Billings Senior’s Junior Bergen changes commitment from Montana State to Montana

Senior’s Junior Bergen runs with the ball during the Class AA state championship on Nov. 13. (Ben Allan Smith/, MSU Sports Information and Chronicle Staff

BILLINGS — After initially choosing Montana State, Billings Senior football player Junior Bergen switched his commitment to the Bobcats’ rival.

Bergen now plans to play for the University of Montana, he told The Billings Gazette and on Tuesday night. MontanaSports first reported the news.

“Just thought this would fit a little better,” Bergen wrote in a text message Tuesday.

Bergen committed to MSU on Dec. 16, back when Jeff Choate was still the Bobcats’ head coach. Choate became an assistant coach at the University of Texas in January and was replaced by Wyoming offensive coordinator Brent Vigen in February.

Bergen played quarterback at Senior in the fall but was recruited as an athlete and hadn’t determined if he would play wide receiver or defensive back at the college level. As a senior, he rushed for 868 yards and 17 touchdowns and threw for 1,082 yards and 12 TDs. He earned multiple Class AA all-state selections in his career, and he starred for the Broncs’ boys basketball team.

Former Billings West athlete Jesse Owens signed with Montana for football in 2019 and transferred a year later to MSU, where he walked on to the basketball team. He transferred again last month and signed with Rocky Mountain College.

MSU men’s basketball signs 7-foot-3 Reinalda to 2021 class

Montana State men’s basketball received a fifth signee to its 2021 recruiting class on Wednesday as Jasper Reinalda submitted his National Letter of Intent to join the program.

Reinalda, who stands 7-foot-3, is in the midst of a post-graduate year refining his play at Donar academy in Groningen, Netherlands. He has been a member of the professional club’s U22 squad there.

A 2020 graduate of Corvallis High School, Reinalda was a three-year varsity member and two-year starter for the Spartans. Reinalda developed his play and completed his senior season averaging 15.5 points, 12.6 rebounds and nearly five blocks per game while shooting 74.7% from the field. He was named a First Team Mid-Willamette Conference selection in consecutive seasons at Corvallis.

Reinalda’s father played at Oregon State. Reinalda has dual citizenship in both the Netherlands and United States and is bilingual. He played AAU basketball for the Portland based Team Fly club.

“He’s going to be a campus favorite, a crowd favorite and not just because of his size,” Montana State head coach Danny Sprinkle said. “There’s a difference between 7 feet and 7-foot-3, he’s gigantic. His personality is infectious, he’s an awesome person. That’s why he’s going to be a crowd favorite and everyone on campus is going to love him.

“He’s comfortable being Jasper. He’s a lot bigger than everybody and he’s comfortable with that. Sometimes you get young bigs and they don’t know how to work, but he’s a hard worker. You don’t see that a lot in 7 footers as young as him. I’m super excited to have him get here. I think he’s a great person and think he can have a tremendous career here.”

Reinalda joins Alex Germer, Sam Lecholat, Patrick McMahon and Great Osobor — with the four others having signed during the early signing period in November 2020 — as freshmen on the 2021-22 roster.