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Bozeman's Callahan O'Reilly rising at linebacker for Montana State Bobcats

Posted at 11:08 PM, Oct 10, 2019

BOZEMAN -- Travis Jonsen's game-winning touchdown wasn't the only thing that stood out last weekend in Montana State's overtime win against Cal Poly. Callahan O'Reilly also had a big-time performance for the Bobcats.

In his first career start, the Bozeman native recorded a game-high and career-high 16 tackles against the Mustangs. But it's been a long time coming for the sophomore linebacker.

O'Reilly has been putting in the extra work in every aspect of his game, like heading to Bobcat Stadium on his own outside of practice to work on his conditioning. His extra work was noticed by the Bobcat coaches, as O'Reilly earned his first career start last Saturday against Cal Poly after being listed as the second-string Mike linebacker.

"For me, it's just doing what you can control. You can't choose what the coaches are deciding, but you can control how you are playing every day. And just going out there and playing the best I can and I continue to play good, things are going to work out," said O'Reilly.

Defense has been something O'Reilly has had to work on the past two years. At Bozeman High School, he was the star quarterback, throwing for 3,178 yards and tallying 39 touchdowns his senior year in 2016. But the more exposure he gets each day, the more he is growing on the defensive side of the ball.

"It's my first year getting a lot of live action. I feel like I'm just getting better every game. Playing in practice is completely different from playing in a game so the more reps I can get in the game, I'll just continue to get better and better," O'Reilly said.

More live action is coming his way as O'Reilly has once again been listed as the starter for Montana State's Homecoming game against Sacramento State on Saturday. The Bobcats (5-1 overall, 2-0 Big Sky Conference) and Hornets (3-2, 1-0) kick off at 2 p.m. Saturday at Bobcat Stadium.