Recruiting season in football is in high gear, and the Montana State University-Northern Lights have added six new transfers to their roster for the 2011 season.
The Lights and head coach Mark Samson announced the signing of six transfers as the first portion of their 2011 recruiting class. Samson is expected to announce his high school commits later this week.
Headlining the list of transfers, who are enrolled at Northern and will compete this spring, is Montana State transfer Jared Rohrback of Great Falls. Rohrback was a two-time Class AA All-State selection at linebacker, as well as the 2007 Class AA Defensive Player of the Year.
Rohrback was also a three-time Class AA state champion in wrestling for the CMR Rustlers and had plenty of interest from collegiate wrestling programs ahead of signing with the Bobcats to play football.
“Jared will have an immediate impact on our defense and have an opportunity to compete right away for a starting job at linebacker,” Samson said. “We are very fortunate that he decided to transfer here and become a Northern Light. We are very excited to have one of the best all around athletes to come out of the state of Montana in the last couple years joining our program.”
Another big get for the Lights is 5-8 wide receiver Kyle Johnston, who comes to Northern from prestigious Shasta Junior College in California. Johnston runs a 4.4 40-yard dash and will add great depth to an already talented Northern receiving corps. The Lights return the likes of Brandon O’Brien and Orin Johnson at receiver, but did lose both Matt Stuart and Kyler Kercher to graduation, so the addition of Johnston in the slot gives the Lights a talented group to start the 2011 season with.
“Kyle will be a great addition to an already strong receiver corps,” Samson said. “We expect Kyle to be a key contributor to our offense from his slot position. Kyle is extremely quick and fast with great hands and will be used in a lot of different ways on offense as well as a kick and punt returner.”
The Lights added another in-state transfer in Drummond defensive lineman Gage Martell (6-1, 245). Martel transfers to Northern from the University of Montana, where he redshirted for the Grizzlies last season. He was a Class C All-State performer in 2009 and will have four years left with the Lights.
Three more out-of-state transfers complete the list.
Ralphael Huizar, a 5-9, 185-pound safety from Stanton, Calif., comes to the Lights from Golden West Junior College, Chris Hamilton, a 6-0, 190-pound corner from Auburn, Wash., has transferred to MSU-N from Glendale Community College in Arizona, and Michael McCrary, a 5-11, 170-pound defensive back from Laveen, Ariz., tops off the list of six new players.
“We are very excited to announce the signings of these six student athletes,” Samson said. “They have all transferred in to Northern this semester and are enrolled in classes here. We have signed some very talented kids that not only are great athletes but great people as well. We have addressed some immediate needs with these young men and some of them will have the ability to come in and play right away for us this spring.
“We are extremely excited about the caliber of players that we have brought in,” he added. “These players will definitely fill some holes that we have in certain positions and provide some great experience for our team. We are very excited about the upcoming season and myself and our staff and players are working very hard to make sure we get back to competing for a championship in 2011.”
The Lights should announce more high school commits later this week.