BOZEMAN — As previously reported, following Saturday's FCS championship game pitting the Montana State and the North Dakota State, Bobcat defensive coordinator Freddie Banks is expected to take the same job for FBS Colorado State.
The news that Banks was planning on heading to CSU came shortly after the Rams hired former University of Nevada head coach Jay Norvell. Both Banks and Norvell previously worked together at Nevada in 2020.
Despite the changes expected following the conclusion of the championship game, Banks' players say he's all in to try and win a national title.
“Every week, he comes in and, you know, we sit down and we talk about the team that we're about to play and he tells us, and I know he 100% believes it, he tells us, 'If we execute at the best of our abilities, we will 100% win this game,' and, you know, I believe it,” said senior defensive end Daniel Hardy.
Heading into the championship tilt, the Bobcat defense is ranked second in the country in points given up per game and 13th in the country in total yards per game. Part of the Bobcats success on defense this season is a stacked lineup, but another part is being able to look at the field as the chess board it can be.
"I also think a big part of that is just, you know, some of the dogs that we have on defense, you know? Like Troy Anderson, Callahan O'Reilly, Chase Benson, Amandre Williams, Ty Okada," said Hardy. "They tell us all the time, you know, the plan is the plan, but somebody's got to execute it."
"We had great talent in here. It was just a matter of just putting that talent in the right spots and we were able to do that with help from the coaches, obviously, and they put a good game plan out every week," said senior defensive end Amandre Williams.
Though the Bobcats coaching staff may look different come the start of next season, both Williams and Hardy know that Banks always had best interests of his players at heart.
“You don't you guys don't really get to see it much, but behind the scenes, you know, we definitely get a fire lit under us if we're not doing the right stuff," said Hardy to reporters via Zoom with a chuckle. "Appreciate him for that, because, you know, if a coach is yelling at you, you know, he's trying to — he cares about you. He's trying to coach you up.”
"He's very high energy, he's very detailed. He cares a lot about the players, not just as players, but as people. And just overall, he's a good coach to have around and we're glad he's here and that he's been here for us,” said Williams.
Montana State and the North Dakota State will square in Frisco, Texas for the FCS National Championship on Jan. 8 at 10 a.m.