HELENA — It was an exciting football this season this fall for Helena Capital and now, that excitement is carrying over to recruiting.
The early signing period for the NCAA opened Wednesday and while the NAIA has no date restrictions, it's around that same time that signings and commitments start coming in a flurry.
And that was true this week for Helena Capital, as two of the Bruins best players have decided on their futures.
Noah Braden, a running back and safety for Capital, signed his NAIA letter of intent Thursday with Montana Western, making his move to the Bulldogs roster official.
"They have had some success recently," Braden said of Western. "And the coaches were really friendly. I like the block system. It has a small-town feel and I liked that."
While Braden earned his way onto the IR's All-Area team as a safety, he said he thought he would start his career out at running back.
This past season, in a shared role with Kadyn Craigle, Braden was dynamic, scoring 10 touchdowns, averaging 5.5 yards per carry and rushing for 731 rushing yards.
He's also a solid receiver out of the backfield, as well as a potential return guy for the Bulldogs. On top of that, he registered 54 tackles, three tackles for loss and three pass breakups in 2019 on defense, earning All-Conference honors in the Western AA.
"I am just excited to keep playing football," Braden said. "It's nice to stay close to home. I couldn't see myself leaving Montana, I think I would be too homesick."
Parker Johnson commits, waits to sign
While Braden put pen to paper, his Helena Capital teammate Parker Johnston didn't do that Thursday as previously planned. Yet, it's just a formality as Johnston announced on Twitter Wednesday that he's committed to Montana Tech.
Johnston was the All-Area Player of the Year in 2019 and earned Class AA All-State honors on both sides of the ball. He had 46 tackles, four interceptions and three touchdowns on defense, as well as 976 receiving yards and 13 scores as a wide receiver.
Johnston will sign sometime in the coming months. He is under no date restriction with the NAIA.
According to Helena High head coach Scott Evans, Bengals defensive lineman Keyshawn Newby will also be signing with Montana Tech in January or February.