For his entire five-year tenure as Montana State’s head coach, Jeff Choate has frequently referenced how often his staff finds or falls in love with potential prospects when the athletes are on camp for MSU’s individual camps in the summer.
If a kid has a personal connection to Montana State, they become more intriguing. And if they fit the catchy descriptions Choate and his assistants use to describe the skill sets they desire at various positions, that’s even better.
On the opening day of the new early signing period on December 22, DeNarius McGhee used one of Matt Miller’s lines when it comes to describing what he covets in wide receivers and tight ends.
“He is always talking about wanting Frisbee catching dogs,” McGhee, MSU’s former running backs coach and recruiting coordinator, said about a month before taking a position with the Houston Texans. “Throw the ball in the air and no matter where it is, they go get the ball.”
Peyton Thornton checks all three of those boxes, The 6-foot-3, 222-pound tight end’s mother, Kristen Thornton, went to Montana State and is now a teacher at Faith Lutheran, the sixth grade through 12th grade school of about 2,500 students in Las Vegas that Peyton currently attends.
The tight end attended camp in Bozeman last summer, which helped spark his initial recruitment. And when he signed with Montana State in December, McGhee said he is exactly what Miller, MSU’s former offensive coordinator who moved on to Boise State in January, wants in his pass catchers.
“This kid goes and gets the ball,” McGhee said. “He did it in camp and he did it during the season.”
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