MSU Football makes the most of national signing day
Coach Rob Ash said Wednesday is one of his favorite days of the year, national signing day, where he'll get to announce and welcome some new Bobcats to the MSU football team.
"It's the best day of the year for a football coach. It's Christmas, New Years Day, Happy Birthday, all of those holidays all together in one day, finally get a chance to talk about these young men that we've been recruiting in some cases for at least an entire year," Ash said with a smile.
Upon his arrival in 2007, Coach Ash said his staff's recruiting would focus on three main things: Montana players, successful students from an academic standpoint, and quality high school footballers. He thinks this recruiting class really embodies that philosophy.
"I really like this class, I think it's as good as any class we've brought in. We got somebody at just about every position across the board and that's what we needed to do," Ash said.
11 of the 20 new Bobcats come from Montana, including two Gatorade Players of the Year, as well as all-city, all-conference and all-state selections.
"I think their desire and their work ethic are tremendous in those Montana kids and they also have a deep-seeded loyalty to the institution. At least one or the other of the institutions in this state typically and so they come in with a loyalty, they understand the rivalry and they understand the importance of football in the state of Montana," said Ash.
But with the winning tradition the past few seasons, MSU's reach has gone far outside the state of Montana. This recruiting class boasts players from Texas, California, and Washington as well.
"I know when guys were down on the road it was very easy to talk about. The parents would say well I want to watch my son play and we could say you'll be able to do that because the games are all on tv," Ash said about his staff on recruiting trips.
Several of the new Bobcats are listed as athletes, allowing the coaching staff to have options when placing these versatile players.
"Sometimes you can't pigeonhole a guy, you know if you look at it, ironically there are five quarterbacks in this list, but we only plan on one of them going to quarterback right now," Ash noted. "The other guys are athletes, guys that will play safety, receiver."
While the players and the families have to be thrilled to make it official they'll be playing football at MSU, it's about much more than just the game.
"When you think about what it means for the families, I mean we're talking about in the case of an out of state student probably a $150,000 value that this young man just signed when he signed his financial aid agreement....he'll get that scholarship for four or five years and be able to graduate with an all-expense paid education," Ash said.
Coach Ash said his staff will rest for a few days, but they're already working on the next class, which will carry on the proud Bobcat tradition of quality football.
"There's a finality to it, a satisfaction of having the class completed, a job well done. And then literally in the next two or three days we'll start over again and start to work on next year," Coach said.