MSU’s Roderick moves back to receiver

BOZEMAN — Over the span of a meeting between Bobcat football coach Rob Ash and junior Tanner Roderick in recent days, Montana State became materially better at one offensive position while gaining clarity for an anticipated fall camp position battle at another.

Roderick has moved from quarterback to receiver, a switch he proposed to the Bobcat coaching staff and Ash earlier this week. After consulting with receivers coach Cody Kempt and offensive coordinator Tim Cramsey, Ash signed off on the move and Roderick enters the fall as the starting Z receiver.

“I talked with a couple of coaches,” Roderick said of acting on the idea that began forming earlier in the summer. “We all thought that it was best for the team for me to play receiver. I’m excited to play another year at receiver.”

The move pairs Roderick with starting X receiver Brian Flotkoetter on the outside, giving the Bobcats a pair of experienced, athletic 6-3 receivers. Flotkoetter started in 2013, while Roderick saw extensive action last year. He missed five mid-season games with an injury as a sophomore after transferring from Nevada, but still caught 12 passes for 146 yards. He finished with a flourish, catching eight of those balls in the final three games.

“This creates clarity for us at quarterback and really gives us a boost at receiver,” Ash said. “Tanner is such a fabulous athlete that we need him on the field. He showed ability as a playmaking receiver last year, and it will be exciting to watch him continue that once fall camp begins.”

Roderick starred as Bozeman High’s quarterback in 2009 and 2010, leading the Hawks to an undefeated state title as a senior. He earned Gatorade Player of the Year honors for Montana, as well. He initially opened eyes as a receiver during his sophomore season. Roderick played quarterback for two seasons at Nevada before transferring to MSU in January, 2013. He played receiver as a sophomore at MSU before spending last spring at quarterback.

“I love playing receiver, especially if it’s going to help the team the most,” Roderick said, adding that his experience at that position in high school was memorable. “That was my first varsity experience, and it was a blast.”

The move leaves MSU’s quarterback competition a three-man race between junior Jake Bleskin, sophomore Dakota Prukop and redshirt freshman Quinn McQueary. “It will be much easier to evaluate and to manage a three-way battle than if four players were involved,” Ash said. “I’ve heard good things about the work all three are doing this summer.”

MSU’s fall camp opens on August 4.

— MSU Sports Information

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