MISSOULA — Dylan Rollins is heading to the highest level of college football.
The Missoula Sentinel offensive lineman committed to BYU, an FBS Independent team ranked No. 18 in the latest College Football Playoff Top 25, which came out Tuesday soon after he committed. He chose the Cougars out of 16 Division I offers, including eight FBS offers, most of which he garnered as his stock continued to rise throughout his senior season.
Rollins is the first high school senior from Montana to head to the FBS level on scholarship since Bozeman's Will Dissly went to Washington after flipping from Boise State as part of the 2014 recruiting class. He's the highest-rated prospect from Montana since Stevensville's Jesse Sims flipped from Oregon State to Montana in the 2015 recruiting class, according to 247Sports.
"First off, I'd like to thank everyone who's helped me get to this point," Rollins wrote in a note attached to a tweet. "To all my family, friends, coaches, trainers and teammates, I can't thank you all enough for all the help and support you give me. I really couldn't be here without you.
"Also, thank you to all the schools that have recruited me and followed me through this recruiting process. Above all else, I would like to thank God for all He has given me, especially the opportunity to play the game I love at the next level and for blessing me with the abilities and people in my life that have gotten me to where I am. With that said, I'd like to announce my commitment to Brigham Young University!! Go Cougs!"
Rollins had previously narrowed his list to five teams. BYU, located in Provo, Utah, was in his top tier along with two other FBS teams: Oregon State of the Pac-12 and Minnesota of the Big Ten. His second tier included two FCS teams: Montana State of the Big Sky and North Dakota State of the Missouri Valley Football Conference, the latter of which he was still waiting on for an official offer.
Rollins' other FBS offers came from Nebraska (Big Ten), as a walk-on, Central Michigan (Mid-American) and Mountain West schools Utah State, UNLV and Air Force. He has FCS offers from Big Sky schools Montana and Northern Arizona, Bucknell of the Patriot League and Ivy League schools Harvard, Yale, Cornell and Dartmouth.
The 6-foot-5 1/2, 285-pound Rollins was named one of 250 All-America finalists by Sports Illustrated last week and has been selected to play in the Blue-Grey All-American Bowl on Jan. 18 at the Dallas Cowboys' AT&T Stadium. He's a 3-star recruit and the top-ranked player in Montana, per 247Sports.
Rollins was a senior captain and three-year starter for Sentinel, which won its first state title since 1972 this fall. He previously said BYU is giving him the chance to play offensive tackle, the position he played as a sophomore before he displayed his versatility by moving to guard as a junior and senior so Sentinel could get its five best linemen on the field.
Rollins previously noted he's considering whether to go on an LDS mission after high school like his brother, who plays at Montana State. He had said the schools that he was considering, including BYU, were "open to the mission."