CollegeMontana State Bobcats


'No days off': Montana State's large veteran core setting high standard of effort in spring ball

Week 2 Spring Football 2024 MSU
Posted at 2:51 PM, Mar 30, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-01 09:12:44-04

BOZEMAN — Week 2 of Montana State's spring football season wrapped up Saturday, and there's sentimental value in the
"lasts" for Bobcats quarterback Tommy Mellott entering his senior season.

There's also a high level of hunger for Mellott and the other 22 seniors on the roster.

"It’s been emotional," Mellott said of what his final offseason as a Bobcat means to him. "I mean, just being able to realize at the end of that last winter period, our last winter workout, you really do build a lot of relationships and see guys really laying it down on the line for you in difficult situations."

The large group of seniors includes three returning captains: Mellott, defensive end Brody Grebe and linebacker Danny Uluilakepa, who have all been at the forefront of the offseason effort.

"I think Tommy and that whole group ... you see a group of guys that’s setting a tremendous example out there on the practice field," Bobcats coach Brent Vigen explained of the senior class and its high level of effort in the winter and spring season.

"They’ve been doing it through the course of the winter in the weight room. Certainly no days off for that group. They have to be the ones leading by example first and foremost, and they’ve done that."

By their standards, the season ended early for the Bobcats last year. The veteran core has a chip on its shoulder from an overtime second-round FCS playoff loss vs. North Dakota State, and now it’s full steam ahead for a deep postseason run with high aspirations to follow.

"You know, our season ended early," Mellott said. "That’s as early since I’ve been here, since before I even got here. So, (there was) a sour taste in our mouth for a lot of December into January, and I know a lot of guys were able to go home and invest in relationships with their families, but also got after it right then, right when they went home for that break. It was shown right when we got back."

Vigen also reflected on how last season has motivated this group of seniors in their final run.

"I think it’s a hungry group that collectively doesn’t think they’ve seen their best day, either," he said. "For a team to do the things that we want to, that group individually has to have their best years."