Even though the football season is still seven months away, the Montana Tech football team is starting to get an idea of what its 2018 freshman class will look like.
Commitments are starting to roll in, with 11 able to be confirmed by the Standard. Butte’s Bo Mortensen and Greyson Mandic as well as Deer Lodge’s Karson Wheat make up a good portion of the local part of the class.
Mortensen was a running back and linebacker for the Bulldogs, while Mandic and Wheat are both lineman.
“I’m very excited for both of them, they worked hard to get where they’re at,” Butte High head coach Arie Grey said of Mortensen and Mandic. “They’re going to have a great opportunity at a great institution. They’re both good kids, they work hard and I’m extremely proud of them.
“It’s a cool deal. It’s really neat when they get to stay home and play at Tech, we all get to see them a little bit more”
Grey lauded on the intangibles they brought to his team and felt they were some of the best leaders on the team.
“They both grinders, both guys that showed up to everything, they led by example, they’re both good students, they’re very positive and they did a great job with the younger kids,” Grey said. “That’s one of the things I’m most proud of them for. They helped grow a great legacy.”
Whitehall’s Braden Smith and Wyatt Alexander are both headed to Montana Tech as well. Alexander will be a wide out while Smith projects as a linebacker.
Alexander is was named first-team All-State this season, and had 67 receptions for 1,441 yards. His career mark of 2,767 is second-all time in Montana high school history, while his 19 receiving touchdowns in 2017 is a state record.
Three standout Billing football players are also headed to Butte. Senior wide receiver Colton Eliason, West kicker Cody Gagnon and Central running back Ben Voss have all signed with the ‘Diggers.
With Tech graduating standout kicker Derrick Holt, there could be a chance Gagnon – who hit 7-of-8 field goals and was perfect on 28 PATs will have a shot to see time early.
"Blessed, honored, proud to announce that I am going to further my football and academic career at Montana Tech! I would like to thank my parents, coaches at West and numerous others that have helped me along the way! #RollDigs," Gagnon said in a tweet announcing his commitment.
Columbia Falls’ Logan Kolodejchuck, Huntley Project’s Trey Copeland, Joliet’s Brett Robinson, and Sunburst’s Treyton Pickering are also signed as part of the 2018 recruiting class.
Sentinel's Morley signs with Tech
MISSOULA — With the squiggles of a purple pen, Missoula Sentinel's Brandon Morley made his lifelong dream a reality.
On Wednesday, Morley signed his National Letter of Intent to play football for Montana Tech.
"I've always wanted to play college football," Morley said. "Getting the opportunity when they offered me and then now signing and everything, it's a great feeling overall."
Morley committed to Tech on Dec. 3.
"It means a lot," Morley said of Tech extending him an offer. "They're a very good school in their conference and they have a great academic program as well. Especially being home, that's a big part of it. I didn't want to leave the state as it was. Getting all those things together, it's exciting."
Two days before Morley committed, he was named to the all-state second team at inside linebacker.
"Brandon is a kid that was our best competitor," Sentinel football coach Dane Oliver said. "He played quarterback as a sophomore. He played receiver, outside linebacker as a junior and then he played inside linebacker and tight end.
"He's very versatile. He enjoys the competitive aspect in the classroom, in the weight room and on the field. He's going to be successful at Montana Tech because of those qualities."