MISSOULA -- Head coach Bobby Hauck and the Montana football team signed 17 new Class of 2020 recruits to the team during Wednesday's early signing period on National Signing Day.
Seven of Montana's newest signees hail from the Treasure State while three come from California, two from Oregon and Utah and one each from Idaho, Washington and Hawaii. The largest position groups signed were offensive line and wide receiver, which featured three players in each position.
“We had guys jumping in as late as 10 p.m. last night, so we are pretty much done, with the exception of a transfer cornerback," Hauck said on Wednesday. "I like the class, I feel like we covered our border pretty well. We got what we needed. I thought we did well in the state of Montana, maybe exceedingly well. I'm really excited about those guys, obviously that's a thing that is near and dear to my heart, in terms of who we recruit every year. The guys that we also recruited from outside of the borders of our state are tremendous young men. I really like these guys personally as well as on their film.”
“Coach Hauck, one of the things he said when recruiting the class is we always want to improve stature of the class," assistant coach and recruiting coordinator Justin Green added. "If you look at that, where we can do that is always on our fronts. We have that on this piece of paper here. The length and how big this thing is, is always unique.”
Here is a look at Montana's newest football players. Stats are provided from MaxPreps:
- Erik Barker, a 6-foot-4, 225-pound tight end from Keizer, Oregon.
- Brandon Casey, a 6-5, 265-pound offensive lineman from Sandpoint, Idaho.
- Asher Croy, a 6-foot, 206-pound linebacker from Bozeman. Croy, who originally hails from Huntley Project, spent his senior season with the Hawks where he guided them to the Class AA state title. Croy, the team's running back as well, ran for 333 yards and three scores in Bozeman's 49-28 win over Butte in the championship.
- Rishi Daniels, a 5-11, 175-pound safety from Seattle.
- Drew Deck, a 5-9, 150-pound receiver from Kalispell. In 11 games this season for Glacier High, Deck caught 58 passes for 840 yards and nine touchdowns.
- Aaron Fontes, a 6-1, 170-pound receiver from Oxnard, California. In 12 games, Fontes caught 26 passes for 651 yards and 10 touchdowns as a senior. He also ran the ball 12 times for 139 yards and six more scores.
- Kevin Good, a 6-4, 270-pound offensive lineman from Rocklin, California.
- Journey Grimsrud, a 6-3, 240-pound defensive lineman from Huntley Project.
- Xavier Harris, a 5-10, 185-pound running back from Oxnard, California. Harris starred in his final two high school seasons at Oxnard High School. In 12 games as a senior, Harris rushed for 1,605 yards and 24 touchdowns, averaging 9.5 yards per carry. As a junior, Harris played in 14 games and ran for 1,659 yards and 27 scores while averaging 9.1 yards per carry.
- Chase Johansen, 6-1, 215-pound linebacker from Park City, Utah. In 13 games as a senior, Johansen racked up 140 total tackles including 13 for loss. He added six sacks on the campaign as well. As a junior, Johansen had 91 total tackles including five for loss. In Montana's Twitter video announcing Johansen's signing, Hauck compared the linebacker to former Griz great and NFL player Brock Coyle.
- Jaxon Lee, a 6-1, 183-pound running back from Missoula. Lee, who originally hails from Belgrade, spent his first three high school seasons with the Flint Creek 8-Man co-op of Drummond-Philipsburg. As a sophomore and junior Lee helped lead the Titans to back-to-back 8-Man championships. For his senior year, Lee transferred to Missoula Sentinel High where he was a two-way starter and all-state player for the Spartans. Lee rushed for 1,230 yards, averaging 5.1 per carry, and 16 touchdowns as Sentinel made it all the way to the Class AA semifinals. Lee also caught 38 passes for 286 yards and one more score in the season and also returned a punt for a touchdown as well.
- Kukila Lincoln, a 6-5, 250-pound offensive lineman from Kamuela, Hawaii.
- Henry Nuce, a 6-4, 235-pound defensive lineman from Kalispell. In his senior year at Glacier High, Nuce racked up 73 total tackles, 16.5 for loss, while also tallying nine sacks.
- Guido Ossello, a 6-3, 195-pound receiver from Butte. As a senior at Butte Central, Ossello caught 39 passes for 698 yards and seven touchdowns. Ossello also carried the ball 17 times for 95 yards and one more score.
- Robbie Patterson, a 5-11, 200-pound quarterback from Medford, Oregon. Patterson spent last season at Saddleback Community College in Mission Viejo, California. Patterson played for Saddleback in 2018 where he completed 230 of 369 attempts (62.3 percent) for 2,575 yards, 20 touchdowns and eight interceptions. He also ran the ball 98 times for 354 yards and five touchdowns.
- Carson Rostad, a 6-3, 215-pound quarterback from Hamilton. The 2018 Montana Gatorade player of the year, Rostad threw for 8,260 yards, 117 touchdowns and completed 61.1 percent of his passes in his sophomore through senior seasons as Hamilton's quarterback. Rostad guided the Broncs to back-to-back Class A state championship appearances in 2017 and 2018 before guiding them to the semifinals in 2019. In his senior year, Rostad also ran the ball 117 times for 892 yards for 11 more touchdowns.
- Autjoe Soe, a 6-1, 161-pound cornerback from Murray, Utah. Soe racked up 109 total tackles in his senior year at Murray High School and grabbed six interceptions. Soe picked off seven passes as a junior and took one back for a touchdown. Soe also played receiver where he caught 42 passes for 876 yards and nine touchdowns in 2019.