BOZEMAN – Montana State running back Edward Vander had a lot going for him coming into his senior year of high school. He had a lot of schools interested in him to join their football programs, and the Bobcats were one of them.

“The first time MSU offered me, I was going into my senior year,” said Vander.

But Vander lost that football scholarship just a few days before National Signing Day.

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He took too long on his decision on where he would commit. However, it’s not that he was battling tons of hard choices; he just needed more time.

Schools were holding their scholarships out on him and telling him to be patient and wait for his offer to come. But Vander soon found out, those were empty promises.

“Arizona State kept telling me just to wait and they would offer after signing day and a bunch of schools, Nevada, and nothing ever happened. They just stopped talking to me,” said Vander with his eyes to the floor. “I was actually hurt, to be honest, because every year in football I was all-state in three different positions: free safety, running back and wide receiver. So I felt if someone needed someone on their team, I don’t know who was doing the recruiting.”

Vander’s time ran out, so he spent a year at Saddleback College in California, tearing through the junior college ranks as a freshman with 1,175 yards rushing and 18 touchdowns. He was awarded conference player of the year in 2016.

But he always knew he wanted to play Division I football and knew he was capable.

So he took matters into his own hands and went outside the box, reaching out to MSU running back coach Michael Pitre on Twitter hoping to get a another offer.

“I gave them my commitment right there. I told him I promise I’m going come, I promise I’m going have a great year,” said Vander.

And the anticipation after hitting the send button was daunting.

“I didn’t know if he would respond because all the stuff that happened. I didn’t know what to think at the time, I was just hoping he did reply,” Vander said.

Coach Pitre did. And a couple months later, the offer came. Vander, priding himself on being a man of his word, accepted.

Now he leads all MSU running backs in rushing yards to start the season.

Vander is living up to his word. He got his second chance and now he’s making it count.

“It feels good. I feel relieved just to be here playing for a great coaching staff. I’m just blessed to be here,” Vander said, smiling.

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