FCS players typically don’t get nearly the amount of attention their FBS counterparts do, but there’s still plenty of talent there. Montana State quarterback Tommy Mellott, a freshman who they call “Touchdown Tommy” is one of those.
Mellot was named the starting quarterback of the Bobcats after the regular-season finale and has been on fire since then, tallying 10 of the team’s touchdowns over three postseason games as he’s helped his team make history.
On a day he was responsible for every touchdown scored by the Bobcats, Mellott propelled Montana State to its first FCS title game in nearly four decades. In the 31-17 win over South Dakota State, Mellott got things going almost equally through the air and on the ground, completing 10-of-15 passes for 233 yards with two touchdowns and zero interceptions to go with 34 carries for 155 yards with two touchdowns. He was far and away the team’s rushing leader on Saturday with running back Elijah Elliott finishing with 21 yards on the ground, for perspective.
While Mellott still has some fine-tuning to do purely as a passer—as would be expected of all freshmen—the level he’s on as an overall player this young is nothing short of impressive. How many times have you heard of a freshman quarterback taking the reins at the start of the postseason to lead his team to the first title game they’ve been to since any of the current players were alive?
There is still plenty of time for Mellott to get stronger throwing the ball, an area he’s already had some solid moments in like the 64-yarder he sent to wide receiver Nate Stewart. But while he still needs to grow there, he makes up for in playmaking ability on the ground and pure toughness as a runner.
Over the past three games—all of which have been wins by a significant margin—Mellott has completed 24-of-46 passes for 449 yards with four touchdowns, having most of his success when he keeps it himself, with 411 rushing yards and six ground touchdowns over that same time span.
While the room for development is there like there is with all young players and while the sample size we’re looking at is small, Mellott is accomplishing all of this against the toughest possible FCS competition and there’s a lot to be optimistic about.
As long as this upward trend continues, expect the eyes of scouts to follow Mellott’s career—and he’s got a great chance to put himself even more on the map when Montana State faces North Dakota State in the FCS title game in January.