HELENA — Coming into this offseason, Carroll College football coach Troy Purcell knew that he wanted to increase the depth on the offensive line.
“Last year, once we got through our two-deep, we struggled a little bit with our scout team,” Purcell said. “It’s not only the competition between the five guys on the line, but also to give a good look at the scout teams to be more productive.”
Purcell addressed those needs Tuesday evening after announcing a signing group that included former Helena Capital all-state offensive lineman Conor Quick.
“It’s my hometown,” Quick said. “My sister plays volleyball for Carroll. My cousin, (Cameron Routhie), is on the football team and I know a bunch of the guys there."
Quick returns to Helena after spending two years at the University of Montana. He redshirted during the 2018-19 season and didn’t appear in a game last year.
“It just wasn’t going to work out for me,” Quick said.
But that doesn’t mean he didn’t savor his time playing for the Grizzlies. In his two years there, he learned that there is a distinct difference between high school and college football.
“The competitiveness is very extreme once you get out onto a college field. It’s a whole different ballgame,” Quick said. “Everyone is bigger, faster, the hits are a lot harder. Everything is just so fast-paced.”
Before Montana, Quick spent three years on Capital’s varsity squad under coach Kyle Mihelish.
“He is a very mature body,” Purcell said of Quick. “When you get an opportunity to get a transfer of his caliber, you can’t pass it up. He’s just a great all-around kid.”
Quick doesn’t just give the Saints experience, but size as well.
His 6-foot-3, 275-pound frame made him one of the strongest lineman that Mihelish has ever coached.
“He’s a good physical player,” Mihelish said. “He is one of the best lifters I have seen go through Capital High School.”
Quick’s work ethic in the weight room started as he watched his father work at the fire station before he was even in kindergarten. By the time he was in the second grade, his father was teaching him how to use a Bowflex.
“I’ve always loved lifting,” Quick said. “Over time my buddies and I just built strength. I’m not the tallest lineman out there, but my strength keeps me in the game.”
While at Capital, Quick also became a three-time state powerlifting champion when he squatted 530 pounds and benched 415 pounds.
While Quick is currently a few pounds lighter than he was at Montana, he said he hasn’t really talked to coaches about his size but wouldn’t be opposed to putting more muscle on for next season.
Purcell also added two more offensive linemen in Timothy Sellars and Branden McDonald from out of state.
Sellars, a 6-foot-4, 240-pound was a first team all-Sea Tac 1B selection for Pope John Paul High School in Olympia, Washington this past season, while McDonald sits at 6-foot-2, 240 pounds and was a two-time state champion and all-state selection for Star Valley High School in Star Valley, Wyoming.
Although the coronavirus pandemic caused Carroll football to cancel its spring practices, the Saints look to start their season on Aug. 29 against Montana Western at Nelson Stadium.