BOZEMAN – Last season, Troy Andersen became an offensive sensation for the Montana State Bobcats in his first year with the program.
The Dillon native was recruited to play linebacker for the Cats, but — with his speed, size and lack of depth in the backfield — he was moved to running back.
“I was surprised kind of, but I was open to it,” said Andersen. “It was kind of a change and they told me I’d be able to come in and potentially help the team out.”
Help the team was an understatement. Andersen became a go-to tailback, racking up nearly 600 total yards and six touchdowns. But now the high-school-quarterback-turned-college-running-back finds himself back at linebacker, and he’s enjoying settling in.
“Back on offense you’re the one getting hit, but now on defense you’re the one going and trying to make the tackles. And I kind of like that change up,” said Andersen, who is heading into his sophomore season.
Last year, Andersen played on both sides of the ball after the linebacking corps lost some key players to injury. And he was up for the challenge, recording nine tackles in the short stint on defense.
“They kind of told me I was going to start practicing with them, but I was still going to play a little bit of running back and I was actually really excited to do that,” said Andersen. “Getting to sit behind Mac (Bignell) and kind of learn because they told me that was their long-term plan for me.”
And that long-term plan is coming to fruition as Andersen is now strictly at linebacker.
“It’s been great. I think spring ball has gone well so far, just kind of honing in on my responsibilities and what I’m supposed to do as a linebacker and just kind of focusing on that,” said Andersen.
The offense has been dying to return Andersen to the backfield, and coaches aren’t ruling out a few plays to get him the ball. But Andersen is just excited to have a home.