BOZEMAN — A pair of veteran contributors, both products of one of Montana’s most consistent producers of prep talent, were not part of Montana State’s 94-man roster as the Bobcats opened their third fall camp under Jeff Choate on Friday morning.
Logan Jones, a fourth-year senior and slated starter at running back, may require surgery for a hernia suffered this summer. Choate said Friday following practice that the estimated recovery time for the injury could be four weeks or could be indefinite.
Josh Hill, a two-year starter and slated starter at Will linebacker in MSU’s 3-4 defense, has struggled with an ailing back for more than a year. Choate said his injury might require surgery as well, an operation that would rule Hill out indefinitely.
“Both of them are injured right now,” Choate confirmed following MSU’s fall camp-opening practice on Friday. “Logan, it will be interesting to see. Is it a hernia, a sports hernia? We sent him down to Pocatello to get it looked at. Is it surgical or non-surgical? We are in limbo because that just came up the last week of training. He was down there on July 31 and August 1 getting looked at. Doctors are conversing about if it’s a surgical option. If it’s not, it’s 4-6 weeks and if it’s surgery, it might be a little longer. He does have a redshirt year.”
“Josh is probably going to have to have surgery on that back again so it’s a matter of time for him. He’s a guy who has gotten everything out of his body. Super, super smart player, glue guy, almost a coach on the field. It’s unfortunately but it’s a part of the game.”
Jones is a four-year contributor who earned honorable mention All-Big Sky Conference honors as a true freshman in 2015 after walking on out of Kalispell Glacier. Hill, who teamed with Jones and former MSU quarterback Brady McChesney to lead the Wolfpack to their first Class AA state championship in 2014, earned MSU’s starting job at Will linebacker as a redshirt freshman in 2016, Choate’s first at the helm.
The 5-foot-9, 175-pound Jones earned MSU’s Ken Amato kick teams MVP award last season while also starting five games at running back. He rushed for 106 yards all told, scoring a touchdown against North Dakota. He entered fall camp as the No. 1 running back on Montana State’s depth chart.
The 5-foot-11, 215-pound Hill has used the instincts and nose for the football that helped him earn Class AA Defensive MVP honors as a prep senior to serve as one of MSU’s most consistent defensive performers the last two seasons. Hill had 54 tackles during his redshirt freshman season, earning Big Sky Conference Player of the Week honors after an eight-tackle, interception performance in MSU’s season-ending 24-17 win over rival Montana.
Last season, Hill had 69 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss and five pass breakups despite missing two games and part of a third.