BILLINGS — Blake Thelen, who said in early May that he was leaving Montana State, is joining the football program at Montana Tech. 

Thelen made the announcement Tuesday via Twitter. The former Great Falls High standout spent the past two years at MSU, where he redshirted as a true freshman in 2019. The Bobcats did not play in the fall of 2020 due to COVID-19 and opted out of the Big Sky Conference's 2021 spring season.

Thelen threw for 3,005 yards and 28 touchdowns with just six interceptions as a senior at Great Falls in 2018, helping the Bison reach the Class AA state playoffs for the first time in a decade. He completed 63 percent of his passes and also rushed for 116 yards and eight more scores.

Starting quarterback Jet Campbell is expected to return for the Orediggers in 2021. Campbell, a Billings Central product, threw for 1,967 yards and 11 touchdowns and rushed for 150 yards and six TDs in 2019.

Montana Tech did not play in 2020 and also opted out of the Frontier Conference's schedule in the spring of 2021. The Orediggers went 6-4 in 2019. They are coached by Kyle Samson.

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