BILLINGS -- Maybe it's the vibe of opening of fall football workouts. Maybe it's his everyday demeanor.
Either way, new Rocky Mountain College head football coach Chris Stuztriem is bringing the energy -- jogging, smiling, hopping from position to position cracking jokes. And his players admit it's contagious.
"Absolutely. I think it really starts with him where he's the leader of our team, so wherever he takes us is where we're going to go," said quarterback Nate Dick. "But us as players, we've really got to feed off that a lot. It's not always going to be him all the time being all energetic. The leaders have to take what he's saying and implement it to the entire team."
Rocky's season opener is Thursday, Aug. 29 at Dickinson State. Stutzriem made clear his priority of seemingly being everywhere at once during initial workouts.
"Absolutely, I wanted to make sure I got around to all the position groups and cheer for both sides of the ball," said Stutzriem. "There were big plays on both sides of the ball, which was awesome. Turnovers which you don't want to see on offense, but you want to create on defense. It was good to get around and see different coaches coaching extremely hard and doing a great job."
Stutzriem told us last week he doesn't plan to name a starting quarterback until after Saturday's scrimmage. Then, he chuckled that he may not announce it at that point.
For those wondering who has the edge between Drew Korf and Dick, your guess is as good as the defensive linemen chasing them around.
"They're good, they like to have fun with each other," said defensive lineman Denton Wetherell. "They're really competitive but help each other out. I think that's the cool part about our team, we're all super young and competing for spots, but really we're all helping each other out and trying to get each other better."
One position where that will be critical is on the offensive line, which is extremely young on paper with no juniors or seniors.
"It's tough, but we've got a lot of time with them," Stutzriem said. "They're a talented group. They just need the reps and that will come."
Regardless of position or age, this year's success will likely circle back to the energy of Rocky's new head coach.
"Definitely, we just try to get good people here, try to do the right thing, try to love each other and have fun with each other, and I think when we get together that's what we're all about here," Wetherell said. "The culture really speaks for itself, and having a good culture can really build a good team as we can see here with what we've done so far."