BUTTE — It's been a long time since Montana State's football roster fielded more than a single player from Butte High.
By next season, the Bobcats will have a trio of Bulldogs in its ranks.
On Sunday, kicker Casey Kautzman announced his commitment to Montana State, a little over three weeks after wide receiver Dylan Snyder committed to the Bobcats.
The pair, who officially signed with MSU on Wednesday, are now set to reunite with Tommy Mellott, whose sensational postseason play has powered MSU to the cusp of the FCS championship game.
"It's awesome, building that pipeline back up," Kautzman said. "I don't know when the last time two Butte High football players went together to the Cats in the same year."
For Kautzman, who also received an offer from Big Sky Conference member Sacramento State, the prevailing feeling of making his decision official was one of relief.
"There was times I didn't know if it was going to work out and times when I thought it would," he said. "It was awesome to have it be official."
And while there was a lengthy list of colleges looking to recruit Kautzman, playing for the Bobcats was a goal he'd set his sites on years ago.
"I've always wanted to go to MSU since I was a sophomore," Kautzman said. "Just kind of building that connection throughout the years. And they're a very successful program right now."
Kautzman's senior season accomplishments earned him a second All-State honor. He converted 13 field goals — a Butte High record — and connected on a 51-yard kick against Missoula Hellgate, also a school record. He also delivered 27 touchbacks on 50 kickoffs and punted 32 times with an average distance of 35.8 yards.
"I was able to have my opportunities and it was awesome to rewrite the record books and kind of stamp my name," Kautzman said.
The Bobcats already have solid special teams units anchored by kicker Blake Glassner and punter Bryce Leighton, both freshman. Kautzman said he's looking forward to competing for a starting job against two talented teammates and that he'll continue working to improve in all three phases of kicking, especially punting.
"Just getting better in every aspect," Kautzman said. "Get stronger, faster, and finish out strong here at Butte High. Then head to MSU and get after it."