Choate’s “Thunder Cats” want to carry momentum from first seasons


Editor’s note: This is the fourth installment in a series breaking down the Montana State Bobcats following their third spring under head coach Jeff Choate and his staff. Today’s installment addresses Tyrel Thomas and Jalen Cole, a pair of highly recruited, talented sophomore cornerbacks from Southern California. MSU’s secondary will add a group of touted prospects when fall camp begins in August. 

FIRST INSTALLMENT: Bobcats still searching for Murray’s main competitor

SECOND INSTALLMENT: McGhee acclimating quickly to coaching MSU running backs

THIRD INSTALLMENT: Tucker II transitions smoothly to RB for Bobcats

FOURTH INSTALLMENT: ‘Ball-playin’ Jesse’: Bobcat LB Kanow taking advantage of extra reps

BOZEMAN — Jalen Cole and Tyrel Thomas made waves before ever playing a snap for the Montana State Bobcats. Starting in August, the talented sophomore cornerbacks will have to endure the next wave of talented defensive backs joining the MSU roster.

During an off-season filled with hype following Jeff Choate’s first season at the helm, Montana State addressed the offensive front and the defensive back end as top priorities on the recruiting trail. Cole, a three-star cornerback who started for two years at nationally-ranked California powerhouse Mater Dei High, was one of the first prospects to verbally commit in August of 2016 and the last of 27 to sign in February of 2017.

Thomas, a talented, competitive and, like Cole, undersized cover cornerback, verbally committed to MSU the day before Cole. The two-star recruit out of nationally prominent St. John Bosco Prep — Mater Dei’s Trinity League rival in Southern California — signed more promptly last February.

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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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