BOZEMAN — Curtis Amos Jr. didn’t want to wait.
Last Saturday, before Montana State’s nonconference home game against Wagner, Amos carried out his plan to propose to his girlfriend, Maggie Green, along the “Bobcat Prowl,” which is the game-day walk the team makes from Brick Breeden Fieldhouse to Bobcat Stadium.
As depicted on the MSU football Twitter account, Amos, MSU’s 235-pound tight end, took a knee outside the entrance to the field and popped the question. Green said yes before leaping into Amos’ arms.
Montana State coach Jeff Choate had to laugh, though he may have preferred Amos had his mind focused fully on the task at hand, like establishing a physical presence on the football field.
But Amos had his reasons.
“I knew she is the one for me,” Amos explained this week. “If I wait until after the game I’ll be too nervous, might not play to my full potential. So I figured I’d go ahead and knock it out of the park before then, focus on the game, and we came out, we dominated and came out with a win against Wagner.”
Dominate MSU did, prevailing by a 47-24 score.
Amos thrived in his role as a blocking tight end last week, helping clear holes for a ground game that produced 246 yards. True freshman running back Isaiah Ifanse had 146 of them.
Speaking about Ifanse, Amos said, “That’s what these coaches want. Isaiah is a very unique guy. He can make guys miss, he can even run guys over. He’s something special that we have here in this program.”
Regarding Amos’ engagement, it wasn’t the first time one of Choate’s players asked for someone’s hand on game day.
When Choate was the running backs coach (and special teams coordinator) at Boise State in 2006, Ian Johnson made an on-field proposal to his girlfriend, Broncos cheerleader Chrissy Popadics, after scoring a two-point conversion on a Statue of Liberty play in overtime that beat Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl.
The moment, which came immediately following one of the most iconic college football games in recent history, was broadcast on national television.
As for Amos’ methods, Choate joked: “He and I had a little chat about that. I said, ‘Congratulations, don’t ever do it again.'”
The engagement seemed to represent full-circle growth for Amos, a fifth-year senior and an unheralded member of Montana State’s offense.
Recruited by Rob Ash’s staff, Amos came to MSU in the fall of 2014 from Burleson, Texas. From the day he arrived, Amos was already a grown man physically. But as time went on it became clear that he needed to use his size in more resourceful ways.
Run blocking has since become Amos’ specialty.
“We challenged him about two years ago — ‘You’ve got to be a more physical player or you’re not going to have a lot of role in this,’” Choate said. “And he has really embraced that and he’s become a very physical blocker for us, an exceptionally important part of our run game and a really good leader in the locker room.”
“It was just another gear I had to find,” Amos said. “My mind flipped up and went up another level. Just bring more intensity, be more physical, just start dominating more guys.
“Just being able to go be a physical guy and knock another dude upside the head, that’s nice.”
Tight ends have not figured prominently in MSU’s passing game the past couple years, partly because the passing game hasn’t consistently thrived. Amos, for one, hasn’t made anyone forget Beau Sandland.
Entering this week’s Big Sky Conference opener at Portland State, Amos has only five career receptions. But individual stats don’t rank high on his list of goals.
Echoing Choate’s words, MSU safety Brayden Konkol said Amos is a valued leader in the locker room.
“Curtis is a good dude,” Konkol said. “Everyone calls him ‘Gramps.’ He’s always looking out for the younger guys. He loves to give advice.
“He’s a really good teammate. He’s one of those guys you need on your team. He’s a glue guy, and he produces on Saturdays.”
“Whatever gets us wins is what I’m OK with,” Amos said. “If that means catching less balls and blocking more, as long as we win I’m OK with whatever these coaches ask me to do.”
After a 556-yard outburst against Wagner, the Bobcats’ offense has momentum heading to Portland State. Quarterback Tucker Rovig took another step in his development with a solid, 310-yard passing performance, and Ifanse more than flashed his ability.
The lingering question this week (and every week, seemingly) is how MSU will utilize Troy Andersen — at quarterback? At running back? How about linebacker? Choate said Andersen may play without the large cast that has protected his injured left hand in the previous two games.
Regardless, Amos will do his part to replicate last week’s offensive breakout.
“It was nice to see because we know we can do it,” Amos said. “It was nice to put that out there on a Saturday and actually have a plan, execute the plan and see it fall into place. That was the best part about it.”