HELENA — Football is becoming more and more about the quarterback and on the defensive side of the ball, that means you need guys who can sack the quarterback and that's a speciality of Helena Capital's Tyler Little.
It's also the biggest reason he will be continuing his football career in the Frontier Conference with Montana Tech after he signed his NAIA letter of intent to play for the Orediggers Wednesday.
"I'm really excited," Little said. "There are a lot of Montana kids going there and I'm just glad to keep playing football because I know a lot of guys aren't getting that chance."
It's a chance Little almost didn't receive either and the COVID-19 pandemic didn't help. For one, it allowed some players already playing college football to stay for an extra year, meaning more competition for scholarship money and roster spots, but also just the lack of the normal recruiting process, including many of the chances to impress coaches in the offseason.
"It was a weird year," Little said. "But I just tried to block it out. The first priority was my team. But I worked hard and that paid off and I'm glad that I'm going to Tech."
The Diggers are getting a three-year starter who has been highly productive playing on the edge for the Bruins. This past season was his most productive and in nine games, the defensive end notched 13 sacks, 22 hurries and three caused fumbles, as well as 77 total tackles (40 solo) and 10 tackles for loss.
That's nearly 1.5 sacks per game, as well as 22 hurries, which helped him earn first-team all-state honors in Class AA. The 5-foot-11, 230-pounder wound up with 17 sacks in his career and this past season, he had more than any other player in Class AA.
"I'm walking in with a chip on my shoulder," Little said after Tech was the only school to offer him. "I'm glad that way it worked out and I'm really happy going to Tech but I want to show other schools that they made a mistake not taking a shot on me."