commitments from six defensive linemen, two of which come from the junior college ranks and could compete for playing time immediately. Of the six linebackers, one will arrive from the junior college ranks and another, Marcus Tappan, will transfer from FBS Cincinnati. Perhaps the most urgent defensive hole filled was strong safety, as the Cats got two strong safeties in Desman Carter and Bryson McCabe from Alabama-Birmingham and Iowa Western JC, respectively. Rounding out the defensive class is Belgrade commit Brayden Konkol, a two-time Class A All-State selection who will also look to contribute to the Bobcat secondary.
On offense, the Bobcats added three wide receivers to an already stacked receiving core. The Bobcats also signed two tight ends and two quarterbacks, including Kalispell Glacier walk-on quarterback Brady McChesney, who led the Wolfpack to their first Class AA State Championship last fall. With four starting offensive lineman set to graduate next year, the Cats went about adding depth at that position, signing four linemen, three of which come from the Treasure State.
The Cats continued their recruiting success in Texas, signing four commitments, including dual-threat quarterback Jordan Hoy and Baylor University wide receiver transfer Brandon Brown, who played high school ball with Bobcat quarterback Dakota Prukop. The Bobcats also cemented their presence in California, signing a group of eleven athletes highlighted by offensive lineman Jake McFetridge, tight end and former Grizzly commit Woody Brandom, and six foot six inch wide receiver Cameron Sutton. From the Treasure State, the Bobcats received commitments from eleven athletes, with a twelfth pending.
When discussing how the recruiting landscape has changed in his time, Ash mentioned the extra role Twitter and scouting programs like Hudl have. “Clearly social media has changed the face of recruiting.” Ash is prepared though, as he announced he will, after great reluctance, join the social media landscape, “I have decided I’m going to [get a Twitter account], that’s probably the most shocking announcement of the day. I’m going to get a Twitter account. Are you calling them an account? I don’t know anything about it, but I’ve got to do it.”