BOZEMAN – The biggest strength of the Montana State defense rests up front with the defensive line.
The Bobcats are returning every starter on the line from last season.
“Each fall camp we’ve kind of gotten better (since) I’ve been here. And you can tell this one, by far we have the most power we’ve ever had and the most depth, and you can definitely tell out there,” said junior defensive lineman Marcus Ferriter.
With each year of improvement, the chemistry within the defensive line grows stronger.
“I go out there, and I just look at Tyrone (Fa’Anono) and if a stunt is going on I just look at him and kind of give him a nod and we both know what we are doing, it’s nice to have that,” said senior Tucker Yates. “The experience and the game reps we’ve had is just huge.”
But there are some new pieces that come along with the line, like University of Washington transfer Bryce Sterk, who will be coming off the edge a lot for the Cats. Even though he came from a huge program like the Huskies, coming from a small town in Washington, he feels at home.
“The community is not as big as Seattle, but I like that because everyone is a lot closer, the community is a lot more supportive — they’re more hardcore fans I feel like,” said Sterk.
With the 6-foot-5 junior Sterk and three fifth-year seniors on the line, this is shaping up to be one of the better defensive fronts in recent memory. But no one should ignore talent like Derek Marks and Ferriter who stand behind them, because it’s the depth makes this unit deadly.
“He’s a great player, he’s an all-Big Sky (Conference-level) player,” said Yates when asked about Marks. “Marcus Ferriter can play both tackle and end and he can play really well. … He’d probably be a starter on any other team. That just shows the depth at our D-line right now.”
While the young guns wait for their shots on the field, for seniors Yates, Zach Wright and Tyrone Fa’Anono, this year is about leaving the program better than they found it.
“Those guys, what they see their role as is to leave a legacy,” said head coach Jeff Choate. “That we were the ones that got it back to where we wanted it to be, we taught these young guys how to do it and do it right and when we walk out of here, we know this place is going to be in good hands. And I think that’s a big part of their motivation.”