(Editor’s note: Montana State University media release)
BOZEMAN, Montana – Junior Chris Murray, Montana State’s starting quarterback the past two seasons, will miss the 2018 campaign to focus on academics, Bobcat head coach Jeff Choate said on Wednesday.
“Chris is obviously an important part of this team,” Choate said, “but everyone that enters this program and this University knows that academics are the top priority. This will be a year for Chris to get his priorities in order and raise his academic work to the standard that MSU and this football program demand.”
According to HERO Sports FCS, Murray was a second-team preseason all-American going into the fall. He rushed for 1,124 yards and 10 touchdowns and completed 120 of 233 passes with 15 touchdowns and nine interceptions last season as a sophomore in leading MSU to a 5-6 record. Murray started five games as a freshman on his way to Big Sky Conference freshman of the year honors in 2016 when he totaled 1,638 yards.
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Choate indicated that quarterback competition commences with the opening of team practices on August 3.
The Bobcats list quarterbacks Casey Bauman, Travis Jonsen, Tucker Rovig, Luke May and Callahan O’Reilly on their roster. Bauman is a 6-foot-6 freshman from Sumas, Wash., and passed for 2,914 yards and 27 touchdowns as a senior at Nooksack Valley High School. Jonsen is a junior transfer from Riverside (Calif.) College who originally enrolled at Oregon. He threw for 372 yards and four touchdowns last season at Riverside. Rovig is a redshirt freshman from Meridian, Idaho, where he was a two-time all-state selection after throwing for 5,459 yards and 69 touchdowns during his career.
May, who transferred from Minnesota in 2017, and O’Reilly are Montana natives. May was a record-setting quarterback at Whitefish, while O’Reilly was a second-team all-state choice at Bozeman.
MSU opens the 2018 season versus Western Illinois on Aug. 30.