MISSOULA — Dylan Rollins had some phone calls to make.
The Missoula Sentinel lineman had just posted his college commitment to his Twitter account, and, as recruits do, Rollins made sure to call around to family to let them know the news, including his great-grandfather and grandfather.
For the latter, it was an opportunity to share that the duo would be sharing the same school and mascot as Cougars.
Rollins announced on Tuesday that he would be continuing his college football career at BYU. BYU plays as an independent at the FBS level. He will be on full scholarship with the Cougars.
Committed!! Go Cougs!🤙 @kalanifsitake @CoachMateos @BYUfootball pic.twitter.com/9HNRb8KAKH
— Dylan_Rollins (@DylanRollins14) December 8, 2020
"This is really exciting," Rollins told MTN Sports. "This is my next step in my football career and just super exciting. In a way it is a big relief to be done with all of the recruiting stuff and just the pressure and weight of it all. More than that, just exciting to have this opportunity to play at the next level.
"(My family) is all really excited for me to have this opportunity. They're all proud of me and the things that I've accomplished and where I'm headed in life. It's by no means all me. A lot of people helped me get here. God, my heavenly Father, has helped me a lot so just very thankful for the opportunity I have."
Rollins, who stands 6-foot-5 and weighs 285 pounds, was one of Montana's most sought-after football recruits in recent memory. He had 16 NCAA Division I offers he was weighing as his recruitment picked up over the summer. Among his other options were Minnesota, Oregon State, Utah State, Central Michigan, UNLV, Montana, Montana State and a preferred walk-on spot to Nebraska.
"Just choosing BYU, it was a tough decision, that's why it's been taking me so long, but ultimately I felt like the coaches there and the program was the best fit for what I'm looking for," Rollins said. "They have a great run game, which is something that is awesome to see as an offensive lineman. Their offensive line is performing great this year and just wanted to be part of that and what they have building.
"They do have a great school and I think that is something that I saw in a lot of schools that I was talking to, which was another big factor for me. Just loving the opportunity there."
BYU offered Rollins at the end of July, the 13th offer he received. The Cougars have been a top team in college football in 2020 but recently lost their first game of the season to Coastal Carolina on Saturday. Still, after that loss, the Cougars were ranked No. 14 in the latest AP Top 25 poll and were No. 18 in the latest College Football Playoff list.
In terms of their running game, BYU has averaged 198.6 yards per game on the ground in 10 games, which ranks 34th in the FBS. Rollins added that he likes how BYU as an independent gets the experience of playing schools in larger conferences like the Pac-12, Big 10 and SEC.
"I really like what coach (Eric) Mateos has building with the offensive line and what coach (Kalani) Sitake has going with the whole program," Rollins said. "I think it just really fits me as a person and what my values are."
As a team captain this season, Rollins helped guide Sentinel to an undefeated 10-0 season and the school's first Class AA football title since 1972. A three-year starter on the offensive line for Sentinel, Rollins was the catalyst for a loaded line that blocked for 2,111 rushing yards and 34 rushing touchdowns for the Spartans in 2020. The Spartans also threw for 2,017 yards.
Rollins is rated as a 3-star prospect by the recruiting website 247sports and is rated as the top prospect in Montana. He started at left tackle for Sentinel in his sophomore and junior seasons before starting at left guard as a senior. Rollins would also periodically make appearances on defense in goal-line situations for the Spartans.
For his efforts, Rollins was named first-team all-state for the 2020 season. Rollins was also recently named a finalist for Sports Illustrated's All-American football team.
Rollins said he wanted to make his commitment earlier in the season, but when the season arrived, he wanted his focus to be all on his senior season with Sentinel. Coupled with the difficulty of so many options, Rollins opted to stay patient and take his time with his commitment.
"It's been a great year," Rollins said. "I think it comes a lot from the hard work, putting it in and seeing it all pay off in different ways. Just excited for what comes next so looking forward to that and looking forward to more great falls."