Montana State just ended its most successful season in 35 years by making a run to the FCS semifinals, the first time since 1984.
The program won three straight Big Sky titles to start the decade and now is on a steady incline in recent years, and the impact of Bobcat players throughout is evident.
The following is the Chronicle’s all-decade team from 2010 to 2019. Players were decided by position groups and not their individual positions.
n DeNarius McGhee
McGhee was a first-team all-American in 2012 and the Big Sky’s most valuable offensive player in 2010 and ’12, earning first-team all-conference both of those seasons. He owns MSU’s career records with 11,203 passing yards, 79 passing touchdowns, 95 total touchdowns, 12,336 total offensive yards and a 64% completion percentage.
n Cody Kirk
Kirk is first all-time at MSU with 47 rushing touchdowns and is second with 3,422 yards, 666 rushing attempts and 16 100-yard rushing games. He was MSU’s lone first-team all-Big Sky running back of the decade in 2011.
n Chad Newell
Newell is 12th all-time at MSU with 2,111 rushing yards and is tied for third with 29 rushing touchdowns. He scored 12 TDs on the ground in 2015 and is tied for most touchdowns on the ground in a single game with five in 2014.
n Mike Person
Person was MSU’s only first-team all-American offensive lineman in the decade and was a first-team all-Big Sky pick that season at left tackle as well. While the Glendive native only played one season in the 2010s, he spent the rest of the decade in the NFL and is currently with the San Francisco 49ers.
n Mitch Brott
Brott was a staple of consistency for MSU’s recent success. He set a Bobcat record as he started 50 straight games in his career, 2016 and 2017 at right tackle and the last two seasons at left. The Billings native was a second-team all-American and first-team all-Big Sky selection in 2019.
n John Weidenaar
Weidenaar was a third-team all-American and first-team all-Big Sky pick at MSU in 2015. The three-year starter from 2012-15 started 49 straight games, which was a program record until Brott broke it. The Manhattan native signed as an undrafted free agent with the Cincinnati Bengals out of college.
n Shaun Sampson
Sampson, a walk-on from Helena, started the last 36 games of his career from 2010-12. He was an all-Big Sky honorable mention as a junior in 2011 and was a fourth-team all-American and first-team all-conference pick as a senior in 2012.
n JP Flynn
Flynn was MSU’s primary starter at left guard from 2013-16 and started 43 games. He was a third-team all-American in 2016 and was an all-Big Sky first-teamer in ’14 and ’16. He made the 49ers’ practice squad in 2017.
n Beau Sandland
In 2015, Sandland was a second-team all-American, being the only MSU tight end to achieve such honors this decade. He was a first-team all-Big Sky recipient that year as well. He caught 37 passes for nine touchdowns.
n Tanner Bleskin
Bleskin is one of the best receivers to have come through Montana State. He finished his career with 2,816 receiving yards and 193 receptions, both MSU records.
His senior season in 2013, he totaled 969 yards and 64 catches, both in MSU’s top 10. He’s also tied for eighth at MSU with 13 career receiving touchdowns.
n Elvis Akpla
Akpla is MSU’s only receiver this decade to have been named an all-American, making the third team in 2011. He finished his career as MSU’s all-time leader with 2,207 receiving yards before Bleskin passed him. His 1,145 yards in 2011 is second-most in a single season, his 18 receiving touchdowns is tied for third and his 133 career catches is eighth at MSU.
n Kevin Kassis
Kassis was a dependable target in his career despite playing with a different starting quarterback at the beginning of each of his four years. He finished fourth all-time at MSU with 1,966 receiving yards and in career receptions with 152.
n Caleb Schreibeis
Schreibeis, a starter at end/buck from 2011-12, won the Buck Buchanan Award and was a first-team all-American as well as a first-team all-Big Sky pick in 2012. The Billings native forced a national-best eight fumbles, chalked up a Big Sky-leading 12.5 sacks and logged 15 tackles for loss as a senior.
n Brad Daly
Daly followed Schreibeis up by earning 2013’s Buck Buchanan Award and was the Big Sky’s most valuable defensive player that season. He was a first-team all-American and all-conference selection that season as well, starting 2012 and ’13 at defensive end. That last season, the Helena native posted 20.5 tackles for loss and 14 sacks while blocking two kicks and forcing two fumbles.
n Zach Minter
Minter was a two-time all-Big Sky first-team honoree and was a third-team all-American defensive tackle in 2011. He ended his career with 31.5 career tackles for loss and went on to play in the NFL and CFL.
n Bryce Sterk
Sterk played just two seasons at MSU, but his impact greatly lifted the Bobcats. As a junior, he led the Big Sky during the regular season with 8.5 sacks and 17 tackles for loss. He was even better as a senior at defensive end, totaling 15 sacks which tied him for the lead in the FCS and put him fourth in the Bobcat record book for a single season.
n Jody Owens
Owens was a two-time all-American in 2011 and 2012 and was a first-team all-Big Sky winner those seasons as well. The weakside linebacker was also the conference’s defensive MVP in ‘12 as the Bobcats won their third consecutive Big Sky championship. He’s eighth in the Bobcats’ record books with 343 tackles, third with seven forced fumbles and tied for fifth with 47 straight starts.
n Alex Singleton
Singleton was an all-American and first-team all-Big Sky pick in 2014 at weakside linebacker. He totaled 269 tackles and 37.5 tackles for loss in his career. He went on to become the Canadian Football League’s Most Outstanding Defensive Player in 2017. He led the CFL with 123 tackles in 2018 as he helped Calgary win the Grey Cup in 2018. He’s now playing for the Philadelphia Eagles.
n Mac Bignell
Bignell became an all-Big Sky first-teamer in 2017, one of just five MSU linebackers to do so this decade. The weakside linebacker is first in MSU’s career record books with nine forced fumbles, tied for fifth with five fumble recoveries and is sixth with 49.5 tackles for loss.
n Deonte Flowers
Flowers was an all-American and all-Big Sky cornerback in 2014 and also made the all-conference second team in 2013. He ended his career with three interceptions, 33 passes broken up, 5.5 tackles for loss and 201 total tackles.
n Brayden Konkol
Konkol was a versatile defensive weapon for the Bobcats, playing at linebacker and safety in his career. He led the Bobcats in tackles with 93 as a junior in 2018, then was named an all-American safety in 2019 as a senior.
n Joel Fuller
Fuller was a first-team all-Big Sky safety in 2012 and a second-teamer in 2011. He totaled 136 tackles and broke up 13 passes in his career.
n Darius Jones
Jones was a second-team all-Big Sky cornerback in 2011 and 2012. He led the Bobcats in interceptions with four in ’12 and finished his career with 162 tackles, 10 for loss, as well as 28 pass breakups. He’s also eighth at MSU with 46 straight starts.
n Jason Cunningham
Cunningham is one of the most decorated kickers in MSU history. He is the program’s career leader with 69 field goals and owns Bobcat records for the most consecutive makes (14) and most field goals of 50 yards or longer (six). He was a first-team all-American and all-Big Sky player in 2010.
n Jered Padmos
Padmos was an all-Big Sky second-teamer in 2017 and all-conference honorable mention in 2019. He’s second at MSU with a career average of 42.4 yards per punt. His career long of 76 yards, which he pulled off twice, is tied for eighth in the program.
n Shawn Johnson
Johnson was an all-American return specialist in 2013. He tied MSU’s record with a 100-yard kick return for a touchdown that season, and he’s second all-time at MSU with 1,846 kick return yards and third with 790 punt return yards. He’s also MSU’s all-time leader with 4,453 all-purpose yards and 6.12 yards per carry as he’s 25th on the program’s all-time rushing list with 1,450 yards on the ground.
n Troy Andersen
Andersen was the Big Sky freshman of the year at running back in 2017, was a unanimous first-team all-Big Sky quarterback in 2018 and was an all-American athlete at both linebacker and wildcat quarterback in 2019. This last season, the Dillon native earned all-Big Sky honors at linebacker, becoming the first Bobcat player in the two-platoon era selected to the conference’s first team on both offense and defense. In 2018, he broke MSU’s single-season rushing touchdown record with 21. He’s currently ninth at MSU with 2,263 rushing yards and second with 33 rushing touchdowns.
n Dakota Prukop, QB; Conrad Burbank, OL; Alex Terrien, OL; Mitch Herbert, WR; Travis Jonsen, WR; Tiai Salanoa, TE; Dan Ogden, DL; Derek Marks, DL; Tucker Yates, DL; Josh Hill, LB; Grant Collins, LB; Bryson Keeton, CB; Rory Perez, P/K.