Big Sky Conference

Washington Gatorade Player of the Year Ifanse eventually chooses Bobcats


Editor’s note: Montana State welcomed nine high school prospects to campus the final recruiting weekend of the winter the first weekend of February. Eight of those recruits ended up signing National Letters of Intent with MSU less than a week later.

In the coming weeks, Skyline Sports will print a series of stories about each of the late commitments to Montana State. This is the second installment of that series featuring Bellevue (Washington) 3-star running back Isaiah Ifanse.

PART I: Montana State’s loyalty helps Bobcats land Eastside Catholic star Putney

Despite one of the most productive senior seasons by any running back in the Evergreen State, Isaiah Ifanse found himself waiting.

Once the Washington Gatorade Player of the Year had a collection of offers to choose from late in the recruiting process, he was the one who decided to wait.

During his standout, award-winning senior season, Ifanse rushed for 2,485 yards and 44 touchdowns at traditional Seattle-area football power Bellevue High School. Yet his half dozen offers — Idaho, Air Force, Army and Navy from the FBS ranks, Wofford, Sacramento State and Montana State from the FCS — came either late in his senior year or following the completion of the Wolverines’ run to the semifinals of the Washington Class 3A playoffs.

Ifanse was one of nine recruits Montana State brought to Bozeman for official visits the final weekend of the late recruiting period less than a week before National Signing Day. Eight of those players ended up signing with Montana State, including the 5-foot-11, 190-pound running back from Bellevue. But Ifanse made Montana State and the rest of the Northwest wait until the final moment.

During his address to the public and the media on National Signing Day on the afternoon of February 7, MSU head coach Jeff Choate announced 11 of the 12 players his staff signed during the second recruiting period (the NCAA added a three-day early period for the first time in December). Choate wrapped up his comments by saying, “We are confident we will have one more to add to the list by the end of today”, exiting the podium while flashing a smile.

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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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