GREAT FALLS — The Great Falls CMR Rustlers football program saw two of their standout seniors, Jackson Simonson and Raef Newbrough, sign their national letters of intent to play college football on National Signing Day.
Simonson had a breakout year as a running back in the spread offense under head coach Dennis Morris. He signed with Dickinson State University, the school that Morris attended and played football at.
“They have a really nice program, a really nice school. I have a couple of friends who go there and some family over there. I’m just excited to play there,” Simonson said.
“From my time at Dickinson State and why I think they are so successful they are a bunch of tough, hard-nosed kids that work their tail off and overachieve and that’s exactly what Jackson Simonson does for us and will continue to do for them,” Morris added.
The Swiss Army knife for the Rustlers in Newbrough went through a different recruitment process with different schools wanting him for different positions. In high school Newbrough played quarterback, wide receiver, he ran the ball and was a ball-hawking safety. The University of Montana Western wanted him to play receiver though — a position that he was most interested in playing at the college level.
“Everyone was super cool and their wide receivers coach was super nice and everyone that I’ve talked to has said that Dillon is a great place to be so that’s where I want to be,” Newbrough explained.
“High school football is fun, college football is work and you got to see yourself down the road and he saw himself running routes catching balls,” Morris said.
Simonson and Newbrough combined for 23 touchdowns last season on their way to a playoff berth. The two are close friends and happy to exit their high school gridiron career sharing the spotlight.
“He committed to Dickinson State and I immediately texted him and asked if he wanted to sign together and he said yeah and it all happened at once. I’m just glad I got to sign with my best friend.”