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Rocky Mountain College enters spring scrimmage with massive recruiting class

Chris Stutzriem RMC
Posted at 1:40 PM, Apr 19, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-19 16:23:33-04

BILLINGS — Sixty-one.

That's the enormous number of recruits hauled in this offseason by Rocky Mountain College head football coach Chris Stutzriem and his staff as the Bears wrap up spring ball with Saturday afternoon's scrimmage.

“It’s probably a little bit bigger than what I wanted, but we’re excited for it and we’ve got to bring in competition and get better,” Stutzriem told MTN Sports at Herb Klindt Field before a recent practice.

Stutzriem admits that’s the reality of recruiting these days while competing with the transfer portal, natural attrition within the team, and realizing some guys may just decide to leave. Describing what may be the program’s largest recruiting class ever between high school and transfer players, Stutzriem says his staff "hit a home run" by signing 30 players — many from Montana — before Christmas.

And while some coaches appreciate spring scrimmages, most — including Stutzriem — admit despising them.

“The actual game, I hate," he said. However, "I love the energy, I love the feel, I love letting the fans see what we’re about," he added while cautioning the risk factor tied to scrimmage injuries.

T’Ziaha Quint is a senior who has bounced back and forth offensively between guard and center. At the moment, Quint says he’s at left guard, which offers a notable difference.

"Center is more commanding. You’ve got to be a very vocal person, very vocal leader. Everything you say, the O-line has to obey," he explained. "Snapping the ball … it’s a very simple thing, but a very hard thing. Especially consistently when you’re trying to get off blocks and go one of eight angles.”

Kaysan Barnett returns defensively at corner and says he'll spend his offseason at home in Arizona working on his next skill level.

“Faster, stronger, bigger," Barnett said without hesitation. "And I’m a student of the game, so (I want) a deeper understanding of the game.”

Scrolling ahead to fall camp, Barnett carries a positive outlook on Rocky's big picture.

“I feel like we’re a pretty good team coming in, but a couple more pieces, a little more adjustments and development, and we’ll be a great team,” he said.

Stutzriem is more direct, even after winning three straight to close last season.

“At the end of the day, we were a 6-4 football team, so we’ve got to get a lot better,” he said.

Rocky’s spring scrimmage kicks off Saturday at 2:30 p.m. at Herb Klindt Field, followed by the school's Bear Bash fundraiser on campus at 5.