Opportunity has come knocking for Mountain View High grad Tucker Rovig.
Montana State revealed Wednesday that its starting quarterback the past two years won’t play at all in 2018 for academic reasons, suddenly thrusting Rovig into a quarterback battle.
The Bobcats have five other quarterbacks on their roster entering the 2018 season. But Rovig, a redshirt freshman, is the only one with any experience in the program at the position.
Rovig redshirted his first season in Bozeman last fall. He and Chris Murray, the incumbent starter, were the only two quarterbacks to attempt a pass during Montana State’s spring game or scrimmages.
“We’ve got Tucker Rovig, who took a ton of reps in the spring,” Montana State coach Jeff Choate told Skyline Sports. “We’ve got other guys who we are going to take a look at. I think we are going to have a really healthy quarterback competition.”
Choate said the Bobcats learned about Murray’s academic struggles early and tried to address the problem in their 2018 recruiting class. Montana State brought in two true freshmen, but Rovig’s largest competition likely will come from a transfer, junior Travis Jonsen.
Jonsen originally enrolled early with Oregon as a four-star recruit and the No. 3-rated dual-threat quarterback in the country in 2015. He didn’t play that season due to a toe injury and never threw a pass at Oregon, transferring to Riverside (Calif.) City College, where he was the backup last season.
Jonsen broke a foot in February slipping on ice and missed the Bobcats’ spring practices, allowing Rovig to take all of his reps.
Choate said in a news release that the Bobcats will have an open competition at quarterback when fall camp starts Aug. 3.
“The one wild card here is probably Travis Jonsen,” Choate told Skyline Sports. “He has just now gotten fully cleared. The injury took some time. He’s got a plate in that foot. He could do some jogging, weight transfer, but this morning was the first time he could do full-on team stuff. He’s the wild card in this.”
Mountain View went 22-3 with Rovig as its quarterback in 2015 and ‘16. He led the Mavericks to the 5A state championship game as a junior before winning the program’s first state title as a senior.
He finished his senior season as a first-team 5A All-Idaho selection, racking up 2,747 total yards and 40 total TDs. He threw for 5,459 yards and 69 TDs in his high school career and set nine school records, and he was Montana State’s first commit of the 2017 recruiting class.
Montana State opens the season at home Aug. 30 against Western Illinois.
“The young man that ends up being our quarterback this year will probably be the young man that our team has the most confidence in, our coaches have the most confidence in and provides the best leadership for that unit,” Choate told 406mtsports.com.