Montana State LB Troy Andersen Treated Image
Each year, front offices scramble to find the best of the best in the NFL Draft. And it isn’t just first-round talent – that’s an obvious evaluation for talent scouts around the country. What teams truly look for is the diamond in the rough, the best-kept secret in the draft class.
This year’s “unicorn” is someone who has gained tons of traction over the last few months, but it’s likely you haven’t heard a peep about him during his entire college career.
That’s because Troy Andersen didn’t play for a big-time SEC, Big Ten, or Big 12 school. In fact, he never donned a jersey of an FBS school.
Instead, Andersen was the best-kept secret of Dillon, Montana, and when he was starting to make some noise in high school, winning state championships in football, basketball and track, then-Montana State Bobcats head coach Jeff Choate made sure to keep it that way.
“He was one of the first guys on our radar,” Choate, the current co-defensive coordinator/inside linebackers coach at the University of Texas, told SNY during a phone interview. “The thing that we knew was he was from a Bobcat family. Both mom and dad had gone to Montana State and his older sister was attending Montana State and she was actually dating a guy a year older who we had just signed. So, we were like ‘OK, this is one we should not screw up.’
“The thing that I knew was Troy was probably a talent that should’ve been recruited, if not just by the Mountain West, certainly by the Pac-12 schools. My concern was that the word was going to get out. We did everything we could to keep him from going to the University of Utah for a one-day camp coming out of his junior year going into his senior year because the second he gets on a Pac-12 campus, everybody’s going to look at this guy and go…