Cats Sign 18 Recruits
A Bison, a Rustler and eight other Montanans are among the eighteen players who have signed letters of intent to join the Montana State University football program next season. Here are the details and Coach Rob Ash’s comments on the Class of 2013:
Folabi Akanbi — 6-5, 290, Fr, Houston, TX (Dawson Pearland)
Player Notes: An honorable mention all-conference selection… earned an 89% grade from coaches, allowing only one sack during his senior season… 45 knockdowns as a senior.
From MSU Coach Rob Ash: “A prototype offensive tackle at 6-5, 290, we think Folabi can get even bigger. He’s very athletic for a big man, with long arms and good aggressiveness. He hasn’t played as much football as some, but he has tremendous upside. He’s going to be fun to watch.”
Blake Braun, LB — 6-1, 223, Fr, Riverside, CA (Redlands East Valley)
Player Notes: An All-League Citrus Belt, All-CIF, All-County and All-City selection… also earned all-conference honors in baseball… a scholar-athlete award winner.
From MSU Coach Rob Ash: “A bigger linebacker with speed, Blake played safety in high school but we project him as a linebacker. He flies around the field and makes plays. He’s very aggressive. He has very good tools, a great combination of size and speed, for that position.”
Gunnar Brekke, RB — 5-11, 188, Fr, Helena, MT (Capital)
Player Notes: Earned 2012 Montana Gatorade Player of the Year honors, setting a Helena Capital record with 2,415 career rushing yards… a Great Falls Tribune Superstate selection as a senior, earning 2011 and 2012 Class AA Offensive MVP honors… First Team All-State as a running back and cornerback… chosen for the Badlands Bowl and Montana Shrine Game.
From MSU Coach Rob Ash: “Gunnar is a great all-around athlete who could play a number of different positions. He’s a very instinctive runner who likes to play with the ball in his hand, so we’ll put him at running back and let him make plays. He has good speed and is just very good when he has the ball.”
Wyatt Christensen, LB — 6-0, 212, Fr, Fountain Valley, CA (Fountain Valley)
Player Notes: A two-time team captain who started for three years… three-time First Team All-League selection, playing a different position in each season… Team Defensive MVP and Mr. Hatchet Team Award winner.
From MSU Coach Rob Ash: “Another linebacker with a good frame, good height, better size than other linebackers we have recruited in years past. He runs well, and plays like a prototypical linebacker. He plays downhill, he’s an aggressive tackler, and he runs very well for his size.”
Luke Daly, K — 6-1, 172, Fr, Billings, MT (Central)
Player Notes: A two-time all-state punter who earned 2012 All-Tier All-American honors… finished his senior season 9-for-13 on field goals with a long of 47 yards, and was 66-for-72 on PATs… produced 50 touchbacks on his 94 career kickoffs.
From MSU Coach Rob Ash: “Luke is an outstanding kicker in all three areas – place-kicking, punting and kickoffs. He probably excels best as a field goal kicker, but he can do it all. He has a great background at competitive camps, clinics and showcases. He has kicked well under pressure. He has a strong leg and is very versatile. He is a good kicking prospect.”
Ben Folsom, ATH — 6-2, 198, Fr, Jackson, MT (Beaverhead County)
Player Notes: First Team All-State and All-Conference quarterback at Beaverhead County HS, completing 64% of his passes for 2,273 yards and 23 touchdowns… also logged 194 tackles and seven interceptions in his career… a Great Falls Tribune Superstate choice, earning invitations to the Mon-Dak and Montana Shrine all-star games… played on Beaverhead’s 2011 football and 2012 basketball state championship teams.
From MSU Coach Rob Ash: “The ability to play a lot of different positions is something we value, and Ben fits that description. He is planning to take his church mission starting next fall so we have a couple of years before we have to find the best spot for him, but we’re excited to sign a player with his ability. His brother Monte will finish his mission in time to join us next fall.”
Khari Garcia, DB — 5-10, 178, Fr, Covina, CA (Charter Oak)
Player Notes: A three-year starter and team captain as a senior at Charter Oak High School… earned First Team All-Sierra League honors twice and Second Team All-Valley honors twice at safety.
From MSU Coach Rob Ash: “A very athletic and talented defensive back, we’ll play Khari at safety. He’s not overly big, but he is a very physical player. He comes up to the line of scirmmage and tackles well but can really make up ground on the back end. He also returns punts, and is an excellent all-around athlete.”
Jayshawn Gates-Mouton, WR 5-8, 150, Fr, Palo Alto, CA (Palo Alto)
Player Notes: First Team All-Conference receiver at Palo Alto… also earned named to the All-Daily News team, earning Palo Alto Weekly Athlete of the Week and Max Prep Offensive Player of the Game honors once as a senior… member of the California CCS All-Section Track and Field Championship team… CIF and SCVAL De Anza Division League winner if 4×100 relay.
From MSU Coach Rob Ash: “We wanted to find a speed receiver, a guy who could really get out and go, and Jayshawn is all of that. He is very slightly built, but very fast and explosive. He has a great burst, great game-breaking ability.”
Dallas Hayes, DT — 6-1, 293, Fr, Kent, WA (Tahoma)
Player Notes: A 2012 team captain at Tahoma, where he was also team MVP as a senior… earned all-conference honors on both the offensive and defensive lines, and was named his league’s offensive lineman of the year… chosen for Washington’s East-West Game.
From MSU Coach Rob Ash: “Defensive line was a spot we wanted to address in this recruiting class, and Dallas is a prototypical nose guard. He’s 290 lbs, but he’s very athletic. He has good quickness. He’s very solid, compact, he carries 290 lbs very well. We’ll put him at the nose and tell him to protect the A gap, and I think he’ll do it well, but he is very active for his size.”
Bo Hughes, ATH — 6-0, 195, Fr, Missoula, MT (Loyola Sacred Heart)
Player Notes: A Great Falls Tribune Superstate selection, earning First Team All-State and All-Conference honors at Loyola… chosen for the Badlands Bowl and the Montana Shrine Game.
From MSU Coach Rob Ash: “Leadership and versatility are two attributes we really like, and Bo was a great leader on Loyola’s state championship team. He played quarterback and safety, so he never came off the field. He played a lot of different roles. We’ll take a look at Bo as a safety, but he could play quarterback, receiver, running back. He’s a good all-around athlete.”
Devin Jeffries, DE — 6-1, 215, Fr, Kalispell, MT (Glacier)
Player Notes: Class AA Defensive Player of the Year last fall… First Team All-State and All-Conference choice… Glacier’s all-time career (17) and single-season (12.5) sack records… chosen for the Mon-Dak and Montana Shrine games.
From MSU Coach Rob Ash: “Devin is a defensive end who is a bigger guy, but is also a very good athlete and very active. His weight is down a little right now but as he gains size in our strength program he’ll fit our scheme very well. He has good quickness and a really good motor. He can get to the ball.”
Nick Lasane, RB — 5-11, 200, Fr, Dallas, TX (Lovejoy)
Player Notes: Rushed for 2,349 yards on 264 carries in a prep career cut short by injury… averaged 8.9 yards a carry, scoring 27 career touchdowns… first team all-district choice as a junior.
From MSU Coach Rob Ash: “A bigger running back, a power back, is something we wanted to find in this class, and Nick is not only a downhill runner but he has great breakaway speed. He is coming off an injury in the fall, but the rehab is going well and we’re predicting a full recovery. He has very good speed for his size, but we really like his ability to run with power.”
Dylan Mahoney, OL — 6-5, 240, Fr, Great Falls, MT (CM Russell)
Player Notes: A team captain at CMR as a senior, when he earned First Team All-State and All-Conference honors as both an offensive and defensive lineman… Great Falls Tribune Superstate choice… chosen for the Mon-Dak and Montana Shrine games.
From MSU Coach Rob Ash: “Dylan is our other offensive lineman in this class. He has a big 6-5 frame with room to put on some more weight, but he has really good feet with long arms that generate very good leverage. He is very athletic for a 6-5 guy, very, very impressive for his position. He was a good two-way player at CMR.”
Quinn McQueary, QB — 6-2, 185, Fr, Manhattan, MT (Manhattan)
Player Notes: A multi-sport star at Manhattan HS… threw for 4,719 yards in his career, helping lead Manhattan to a 26-10 record as its starting quarterback… 317-for-558 passing in his career… rushed for 1,314 yards on 320 carries in his career, logging 282 tackles, 17 pass breakups and 11 interceptions as a defensive back… Great Falls Tribune Superstate choice… four-time first team all-state quarterback, also earning all-state honors as a defensive back… chosen for the Mon-Dak all-star game and the Montana Shrine Game… his father Dale is the head coach at Manhattan, and his mother Chris is a former MSU head rodeo coach.
From MSU Coach Rob Ash: “We’ll put Quinn at quarterback, although he is such a good athlete that he could play a number of positions. He has the height and arm strength to be a very productive quarterback, but also has tremendous mobility and the ability to make plays with his legs. He throws a good deep ball with nice touch. I think Quinn is one of the best athletes in the Class of 2013 in the state of Montana.”
Jaylen Price, DB — 5-10, 175, Fr, Little Elm, TX (Little Elm)
Player Notes: Earned all-district honors as a senior, when he was also special teams player of the year… All-State Honorable Mention.
From MSU Coach Rob Ash: “Speed might be Jaylen’s most notable asset, but he has very good ball skills and better size than a lot of players who we recruit for their speed. He has a good combination of height and explosive speed, and he’s also a very good return man.”
Jacob Stanton, WR — 6-2, 180, Fr, Billings, MT (Central)
Player Notes: Helped lead Billings Central to 2012 Class A State Championship… First Team All-State at quarterback and defensive back… First Team All-State as a receiver in 2011.
From MSU Coach Rob Ash: “Jacob is a coach’s son and is a natural, instinctive football player. He was the quarterback on a state championship football team, but we recruited him as a receiver. He has a nice frame, he’s a little taller than some receivers, but he runs very well. He has excellent instincts and is a very savvy football player.”
Trevan Timmer, LB — 6-0, 202, Fr, Great Falls, MT (Great Falls)
Player Notes: Lost most of his senior season to injury… 2nd Team All-State linebacker as a junior… 2011 and 2012 Academic All-State.
From MSU Coach Rob Ash: “Trevan is another linebacker with a very good frame, which will allow him to put on weight. He moves extremely well. He only played one game last fall, but had 17 tackles in that game. He’s a very productive, natural player in the middle of a defense.”
Cody Vitt, RB — 6-0, 195, Fr, Fairview, MT (Fairview)
Player Notes: Led Fairview to an 11-1 record and runnerup finish in Class C eight man football last fall… rushed for 1,607 yards on 134 carries, averaging 12 yards per rush and 133 yards a game… also caught 21 passes for 346 yards… scored 42 touchdowns on the season… gained 221 yards on seven carries, scoring a touchdown on all seven rushes, in one game…2012 Great Falls Tribune Superstate choice, earning team MVP honors as well… chosen for the Badlands Bowl and the Montana Shrine Game… three-time First Team All-Conference and All-State choice.
From MSU Coach Rob Ash: “Cody was one of the top players in Class C last season. He is a dynamic runner, a very productive back. He has a good combination of speed and power. He has game-breaking ability as a ball-carrier.”