HELENA — Billings West High senior linebacker JJ Linsday knew he wanted to play for new Carroll College defensive coordinator Jared Petrino.
The only decision was whether he was going to play for Rocky Mountain or Carroll.
That decision came Wednesday morning on Twitter that he will continue his football career after officially committing to play with the Saints next season. It helped the Petrino was recently hired by Carroll College.
“I was contacted by coach Petrino a few weeks ago and decided to go on a visit,” Lindsay said. “It was down to Rocky and Carroll oddly enough, but last night it just hit me and I realized I wanted to be at Carroll."
Lindsay finished last season, helping the Golden Bears to 12 wins and led the defense with a team-high 134 total tackles, two fumble recoveries and an interception.
"He's one of the best, if not the best, leader we've had in the program in some time," Billings West coach Rob Stanton said. "He's not afraid to put in a ton of work and hold people accountable and he's more than passionate for the game of football."
At 5-foot-10 and 190 pounds, Lindsay wasn’t the biggest linebacker on the team but he used that as motivation.
“For much of my career I was told I was too small to play linebacker,” said Lindsay, who was Billings West’s smallest linebacker his first three years there. “It made me put a lot of work in the weight room and luckily (the coaches at Carroll) still want me to play inside linebacker. It’s definitely where I want to be.”
Lindsay doesn’t know what type of role he will have his freshman season, but was told the coaches are really big on competition at the start of training camp to see what players can do.
“I think if I come in, compete and find my way into a position, they will play me,” Lindsay said. “If I can be better use down the road, they will redshirt me.”
Carroll finished first in the Frontier Conference in total defense and scoring defense but ended the 2018 season with a third consecutive losing season.
Carroll coaches said they would not comment on any signings until after the NCAA version of National Signing Day on Feb. 6.