Posted: Feb 6, 2013 3:22 PM by MTN Sports
BOZEMAN - Rob Ash has spent most of his life in or near rural areas, so he knows all about harvests. And Montana State's seventh-year head football coach will always remember 2013 for his program's Montana recruiting harvest.
"We're very excited about the players we signed from the state of Montana," Ash said Wednesday while announcing a class of 20 players, which features 11 from the Treasure State. "Our in-state recruits represent great balance, and we signed players we considered the best at each classifi cation in the state except six-man."
That trend begins with Gunnar Brekke, the Montana Gatorade Player of the Year from Class AA Helena Capital, and Glacier High's Devin Jeffries, who was the Class AA Defensive Player of the Year. It extends through Class A (starting quarterbacks Ben Folsom of the 2011 state championship squad at Beaverhead and Jacob Stanton of the 2012 title-winning Billings Central team), Class B (Bo Hughes engineered Loyola's 2012 state championship while Quinn McQueary of Manhattan High was considered one of the state's top players in any class). At Class C 8-man, Cody Vitt led Fairview to a perfect regular season and a fi nal mark of 11-1.
"We were able to sign the top players in all classifi cations in the state this year except for 6-man," Ash said, "and that's very exciting. To me this indicates the respect our program has gained in Montana."
Ash said the quantity of players in this class with positional versatility, including experience at quarterback, speaks to a high level of athleticism and football savvy. "That's become one of our philosophies," he said, "fi nding players who are versatile and athletic, who have played multiple positions or played on both sides of the ball. We also like recruiting coaches sons, players who show good instincts for the game."
Figuring in two players who joined the Bobcat program in January as Division I transfers, Tanner Roderick from Nevada and Ijumaa Armstrong from Hawai'i, MSU's 2013 signing day class includes 20 players. Two of them are Montana Gatorade Players of the Year. Brekke becomes the fi rst incoming freshman to arrive in Bozeman as a Gatorade Player of the Year since 1994 (Lance Lanning, Havre), and is the second Helena Capital star with that honor to play at MSU. Quarterback Jeff Tuss won the award in 1988, arriving at MSU in1995. Roderick was the 2010 Gatorade Player of the Year. The addition of two Montana Gatorade Players of the Year in the 2013 class doubles the number of players with that honor that have ever played at MSU.
Ash also lauded Armstrong and Roderick for their work so far in MSU's winter workout program. "They have both worked hard and impressed people," he said. "I'm looking forward to seeing them play in the spring."
Transfers (Previously announced)
Name, Pos. Ht Wt Class Hometown High School Previous College
Ijumaa Armstrong, DB (EE-juh-muh) 6-0 185 Jr Culver City, CA Culver City Hawai'i
Tanner Roderick, WR 6-3 185 So Bozeman, MT Bozeman Nevada
High School Signees
Folabi Akanbi, OL (foe-LOB-ee uh-KAWN-bee) 6-5 290 Fr Houston, TX Dawson Pearland
Blake Braun, LB (rhymes with lawn) 6-1 223 Fr Riverside, CA Redlands East Valley
Gunnar Brekke, RB (BRECK-ee) 5-11 188 Fr Helena, MT Capital
Wyatt Christensen, LB 6-0 212 Fr Fountain Valley, CA Fountain Valley
Luke Daly, K (rhymes with valley) 6-1 172 Fr Billings, MT Central
Ben Folsom, ATH 6-2 198 Fr Jackson, MT Beaverhead County
Khari Garcia, DB (kuh-HAWR-ee) 5-10 178 Fr Covina, CA Charter Oak
Jayshawn Gates-Mouton, WR (J-shawn Gates MOO-tawn) 5-8 150 Fr Palo Alto, CA Palo Alto
Bo Hughes, ATH 6-0 195 Fr Missoula, MT Loyola Sacred Heart
Dallas Hayes, DT 6-1 293 Fr Kent, WA Tahoma
Devin Jeffries, DE 6-1 215 Fr Kalispell, MT Glacier
Nick Lasane, RB (luh-SAN, like ran) 5-11 200 Fr Dallas, TX Lovejoy
Dylan Mahoney, OL 6-5 240 Fr Great Falls, MT CM Russell
Quinn McQueary, QB 6-2 185 Fr Manhattan, MT Manhattan
Jaylen Price, DB 5-10 175 Fr Little Elm, TX Little Elm
Jacob Stanton, WR 6-2 180 Fr Billings, MT Central
Trevan Timmer, LB (TREVV-uhn) 6-0 202 Fr Great Falls, MT Great Falls
Cody Vitt, RB 6-0 195 Fr Fairview, MT Fairview
Bobcat Recruits by Position and Home State
QB RB OL WR TE DL LB DB K ATH MT CA TX WA
‘13 Recruits 1 3 2 3 0 2 3 3 1 2 11 5 3 1
Ijumaa Armstrong, CB
6-0, 185, Jr, Culver City, CA (Culver City/Hawaii)
Player Notes: Transferred to MSU at the semester, and is presently
enrolled and attending classes... enrolled at Hawaii from
fall of 2011 through fall of 2012, redshirting in 2011... recorded
56 tackles as a senior at Culver City HS, and 67 as a junior... led
the team with four interceptions as a junior, earning Rookie of the
Year and Ironman awards from the school... also played a year
of varsity football at Verbum Dei HS, earning honorable mention
From MSU Coach Rob Ash: "Ijumaa is a rangy, athletic
cornerback with good speed. (MSU assistant coach) Kane Ioane
developed a good relationship with Ijumaa before he attended
Hawai'i, and we're very happy to have him in our program.
Bringing in an experienced cornerback after losing Darius Jones
and James Andrews to graduation was important in this class."
Tanner Roderick, WR
6-3, 185, So, Bozeman, MT (Bozeman/Nevada)
Player Notes: A second generation Bobcat who transferred to
MSU from Nevada in January... Montana's 2010-11 Gatorade
Player of the Year in football and basketball... led Bozeman High
to a 13-0 record and state championship in 2010, when he earned
Class AA Offensive MVP honors... also led the Hawks to a state
boys basketball title in 2011, earning all-state kudos... threw for
2,457 yards and 28 touchdowns in his prep career, rushing for
1,913 yards and 23 scores... his father Steve played football for
From MSU Coach Rob Ash: "We're thrilled to bring Tanner
back to his hometown, where he helped lead Bozeman High to
state championships in football and basketball. He's a second
generation Bobcat, so MSU has been an important part of his
family. He knows that DeNarius McGhee is entrenched at quarterback,
and he's anxious to get on the fi eld and help however he
can. We see him playing receiver for us this fall as an important
part of our offense."
HIGH SCHOOL SIGNEES
Folabi Akanbi, OL
6-5, 290, Fr, Houston, TX (Dawson Pearland)
Player Notes: An honorable mention all-conference selection...
earned an 89% grade from coaches, allowing only one sack during
his senior season... 45 knockdowns as a senior.
From MSU Coach Rob Ash: "A prototype offensive tackle at
6-5, 290, we think Folabi can get even bigger. He's very athletic
for a big man, with long arms and good aggressiveness. He hasn't
played as much football as some, but he has tremendous upside.
He's going to be fun to watch."
Blake Braun, LB
6-1, 223, Fr, Riverside, CA (Redlands East Valley)
Player Notes: An All-League Citrus Belt, All-CIF, All-County
and All-City selection... also earned all-conference honors in
baseball... a scholar-athlete award winner.
From MSU Coach Rob Ash: "A bigger linebacker with
speed, Blake played safety in high school but we project him as
a linebacker. He fl ies around the fi eld and makes plays. He's very
aggressive. He has very good tools, a great combination of size
and speed, for that position."
Gunnar Brekke, RB
5-11, 188, Fr, Helena, MT (Capital)
Player Notes: Earned 2012 Montana Gatorade Player of the
Year honors, setting a Helena Capital record with 2,415 career
rushing yards... a Great Falls Tribune Superstate selection as a
senior, earning 2011 and 2012 Class AA Offensive MVP honors...
First Team All-State as a running back and cornerback... chosen
for the Badlands Bowl and Montana Shrine Game.
From MSU Coach Rob Ash: "Gunnar is a great all-around
athlete who could play a number of different positions. He's a
very instinctive runner who likes to play with the ball in his hand,
so we'll put him at running back and let him make plays. He has
good speed and is just very good when he has the ball."
Wyatt Christensen, LB
6-0, 212, Fr, Fountain Valley, CA (Fountain Valley)
Player Notes: A two-time team captain who started for three
years... three-time First Team All-League selection, playing a
different position in each season... Team Defensive MVP and Mr.
Hatchet Team Award winner.
From MSU Coach Rob Ash: "Another linebacker with a
good frame, good height, better size than other linebackers we
have recruited in years past. He runs well, and plays like a prototypical
linebacker. He plays downhill, he's an aggressive tackler,
and he runs very well for his size."
Luke Daly, K
6-1, 172, Fr, Billings, MT (Central)
Player Notes: A two-time all-state punter who earned 2012 All-
Tier All-American honors... fi nished his senior season 9-for-13 on
fi eld goals with a long of 47 yards, and was 66-for-72 on PATs...
produced 50 touchbacks on his 94 career kickoffs.
From MSU Coach Rob Ash: "Luke is an outstanding kicker
in all three areas - place-kicking, punting and kickoffs. He probably
excels best as a fi eld goal kicker, but he can do it all. He has
a great background at competitive camps, clinics and showcases.
He has kicked well under pressure. He has a strong leg and is
very versatile. He is a good kicking prospect."
Ben Folsom, ATH
6-2, 198, Fr, Jackson, MT (Beaverhead County)
Player Notes: First Team All-State and All-Conference quarterback
at Beaverhead County HS, completing 64% of his passes
for 2,273 yards and 23 touchdowns... also logged 194 tackles and
seven interceptions in his career... a Great Falls Tribune Superstate
choice, earning invitations to the Mon-Dak and Montana
Shrine all-star games... played on Beaverhead's 2011 football and
2012 basketball state championship teams.
From MSU Coach Rob Ash: "The ability to play a lot of different
positions is something we value, and Ben fi ts that description.
He is planning to take his church mission starting next fall
so we have a couple of years before we have to fi nd the best spot
for him, but we're excited to sign a player with his ability. His
brother Monte will fi nish his mission in time to join us next fall."
5-10, 178, Fr, Covina, CA (Charter Oak)
Player Notes: A three-year starter and team captain as a senior
at Charter Oak High School... earned First Team All-Sierra
League honors twice and Second Team All-Valley honors twice
From MSU Coach Rob Ash: "A very athletic and talented
defensive back, we'll play Khari at safety. He's not overly big,
but he is a very physical player. He comes up to the line of scirmmage
and tackles well but can really make up ground on the back
end. He also returns punts, and is an excellent all-around athlete."
Jayshawn Gates-Mouton, WR
5-8, 150, Fr, Palo Alto, CA (Palo Alto)
Player Notes: First Team All-Conference receiver at Palo
Alto... also earned named to the All-Daily News team, earning
Palo Alto Weekly Athlete of the Week and Max Prep Offensive
Player of the Game honors once as a senior... member of the California
CCS All-Section Track and Field Championship team...
CIF and SCVAL De Anza Division League winner if 4x100 relay.
From MSU Coach Rob Ash: "We wanted to fi nd a speed
receiver, a guy who could really get out and go, and Jayshawn is
all of that. He is very slightly built, but very fast and explosive.
He has a great burst, great game-breaking ability."
Bo Hughes, ATH
6-0, 195, Fr, Missoula, MT (Loyola Sacred Heart)
Player Notes: A Great Falls Tribune Superstate selection, earning
First Team All-State and All-Conference honors at Loyola...
chosen for the Badlands Bowl and the Montana Shrine Game.
From MSU Coach Rob Ash: "Leadership and versatility
are two attributes we really like, and Bo was a great leader on
Loyola's state championship team. He played quarterback and
safety, so he never came off the fi eld. He played a lot of different
roles. We'll take a look at Bo as a safety, but he could play quarterback,
receiver, running back. He's a good all-around athlete."
Dallas Hayes, DT
6-1, 293, Fr, Kent, WA (Tahoma)
Player Notes: A 2012 team captain at Tahoma, where he
was also team MVP as a senior... earned all-conference honors
on both the offensive and defensive lines, and was named his
league's offensive lineman of the year... chosen for Washington's
From MSU Coach Rob Ash: "Defensive line was a spot we
wanted to address in this recruiting class, and Dallas is a prototypical
nose guard. He's 290 lbs, but he's very athletic. He has
good quickness. He's very solid, compact, he carries 290 lbs very
well. We'll put him at the nose and tell him to protect the A gap,
and I think he'll do it well, but he is very active for his size."
Devin Jeffries, DE
6-1, 215, Fr, Kalispell, MT (Glacier)
Player Notes: Class AA Defensive Player of the Year last fall...
First Team All-State and All-Conference choice... Glacier's alltime
career (17) and single-season (12.5) sack records... chosen
for the Mon-Dak and Montana Shrine games.
From MSU Coach Rob Ash: "Devin is a defensive end who
is a bigger guy, but is also a very good athlete and very active.
His weight is down a little right now but as he gains size in our
strength program he'll fi t our scheme very well. He has good
quickness and a really good motor. He can get to the ball."
Nick Lasane, RB
5-11, 200, Fr, Dallas, TX (Lovejoy)
Player Notes: Rushed for 2,349 yards on 264 carries in a prep
career cut short by injury... averaged 8.9 yards a carry, scoring 27
career touchdowns... fi rst team all-district choice as a junior.
From MSU Coach Rob Ash: "A bigger running back, a power
back, is something we wanted to fi nd in this class, and Nick is
not only a downhill runner but he has great breakaway speed. He
is coming off an injury in the fall, but the rehab is going well and
we're predicting a full recovery. He has very good speed for his
size, but we really like his ability to run with power."
Dylan Mahoney, OL
6-5, 240, Fr, Great Falls, MT (CM Russell)
Player Notes: A team captain at CMR as a senior, when he
earned First Team All-State and All-Conference honors as both
an offensive and defensive lineman... Great Falls Tribune Superstate
choice... chosen for the Mon-Dak and Montana Shrine
From MSU Coach Rob Ash: "Dylan is our other offensive
lineman in this class. He has a big 6-5 frame with room to put
on some more weight, but he has really good feet with long arms
that generate very good leverage. He is very athletic for a 6-5
guy, very, very impressive for his position. He was a good twoway
player at CMR."
Quinn McQueary, QB
6-2, 185, Fr, Manhattan, MT (Manhattan)
Player Notes: A multi-sport star at Manhattan HS... threw for
4,719 yards in his career, helping lead Manhattan to a 26-10
record as its starting quarterback... 317-for-558 passing in his
career... rushed for 1,314 yards on 320 carries in his career,
logging 282 tackles, 17 pass breakups and 11 interceptions as a
defensive back... Great Falls Tribune Superstate choice... fourtime
fi rst team all-state quarterback, also earning all-state honors
as a defensive back... chosen for the Mon-Dak all-star game and
the Montana Shrine Game... his father Dale is the head coach at
Manhattan, and his mother Chris is a former MSU head rodeo
From MSU Coach Rob Ash: "We'll put Quinn at quarterback,
although he is such a good athlete that he could play a
number of positions. He has the height and arm strength to be a
very productive quarterback, but also has tremendous mobility
and the ability to make plays with his legs. He throws a good
deep ball with nice touch. I think Quinn is one of the best athletes
in the Class of 2013 in the state of Montana."
Jaylen Price, DB
5-10, 175, Fr, Little Elm, TX (Little Elm)
Player Notes: Earned all-district honors as a senior, when he
was also special teams player of the year... All-State Honorable
From MSU Coach Rob Ash: "Speed might be Jaylen's most
notable asset, but he has very good ball skills and better size than
a lot of players who we recruit for their speed. He has a good
combination of height and explosive speed, and he's also a very
good return man."
Jacob Stanton, WR
6-2, 180, Fr, Billings, MT (Central)
Player Notes: Helped lead Billings Central to 2012 Class A State
Championship... First Team All-State at quaterback and defensive
back... First Team All-State as a receiver in 2011.
From MSU Coach Rob Ash: "Jacob is a coach's son and is a
natural, instinctive football player. He was the quarterback on a
state championship football team, but we recruited him as a receiver.
He has a nice frame, he's a little taller than some receivers,
but he runs very well. He has excellent instincts and is a very savvy
Trevan Timmer, LB
6-0, 202, Fr, Great Falls, MT (Great Falls)
Player Notes: Lost most of his senior season to injury... 2nd
Team All-State linebacker as a junior... 2011 and 2012 Academic
From MSU Coach Rob Ash: "Trevan is another linebacker
with a very good frame, which will allow him to put on weight. He
moves extremely well. He only played one game last fall, but had
17 tackles in that game. He's a very productive, natural player in
the middle of a defense."
Cody Vitt, RB
6-0, 195, Fr, Fairview, MT (Fairview)
Player Notes: Led Fairview to an 11-1 record and runnerup fi nish
in Class C eight man football last fall... rushed for 1,607 yards on
134 carries, averaging 12 yards per rush and 133 yards a game...
also caught 21 passes for 346 yards... scored 42 touchdowns on the
season... gained 221 yards on seven carries, scoring a touchdown
on all seven rushes, in one game...2012 Great Falls Tribune Superstate
choice, earning team MVP honors as well... chosen for the
Badlands Bowl and the Montana Shrine Game... three-time First
Team All-Conference and All-State choice.
From MSU Coach Rob Ash: "Cody was one of the top players
in Class C last season. He is a dynamic runner, a very productive
back. He has a good combination of speed and power. He has
game-breaking ability as a ball-carrier."