The calendar says August but for MSU linebacker's coach Kane Ioane, it reads December. Santa came a little early this year with senior linebacker Michael Foster returning to the Bobcats after being ruled academically ineligible earlier this year
"Christmas came early," said Ioane. "We got a tremendous bonus with getting Mike back. He's gonna add depth right away. He's gonna add more experience, more play making ability, not only to our group as far as linebacker and defense is concerned, but for the special teams."
"It's huge having him back," said senior linebacker Alex Singleton. '"He's a huge part, he was a starter for 12 games last year. He'll fly around and he'll make big plays."
Foster was ruled academically ineligible by Montana State and the NCAA this spring. Foster completed a waiver request this fall, which the NCAA has granted. Foster however, must serve a four game suspension to begin the season.
Foster started at linebacker last year for the Bobcats, recording 73 tackles, the second most on the team.
"It's great to have Mike back," said senior linebacker Cole Moore. "He was in a really unfortunate situation where he wasn't going to be able to play his 5th year, his senior year of football. So to get that news a couple days ago is obviously great for him, but obviously great for the team as well. He's a tremendous linebacker, but also great on special teams too, so he's a tremendous asset to the team."
MSU's linebacking core is already loaded with veteran seniors in Cole Moore, Alex Singleton and Na'a Moeakiola. Adding Foster to the mix only adds more experience to an already veteran, game ready defense.
"Experience, just in practice, the young guys look up to us," said Singleton. "We help them through everything and you know, when they have questions, we can coach. So there's not just one coach, there's five other coaches."
With the final day of camp wrapping up Wednesday, this veteran unit is ready to show what they can do in their final season with the Blue and Gold
"We have all the potential in the world, but potential doesn't mean anything," Moore said. "You've got to come out on Saturdays and execute."
"As a group, we have that motto, 'never satisfied," said Ioane. "So yes, we've had a great camp so far. We're gonna finish strong this afternoon and we're looking forward to the next day. We're not worried about the first game, we're worried about the next day, the next practice, the next meeting. Just one step at a time in this process."