Bigfork’s Dopps, Fraley to Play Football at Montana State University

By Beacon Staff

Bigfork High School seniors Cody Dopps and Dillon Fraley have accepted preferred walk-on offers from Montana State University to play football for the Bobcats next year, Bigfork head coach Todd Emslie confirmed on Tuesday.

The pair of all-state Vikings committed to MSU after making recruiting trips to Bozeman last weekend, Emslie said.

Universities will announce this year’s football signing classes tomorrow on National Signing Day.

Dopps, a 6-foot-1, 185-pound running back, had a remarkable senior season this fall, tallying 2,025 all-purpose yards and 25 TDs. Fraley, a 6-5, 230-pound defensive end and tackle, was named all-state in Class B along with Dopps. The duo, along with three other seniors who earned all-state this year, helped the Vikings win the first state championship in school history in 2010. Bigfork won District 7B again this year, going undefeated in conference, and returned to the state quarterfinals before finishing with an 8-2 record.

“It’s good for the program. It’s good for football in the west. It’s good for them,” Emslie said of the boys’ college signings. “(Montana State) didn’t have a lot of scholarships this year and they really wanted to have these two. It’s a great thing for them.”

Emslie said a few other seniors are still deciding about college plans.

Dopps and Fraley will join a Montana State roster that already has a good crop of Flathead Valley talent. Columbia Falls senior Austin Barth has already accepted a scholarship to play next year. Libby’s Joel Fuller was a starting safety this season as a junior. Bigfork’s Donald Tudahl was a sophomore tight end last season and Glacier’s Joel Horn was a freshman lineman.

MSU sixth-year head coach Rob Ash said in a statement he hopes to sign around a dozen players on Wednesday.

“I’m very excited,” Ash said of his potential 2012 recruiting class. “We had to have quality because we just didn’t have many scholarships to offer. So we focused in on a few quality players, and we were able to convert an extremely high percentage of official visits to commitments. That was the key to this class, to identify the top players at positions where we had needs, and make sure we signed those guys.”

“We only focused on the areas where we had needs, so we really able to be selective and settle in on the very best prospects,” he added.

MSU plans to post signings on www.msubobcats.com as the letters-of-intent arrive on Wednesday.

The Associated Press reported today that Columbia Falls defensive end Jacob Babcock has signed with Carroll College.