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Iron sharpens iron: Montana State has clear direction in wake of spring football drills

Paul Brott
Posted at 4:49 PM, Apr 22, 2024

BOZEMAN — Spring drills wrapped up Saturday for the Montana State football team with the annual Sonny Holland Classic at Bobcat Stadium.

"We’re better off now than we were five weeks ago, I know that," Bobcats coach Brent Vigen said. "We have a much clearer direction of where individuals are at and ultimately (will) be able to reshape the depth chart a little bit, and then get a few guys healed up."

The offensive line saw turnover to the transfer portal but returned two veterans who missed last season with injury in graduate student and offensive guard/center Cole Sain and senior offensive guard JT Reed.

One of the room's leaders, Bobcats senior center Justus Perkins, reflected on what it was like to have his teammates back this spring season.

"Cole and JT, some veteran presence in our offensive line room," he said. "They know what we do. They know how we get down. So, obviously they’re great for the younger guys.

"At the beginning of the spring, they were limited on the reps. They were able to be out there to help coach the younger guys, the newer guys we had in here."

The team's motto when the defensive line goes up against the offensive line in practice every day is that it's iron sharpening iron.

"They’re the best offensive line in the nation, and to be able to go against that every day (benefits the defense), especially with the new defensive line this year," Bobcats senior defensive end Brody Grebe said. "We got a lot of guys coming back, but a few new guys. Just learning the ropes and getting good reps against, like I said, the best offensive line in the country."

Redshirt freshman running back Adam Jones and sophomore tight end Hunter Provience each had two touchdowns in the spring game. Vigen reflected on their development, starting with Jones, a Missoula native.

"Adam’s going to play a big role on this football team, and he’s gotten bigger (and) stronger, but he can move at the same time," he said. "He’s got a real knack just to fall forward and finish runs in that physical manner."

Despite the tight end group losing key veterans in Treyton Pickering and Derryk Snell to graduation, Provience proved the position group is carrying on its high level of play.

"We really felt like Hunter flashed in the fall, did some really good things to earn some playing time," Vigen said. "We were able to continue to redshirt him at the same time. He missed a chunk (of spring workouts) with an ankle injury, but to see him come back these last couple days has been encouraging. And to see him make a play, he made a couple plays, I think shows what he can do."

The team starts fall camp at the end of July, a bit earlier than usual due to its season starting in "week zero" on Aug. 24 at FBS New Mexico.