BOZEMAN — With spring ball right around the corner, Montana State football announced Saturday that Billings native and senior linebacker Nolan Askelson will dawn the legacy No. 41 jersey this upcoming season.
“Nolan will continue the legacy of a senior Montana native wearing No. 41,” Montana State head coach Brent Vigen stated in a press release. “He has been a key contributor on the Bobcat defense and special teams. Nolan is a tremendous leader who takes great pride in representing MSU and his home state.”
Montana State’s legacy number, which started during the 2018 season with Bozeman's Grant Collins, is given to a Treasure State native and honors Montana's status as the 41st state admitted to the union.
Additionally, it also pays homage to the school’s 1941 football team which was almost entirely decimated during World War II.
“It means the world just thinking about the guys before me,” Askelson expressed in the release. “When I was a freshman Grant (Collins wore 41), to (Brayden) Konkol, Chase (Benson), RJ (Fitzgerald). Those guys are the heart and soul of what this program is about, those Montana guys that understand why it’s important for us and what it means to represent this university and this state, and take such great pride and always did things the right way.
“They were always leaders on the team, tough guys, tough mentally and tough physically, and that’s what it’s all about in my mind. They were the perfect example of that, and I want to be able to do the same thing. That’s what it’s all about.”
After graduating from Billings Senior High School, Askelson joined the Bobcats as a redshirt in the Fall of 2018. He was tabbed defensive scout of the year that season. He saw his workload grow in 2019 elevating as a part-time starter during the Bobcats' 2019 FCS semifinal run.
Injuries have limited his last two seasons, but Askelson played in the first 11 games last fall before missing the playoffs after suffering a knee injury during Cat-Griz.
“Nolan has shown great perseverance and toughness during his time at Montana State,” Vigen added. “That shows in his hard work.”
Askelson shared with Montana State's sports information department that his rehab has been going well.
“I feel really good,” he shared with SID Bill Lamberty. “It’s right on track, and I want to keep it that way.”
Montana State also released its full 2023 spring ball roster Saturday.
Following spring break, the Bobcats will take the field on Tuesday, March 21 for their first practice.