Chris Murphy, Published April 26 2014
MSUM's Montplaisir settles in at tight end
After Game 1 of his collegiate career, Montplaisir would never throw the majority of the passes in a game for the Dragons again. After Game 2, he would not start at quarterback again.
Twenty games and three positions later, Montplaisir has found his spot as the Dragons tight end.
“I didn’t come here to just be a good quarterback,” Montplaisir said after MSUM’s spring football game on Saturday. “I came here to win championships. I came here to make the people around me the best I could make them and this team the best it could be. Me soaking in my own grief wasn’t going to do me anything, so I said, ‘You know what? I’m a football player, so let’s do this.’ ”
Montplaisir opened his collegiate career completing 10 of 25 passes for 146 yards, while throwing two interceptions, getting sacked four times, fumbling the ball twice and finishing with minus-21 net rushing yards. It only got worse, as he completed three of his eight pass attempts for 11 yards and one interception in his second game.
“It was definitely tough right away, but my faith kept me grounded,” Montplaisir said. “I got great family and great friends that supported me through it. Once you get knocked off the horse, you got to get right back on.”
The next six games, Montplaisir didn’t start at any position and threw just four passes the rest of the season. He played wide receiver, catching four passes for 34 yards in 2012. He started once at wide receiver in MSUM’s 10th game of the season. It was his only start after his first two games at quarterback.
“They said they might move me to wide receiver and I said, ‘Why wait? Let’s get going on this now,’” Montplaisir said. “I decided I was going to get better at whatever position they played me at.”
Montplaisir worked in the offseason as if he was going to be a wide receiver. With a week left in fall camp, the Dragons were light at linebacker and asked if Montplaisir would try it out. Once again, he answered the call.
“It really shows his character,” MSUM coach Steve Laqua said. “Not only is he a great teammate and team-first guy, but his adaptability and his can-do attitude is not just something he has for this football team, but in life.”
Montplaisir played linebacker to open his sophomore season, making three tackles in five games and never starting. When the Dragons got healthy at linebacker again, Montplaisir went to tight end.
It was the final six games of the 2013 season where Montplaisir made his mark. He started three games at tight end, including the last two of the season. He hauled in six catches for 170 yards and two touchdowns, including an 80-yard touchdown reception in the final game of the season against St. Cloud State. He also rushed for two touchdowns.
“That’s kind of where I fit in,” Montplaisir said of the tight end position. “That’s kind of where I feel I can play the best and excel the most. I kind of found a home there.”
And MSUM found its tight end.
“Right now, he’s our starting tight end,” Laqua said. “He can be a legitimate tight end in the Northern Sun (Conference). He’s become one of our best blockers and we feel he’s been the best tight end we’ve had since we’ve been here.”
The 225-pound tight end, who caught three passes for 74 yards – including a 29-yard touchdown pass – and was the lead blocker on a wide receiver screen for a touchdown Saturday, would be unrecognizable to the 190-pound quarterback who lined up behind center at MSUM in 2012.
Montplaisir has transformed himself for the team.
“I don’t care what I’m doing. I just want to play,” Montplaisir said. “They ask me to do it and I’ll do it. Whatever for the team.”
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Chris Murphy at (701) 241-5548