BOZEMAN – Tyler Natee’s recruiting journey in high school started with a big surprise visit.
“I got called out of class, so when I got called out of class I came to the office and (two coaches) had little IU symbols on (their) shirts like all college coaches do. When I saw the symbol I thought it was Wisconsin and I thought ‘Wisconsin? I’m that good?,’” Natee laughed.
It wasn’t the Badgers who visited Tyler Natee in school that day, it was Indiana. And after he took a visit to campus, he committed to play running back for the Hoosiers.
But after two years, the journey in Bloomington came to an end when head coach Kevin Wilson resigned amid player-misconduct allegations.
“When the new coaching staff came in, we had a whole new offensive staff, and when they came in they basically just told me that we’ve moved on and we think it’s in your best interest to transfer,” said Natee.
And the 6-foot-1, 260-pound running back opened back up his recruiting with a statement.
“I posted a video of me squatting 500 pounds and I was getting some attention,” Natee smiled.
That video got the attention of a lot of college scouts, and one of those interested schools was Montana State. Natee went to Euless Trinity High School in Dallas, Texas, the same school former MSU quarterback and current assistant coach DeNarius McGhee went to. And McGhee even tried to get Natee to Bozeman years ago.
“Coach McGhee tried to get me to Montana State out of high school, but I didn’t really want to go to Montana State out of high school. I just wanted to test my options,” said Natee.
But the former quarterback great didn’t relent and when Natee opened back up his recruiting, McGhee jumped at the opportunity.
“Coach McGhee was the first person to call me. So when he had called me, me and him developed a great relationship and just rekindled that fire we had since high school,” Natee said. “And I took a visit here and I fell in love with the community and how close everybody made me feel.”
Not only did Natee gel with the community, but he also really fit into the MSU offense.
“Montana State has more versatility within the offense doing more two-back stuff and being able to use a power back like me more often. So their offensive versatility is what really made me come here,” said the sophomore running back.
Natee played quarterback for the Trojans in high school and he wouldn’t be opposed to adding more versatility with a few trick plays under center.
“I’m always looking to throw the ball in any situation,” said Natee. “But you know we will just have to see how things work out.”