BOZEMAN — While there is plenty of praise to go around with the second week of spring practices in the rearview for Montana State, week two once again belonged to the receiving corps and a big contributing factor has been the continuity.
“This is my first time ever of having the same playbook, ever in the spring," senior wide receiver WIllie Patterson stated. "We’ve always had different coaches, so having the same playbook is so huge because I know the plays, but now I’m learning the ins and outs.”
While Patterson played an integral role in the Bobcats' offense last fall, ranking second in both receptions (30) and receiving yards (375), growth throughout the entire position group has a priority this spring.
“Those big plays last year were primarily made by Lance [McCutcheon]," head coach Brent Vigen reiterated. "Obviously, Nate [Stewart] made a bunch at the tail end of the season when he got back, so we need guys to emerge in the playmaking role, and that was a large reason why we brought Ravi [Alston] in."
It goes without saying that St John’s transfer Ravi Alston will have some big shoes to fill this fall with McCutcheon coming off one of the best seasons in Bobcat history hauling in (1,219 for a new program record.
“We thought [Alston] had that ability, so to see it on the practice field in pretty short order has been what we're looking for," Vigen said.
The All-American transfer, who amassed 900 receiving yards last fall with the Johnnies, put his talents on display Saturday when the Bobcats brought out the referees for the first time this spring.
During that live period, which featured a mix of different sequences, the 6-foot-3 receiver erupted the sideline after coming down with the ball in a contested one-on-one matchup in the endzone that was thrown by none other than Tommy Mellott.
“Ravi man, he came in head down, humbled, and really starting to earn the respect of a lot of guys because he’s just come in and making plays - and huge plays too," Patterson explained. "Big plays in the endzone showing how big he is how fast he is, how strong he is, and he’s really diving into the playbook early. I’m excited for him.”
The Bobcats will hold their first of two closed scrimmages next Saturday, April 9.