Posted: Aug 3, 2013 1:57 PM by MTN Sports
BOZEMAN - Aleksei Grosulak, one of Montana State's most popular and, when healthy, productive players since his sensational freshman season in 2010, retired from football Friday due to a litany of injuries.
"Heartbreaking is the best word for it," said MSU coach Rob Ash, who brought him to the Bobcat program in 2009. "No one works harder on the field, and no one has worked harder to rehab than Lex. We've seen it from him, so when he says it's time to be done, then we know he just can't go any further. It's heartbreaking, after all the work he's put in and for as much as he means to this program, that he won't get to play as a senior."
When Grosulak accepted a preferred walk-on spot at MSU the former Billings Central standout guaranteed Ash that he's make good in the Blue and Gold. Did he ever. After earning top defensive scout honors while redshirting, Grosulak earned Big Sky Freshman of the Week honors twice, National Freshman of the Week honors once, and MSU's Bill Kollar Defensive MVP honors after logging 7.5 tackles-for-loss and 78 total tackles. Knee and shoulder injuries plagued him throughout 2011 and '12, but he still finished his career with 121 total tackles, 10.5 for a loss, and three interceptions.
While Grosulak departs, Ash announced the addition of two newcomers. Brandon Davis, a 5-9, 180 lb sophomore from Granbury, Tex., transfers from Louisiana Tech. He rushed for 112 yards on 21 carries in three games last year. He rambled for 85 yards in the team's 70-28 win over Idaho, and helps shore up a position where only Cody Kirk and Shawn Johnson possess varsity experience. Davis is eligible this fall.
Ash also announced the addition of long snapper Rocky Hogue from Merced (Calif.) HS. Hogue was a standout snapper and tight end as a prep player.
Still, Ash's attention on Friday drifted toward Grosulak's plight, and the state of his team's linebacker corps. Ash indicated that Na'a Moeakiola and Rhett Young each also enter camp injured. Moeakiola is out indefinitely, while Young is expected to remain on the shelf throughout August. "Sometimes you have years like this where injuries are concentrated in one position," Ash said. "We are dealing with some injuries right now, so our 95(-player roster to open camp) is already depleted."
The Bobcats begin practice Sunday at 5 pm at MSU's Dyche Practice Fields.