Player: Tristan Bailey
Hometown: Colorado Springs, CO
Tristan Bailey took a longer road than most to come from Colorado Springs to Bozeman. Yet, after a college football career that led him from the University of Wyoming to Colorado State to Coffeyville CC in Kansas before finally arriving in Bozeman, his passion for his teammates shows that what he truly bleeds is blue and gold. In his Bobcat debut last season Bailey made 4 of 4 field goals including an MSU record long 50 yard kick which led him to be named conference player of the week honors. This season, Bailey’s final as a Bobcat, has him sitting at 7 of 12 on field goals and 36 of 36 on extra points, with one run for 11 yards and one tackle.
How has your season been going so far?
It’s been going well and obviously real fun when we are winning and everything, but it has been a good season for us and I am just embracing every last game that I have and appreciating it before I go.
How do you want to feel after your final season is over?
Obviously we are all going to miss it, all of us seniors, so I just want to make sure I gave it all that I have and we give it all that we have so we don’t wind up with any regrets because while I want to give the next level a shot there just aren’t any guarantees so what I do have guaranteed I am going to embrace.
What do you have planned after graduation as you look to play at the next level?
I’ll be heading home and working with some kicking coaches back there and also heading to Arizona to work with a high level guy that has connections to the NFL and I’ll participate in his senior combine for kickers and punters to come out and give it a shot in front of a lot of NFL scouts so it will be good exposure. Another coach I’ll train with worked in the league for 23 years so he has a pretty good reputation and I'll also be listening a lot to him.
Any superstitions you have before games?
I don’t, but I used to have a lot like while at my junior college. You know you have a good game and you ask yourself what did I do last game and then create all of these superstitions. At my junior college there was one game that I wore tights when I used to not and then after that I made sure to wear tights every single game. So it’s probably just one of those things that doesn’t really matter but just something kickers have, especially for high stress situations. And I know one of our punter’s superstitions is to make sure we go get Granny’s Donuts on friday, that’s just his deal and if he doesn’t get Granny’s Donuts then he’s not set to have a good punting game I guess, but it always works out for him.
What was your favorite moment as a member of the Bobcat football team?
I would say that my favorite moment was Cat/Griz last year because that was my first season and you always hear coming in to the university when you get recruited how big it is but you don’t understand from an outside perspective. Being from Colorado and not really being around the rivalry up until I got here, I was wondering how big of a deal it can really be but then the whole season you can see people just want to kick the Griz’s ass, every time. So figuring that out and playing in that game last year I just remember how intense it was being in Missoula my first time, so for me it was a great experience and I am excited to have it here this year and to take them on.
What was your path to MSU like?
It definitely was a rocky path but I don't regret any of it and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. It helped me become the person and kicker that I am today. Starting at Wyoming before going to Colorado State, then taking a year off from football, I realized that football was really where my passion lied and and I wanted to make sure that I play football and JUCO was the best option for me as I could play right away and not have to sit out and I could get recruited again. Then, I went out trying to find the right school and I found the best place for me.
What led you to come to Montana State?
I came out on a visit in December and coach B.J. Robertson (MSU Special Teams Coordinator) recruited me since early November, so after talks with him he wanted to get me out here so they flew me out and it was one of those days where it was snowy and I was like you're kidding but you gotta embrace the snow coming from Kansas where there was a lot more humidity. Seeing the snow was fun and just seeing the love that the coaches show the players stood out to me, because when I was at Wyoming or my JC a lot of times you don’t really feel that from the coaches and it just kind of feels more like a job to them and it doesn’t really feel like they care as much about you, and here you can just tell right away that they care about every individual person on the team and even the people who aren’t even here yet. They showed that to me and then being here and meeting the athletic, training and academic staffs it was a perfect fit for me. Also, the business school here was great and what I was looking to get in to and everything just kind of lined up perfectly and I knew right away. I knew even before my visit when I was asking my mom “are you alright if I commit?” and she was just like “yes, let’s do it” so that next day I had breakfast with head coach Jeff Choate and coach B.J. and told them I was ready to go and it has been great ever since.
What will you miss most about Bozeman?
I think that what I will miss most is the camaraderie of the football team. I have gotten really close to a lot of those guys, and to have that constant brotherhood around you is obviously one of the biggest things that I will miss out on, and obviously I will miss all of my other friends here too but I just think that the football part is the biggest around me right now.