With UMW competing in the Frontier Conference, it has to play and recruit against high-quality national programs. The addition of the athletic M.J. Simkins shows that the program will keep local talent in town and should please the Bulldog coaching staff with the initial signing of 2014.
Simkins has participated in both football and American Legion baseball the past four years while attending Beaverhead County High School. He is a 5’ 11” 165-pound athlete who has received second team offensive All-Conference honors following both his junior and senior years as a receiver on the gridiron. M.J. received both first team All-State and All-Conference honors for his play in the Beavers secondary. Simkins accounted for 29 receptions, 462 yards and 5 touchdowns as a receiver and added 3 touchdowns on 19 of 24 passing. Defensively he totaled 40 tackles and 3 interceptions for the state champions.
“Signing M.J. is a great start to our 2014 recruiting class,” head coach BJ Robertson said. “M.J. is a versatile athlete from a State Championship team. We were fortunate to be able to get to know him and work with he and his teammates this summer at our football camp.”
Off the field M.J. has earned Academic All-State honors throughout his 4 year career for the Beavers. His intended major is psychology while attending Montana Western. He is the son of Mark and Kathy Simkins.
“What Coach Nordahl and his staff at Beaverhead County High School have instilled in their program and players is exactly what we are looking for at Montana Western,” Coach Robertson said. “We are excited that a local student athlete of MJ's caliber has decided to stay local and join the Bulldog Football Family.”
The University of Montana Western has launched a national search for the provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs position.