MSU Football Camp (copy)

Montana State offensive tackle Mitch Brott runs drills during fall camp on Aug. 3 at Dyche Field.

Mitch Brott lumbers around Dyche Field. As the rest of Montana State practices, the preseason all-American left tackle takes the day off.

He’s not injured though. His 35 straight career starts have simply worn on him. So while he’s participated in team drills, he’s allowed to take a few practices off. Everything is physically a little bit more difficult after five years in the program.

Were MSU players excited to begin fall camp? Perhaps. But not Brott.

“I’m 22,” he said, straight-faced. “I’m old.”

While he might’ve been a little more energetic, Brott reflected back on his first day of fall camp as a freshman out of Billings West. He had no idea what he was in for. Now, having endured all those collisions in all those starts, Brott’s confidence is elevated. His standout play, like the team’s scrimmage on Saturday, is almost like muscle memory.

The continuity of the offensive line may be key for the Bobcats this fall. Five linemen with starting experience return, and three of those have started for multiple years.

Their chemistry together is almost like muscle memory too. And MSU head coach Jeff Choate called Brott, a senior captain, a consistent anchor.

Even at his age, he demands attention from opposing defensive lines.

“He’s a very physical player,” Choate said. “He’s got kind of a nasty streak. I think what I’m hoping is that trickles down to some of the younger offensive linemen. Very accountable young man. Does his job. Takes care of his business. And then he’s not afraid to call other guys out and hold them to that standard.”

MSU Football Camp (copy)

Montana State offensive tackle Mitch Brott runs drills during fall camp on Aug. 3.

Brott’s been held out of fall camp practices which emphasize fundamentals, in part because of Brott’s hip injury history, in part to provide younger linemen a chance at left tackle and in part because he’s shown on game film his technique is exemplary. Choate called Brott one of the best linemen in the conference.

“It’s fall camp. It’s a grind,” Brott said. “It’s literally work from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. everyday. You just try to grind through it.”

When he’s not on the field, his absence is obvious. At left tackle, Brott will be in charge of protecting redshirt freshman Casey Bauman’s blindside from the Big Sky’s best pass rushers. But he also takes on the responsibilities of communicating with the younger offensive line, reading opposing defenses and relaying any necessary changes to pass protection or run-blocking schemes.

MSU’s other linemen have to make up for that when Brott’s not around.

“I’m kind of looked at as a leader of that group, so I have to make sure everything clicks right for everybody,” Brott said. “It’s an honor, but still, everybody has to work together. It doesn’t matter what position you are. If one person messes up, everybody else fails.”

Sophomore tackle Connor Wood and junior guard Lewis Kidd will likely start on the right side of the line with sophomore Zach Redd at center and either Jake Sessions or Taylor Tuiasosopo at left guard. But no matter who Brott is next to, he stressed the importance of the offense operating in sync this season.

That experience makes MSU offensive coordinator Matt Miller’s job easier, especially with a quarterback who will make his first career start at Texas Tech on Aug. 31. Miller won’t have to worry much about the blocking up front, he said.

“It’s big time to have some guys come back who have played some football for us,” Miller said. “Those guys are so locked in.”

MSU Football Camp (copy)

Montana State offensive tackle Mitch Brott runs drills during fall camp on Aug. 3 at Dyche Field.

Choate said Brott is “on the radar” of some professional teams but added his career trajectory after graduation depends on his health and desire to continue his career. And Brott’s considered his next step as well.

But first, he wants to make it through his senior year. Brott gained up to 10 pounds and is now at 6-foot-6, 300 pounds. He worked on speed drills in the offseason and is focused on preventing injuries to take care of his “old” body.

Despite all the wear and tear, he’s eager for another season.

“It feels like I got hit by a truck,” Brott said. “But it’s what I love doing.”

Colton Pool can be reached at or 406-582-2690. Follow him on Twitter @CPoolReporter.