The Cat-Griz rivalry spills into many aspects of the sporting landscape and the overall culture of the state of Montana.
Many kids and teenagers in the Treasure State grow up with predetermined allegiances stemming from family ties or local connections to the Montana or Montana State athletic departments, particularly when it comes to football.
Each year, the war for the top prep players is one of the most closely followed aspects of football in the Last Best Place. And often times, the predisposition a great many young people grow up with make it almost impossible for the enemy to cross the recruiting threshold and land a prospect from the other side of the aisle.
Tucker Yates established himself as one of the most intimidating, powerful and durable interior defensive linemen in the Big Sky Conference during a career that finished with a crescendo during his senior year in 2018.
Trey Yates intently watched his older brother thrive with the Bobcats while establishing his own reputation as one of the top small-school athletes in Montana.
When Montana State head coach Jeff Choate called Yates to offer him a scholarship as one of MSU’s first prospects for the Class of 2020, one might assume that Yates would commit to Choate immediately.
Not so fast. Yates knew Choate reminded him of his father and football coach, Stacey Yates. He knew that his brother loved his experience at Montana State. He had great respect for the MSU defensive linemen who flanked Tucker Yates during his career. And he knew Byron Hout was a top-notch defensive line coach.
But Trey Yates is his own man. And he wanted to make the decision on his own.