BOZEMAN, Montana — Montana State returns 17 starters from last season’s playoff qualifier, including four starters along the offensive line, all three of its starting receivers, a record-setting starting tailback, two standout defensive linemen, four players in the secondary and both its kicker and punter.
Yet as MSU gets set to open up its fourth fall camp under passionate head coach Jeff Choate, plenty of rotation spots are yet to be decided. Here are the five most pivotal position battles that will play out in Bozeman in August.
“We have a seating chart right now rather than a depth chart,” Choate said. “Especially probably in the front seven. We have so much depth and a lot of guys that are close to each other in terms of their skill and ability level at linebacker. You are going to see a lot of guys rolling with the 1s. I think tight end is a similar position as well losing three seniors there and then d-line, we have a lot of depth so if a kid is playing really well, we can bump him up for a day or two because we knew we are going to have to play that guy in a game anyway.
“This is the first time we’ve had 104 healthy bodies. We didn’t start with anyone on the bike today. I walked by the bikes and they were empty and I was like, ‘That was a first.'”