Brandon Keim took a seat alongside nine Bozeman teammates Feb. 5 in the school’s cafeteria.
As many of them signed National Letters of Intent to play college football, Keim practiced writing his signature on a blank sheet of paper. At the time, he was still weighing his options between three in-state Frontier Conference schools.
Saturday, on the campus of Rocky Mountain College in Billings, Keim signed his name for real. The Eastern AA honorable mention All-Conference right tackle will play for head coach Brian Armstrong and the Bears.
“It’s been a dream of mine to play college football,” Keim said. “I’ve been around football all my life, and I’m excited to keep playing.”
Rocky Mountain was 8-4 in 2013, including 7-3 in the Frontier, and lost in the first round of the NAIA playoffs. Keim chose Rocky over Carroll College and Montana-Western.
“I’ve pretty much grown up there,” Keim said, “went to a bunch of camps since I was little. Compared to other schools I was talking to, it felt like I fit in a lot better. It’s really a great atmosphere, and really a welcoming place.”
Keim was part of a dominant Hawks offensive line that helped Bozeman rank first in touchdowns, yards per play, scoring and passing efficiency and second in total yards and yards per game. The Hawks went undefeated for the second time in four seasons and captured their fourth state championship.
“I’m proud of him for being patient about this,” Bozeman head coach Troy Purcell said. “A lot of times kids will jump into a situation they might regret later, and he took his time to figure it out. It’s the next step, and he’ll do well there.”
Keim started at right tackle during the fall and played a handful of snaps on defense. He joins Kael Giebink of Billings Senior and Weston Marsh of Billings Central as incoming linemen.
Gidal Kaiser can be reached at email@example.com or 582-2670.