Missoula Sentinel’s JJ Dolan Signs Up for Montana State Football | Montana State Bobcats

BOZEMAN — JJ Dolan will compete in Saturday’s Brawl of the Wild, and for the first time in his life he won’t be cheering for Montana.

Dolan, a senior defense attorney with Missoula Sentinel, announced his commitment to the state of Montana on Wednesday. His father, grandfather, and great-grandfather all played for the Grizzlies, but his family members were more than happy that he chose to play for the Bobcats.

“They really supported us in that,” Dolan told 406mtsports.com on Wednesday. “It was like, ‘I want you to go where you feel you want, where you think you’re happiest.’ It wasn’t like, ‘You better go to the Griz.’”

Dolan felt wanted by the MSU coaches because they offered him a preferred walk-on spot and contacted him every week. The 6-foot-175-pounder hadn’t received any contact from UM until recently, he said, and the Griz hasn’t extended an offer beyond a walk-on opportunity (not preferred).

Dolan has also received offers from the NAIA state programs Carroll, Montana Western and Montana Tech. But the opportunity to play for one of the best Division I Football Championship subdivision teams was too good to pass up.

“Ever since I was a little kid I’ve dreamed of playing DI soccer and I’m just super excited that I’ve got the opportunity now,” he said. “I just think it’s going to be a great experience. MSU is on the upswing right now. Hopefully in the next few years – this year and so on – we can win a national championship.”

Dolan’s father Nate helped the Griz win the Division I-AA national title in 1995, enhancing the already pristine Dolan legacy in Missoula. Nate’s father Pat played for UM from 1968 to 1970, and Pat’s father played there from 1936 to 1938.

The Cats reached the FCS title game last season and are the No. 3 ahead of Saturday’s game against the No. 13 Griz at Bobcat Stadium.

Dolan, an All-State nickelback, will join a team that has another DB who played for Sentinel and starts strong safety Rylan Ortt. Dolan’s teammate and classmate Adam Jones signed to MSU in August.

“I’m thrilled” to play with Jones, Dolan said, adding, “He bugged me every day. Every week his parents also asked. Adam has always been a good friend of mine since we were little kids.”

In his final season as a Spartan, Dolan finished with 53 tackles (51 solo), 10 tackles for loss, two sacks, a forced fumble, and four pass deflections, according to MaxPreps. On offense, Dolan rushed for 97 yards and four touchdowns and added 144 receiving yards this season, which ended in a Class AA semifinal loss at Helena Capital on Friday. Sentinel won the previous two State AA titles.

A Cat's Life: Butte Head Trainer Arie Gray

The public begged to line the streets of Bozeman for the arrival of ESPN College GameDay