Montana State Spring Football

Bobcats we would’ve liked to watch during spring football: MSU defense

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Editor’s Note: This story is the part of a four-part mini-series that will be included in a short series on the Montana State football program despite the cancellation of spring football practices across the Big Sky Conference. Quotes provided through exclusive interviews by Skyline Sports or provided by Montana State sports information.

Spring football practices seem monotonous for upper classmen who simply want to maintain health and sanity entering the final years of their careers. But the 15 practices each spring allotted to teams across the Big Sky Conference, the FCS and college football as a whole provide important evaluation opportunities for coaching staffs across the country.

Spring football also elicits excitement among fans and a chance for media outlets like this one to observe, evaluate and analyze the composition of a roster. Many players who spent the previous season either sitting out as redshirts or waiting their turns as young players get their first live reps. And often times those reps come against some of the best players on the “varsity”.

The Montana State Bobcats won 11 games last year, advancing to the semifinals of the FCS playoffs for the first time since 1984. That team was led by a talented senior class, many who grew up in Montana, a key factor in helping MSU reach a crescendo in Jeff Choate’s fourth season at the helm.

The Bobcats return All-American do-everything senior Troy Andersen, who has earned an array of accolades on both sides of the football during his three years as a Bobcat. But his health remains shaky entering his potential final season as a Bobcadt.

MSU also returns All-Big Sky Conference players like senior offensive linemen Taylor Tuiasosopo and Lewis Kidd, junior right tackle Connor Wood and junior tailback Isaiah Ifanse, each all-league candidates entering the 2020 season.

Montana State senior defensive tackle Chase Benson/ by Brooks Nuanez

The MSU defense returns all-league tackle Chase Benson, all-conference outside linebacker/Buck end Amandre Williams plus experienced corners Munchie Filer and Tyrel Thomas, all of whom will be seniors.

But the Bobcats must replace several players who won’t soon be forgotten. Montana State needs a new starter at left tackle for the first time in years. All-American Mitch Brott started 50 games in a row.

Montana State will also be in the market for a replacement for first-team all-league defenders safety Brayden Konkol and inside linebacker Josh Hill along with second-team all-league picks tackle Derek Marks and end Bryce Sterk. MSU also needs to find replacements for steady cornerback Damien Washington and athletic safety Jahque Alleyne.

Offensively, MSU returns most other than Brott and competitive, athletic captain wide receivers Kevin Kassis and Travis Jonsen.

Editor’s Note: This story is the part of a four-part mini-series that will be included in a short series on the Montana State football program despite the cancellation of spring football practices across the Big Sky Conference. Quotes provided through exclusive interviews by Skyline Sports or provided by Montana State sports information.

Spring football practices seem monotonous for upper classmen who simply want to maintain health and sanity entering the final years of their careers. But the 15 practices each spring allotted to teams across the Big Sky Conference, the FCS and college football as a whole provide important evaluation opportunities for coaching staffs across the country.

Spring football also elicits excitement among fans and a chance for media outlets like this one to observe, evaluate and analyze the composition of a roster. Many players who spent the previous season either sitting out as redshirts or waiting their turns as young players get their first live reps. And often times those reps come against some of the best players on the “varsity”.

The Montana State Bobcats won 11 games last year, advancing to the semifinals of the FCS playoffs for the first time since 1984. That team was led by a talented senior class, many who grew up in Montana, a key factor in helping MSU reach a crescendo in Jeff Choate’s fourth season at the helm.

The Bobcats return All-American do-everything senior Troy Andersen, who has earned an array of accolades on both sides of the football during his three years as a Bobcat. But his health remains shaky entering his potential final season as a Bobcadt.

MSU also returns All-Big Sky Conference players like senior offensive linemen Taylor Tuiasosopo and Lewis Kidd, junior right tackle Connor Wood and junior tailback Isaiah Ifanse, each all-league candidates entering the 2020 season.

Montana State senior defensive tackle Chase Benson/ by Brooks Nuanez

The MSU defense returns all-league tackle Chase Benson, all-conference outside linebacker/Buck end Amandre Williams plus experienced corners Munchie Filer and Tyrel Thomas, all of whom will be seniors.

But the Bobcats must replace several players who won’t soon be forgotten. Montana State needs a new starter at left tackle for the first time in years. All-American Mitch Brott started 50 games in a row.

Montana State will also be in the market for a replacement for first-team all-league defenders safety Brayden Konkol and inside linebacker Josh Hill along with second-team all-league picks tackle Derek Marks and end Bryce Sterk. MSU also needs to find replacements for steady cornerback Damien Washington and athletic safety Jahque Alleyne.

Offensively, MSU returns most other than Brott and competitive, athletic captain wide receivers Kevin Kassis and Travis Jonsen.

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Photos by Brooks Nuanez. All Rights Reserved.

About Colter Nuanez

Colter Nuanez is the co-founder and senior writer for Skyline Sports. After spending six years in the newspaper industry with stops at the Missoulian, the Ellensburg Daily Record and the Bozeman Daily Chronicle, the former Washington Newspaper Association Sportswriter of the Year and University of Montana Journalism School graduate ('09) has cultivated a deep passion for sports journalism during his 13-year career covering the Big Sky Conference. In August of 2014, Colter and brother Brooks merged their passions of writing and art to found Skyline Sports.

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