Kick teams highlight MSU selections

PARK CITY, Utah — Rob Ash has spent much of his seven seasons at Montana State – not to mention his four decades as a college football coach – preaching the importance of special teams, and coaching that way.

Proof of that came Monday morning, when two Bobcats earned Big Sky Conference Preseason All-Conference honors for their role on kick teams. Sophomore Chad Newell was named as the league’s Special Teams performer, while returning All-America Shawn Johnson earned the nod as the return specialist.

“Our conference is so competition,” Ash said, “that as a coach you look for every advantage. But in our league everyone does such a good job with special teams that you have to put a lot of effort into that area just to keep up.”

In addition to Newell and Johnson, two other Bobcats landed preseason Big Sky honors. Sophomore JP Flynn and senior Deonte Flowers also landed on the All-Big Sky Preseason Team. Flynn moved into the starting lineup midway through his redshirt freshman season but was lauded with Third Team All-Big Sky honors. Flowers is a third-year starter who has been a major part of MSU’s defensive effort throughout his career.

“This is a great honor for these guys,” Ash said, “but it recognizes past performance. It doesn’t have anything to do with what will happen in the future. We know that, and I think we’re all excited to get back to work in August.”

— MSU Sports Information

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