HELENA — Four local Class AA football players – two from Helena High and two from Capital – took part in the college early signing day on Wednesday.
From state runner-up Helena, quarterback Kaleb Winterburn signed with the Montana State Bobcats, while linebacker Max Mader penned with UM-Western.
Capital's signees on Wednesday were offensive lineman, Carson Shuman with Washington State, and going to the University of Montana is Conor Quick.
A fifth player, Capital's Justin Jenks, plans to sign with Colorado State-Pueblo in February.
Winterburn, at 6-foot-2, 190-pounds, finished his career as the Bengals all-time leading passer with 3,230 career passing yards.
He guided Helena to a 9-3 record and a state runner-up trophy this fall, completing 117 of 207 passes (56.5 percent) for 1,605 yards and 20 touchdowns.
Winterburn also ran for 513 yards and eight TDs, compiling 2,118 total offensive yards and 28 combined touchdowns, and was selected second-team all-state
Montana State recruited him as an athlete – not specifically as a quarterback – and although he’s been told he will have a chance to play in the slot, the school is officially listing him as a safety.
“My dream has always been playing Division I football,” Winterburn said. “The hardest part about choosing Bozeman (over Carroll and Montana Tech) was leaving the quarterback position. But I just love football. And I want to get out there as soon as I can and play.”
Shuman, a 6-3 and 250-pounder, followed in his father Boe’s footsteps on the gridiron and wrestling mats for Capital.
He was part of an O-line this year that helped CHS average 336 yards of total offense per game, while scoring an average of 22.5 points. Shuman led the Bruins with 56 “Bruin Blocks” and was selected a 2017 first-team all-stater.
On the mats his junior year, he posted a a 21-16 mark with 16 pins, while placing fourth at the All-Class Wrestling Tournament. In the weight room, he owns a clean lift max of 280 pounds.
“I chose Washington State because they offered what I want to major in (construction management), and I really like their coaching staff,” Shuman said. “I felt like I was at home when I visited Pullman.”
Quick, at 6-2, 265 pounds, is one of only three gridders in school history to be selected first or second team all-state three straight years, joining Matt Miller (2006-08) and Caleb Kidder (2010-12).
“I’ve been talking to my family and I’ve always wanted to go play football for the Griz,” he related prior to the season when he verbally committed to the UM. “If you’re from Montana, Grizzly Stadium is the place to be.”
A multi-sport athlete, last spring he placed sixth at the state track and field meet in the shot put. In the weight room, he owns two school records, with a 415-pound bench press and a 535-pound squat.
This fall, Quick missed two games with a leg injury, but still posted 34 "Bruin Blocks", and was selected second-team all-state.
Two weeks ago, he visited with new Montana coach Bobby Hauck at Capital, stating, "It was awesome meeting coach Hauck for the first time. My first impression, he seems like he knows how to have fun but knows how to win and will make you do the things you need to do in order to be successful.”
Mader, a 6-3, 185-pound linebacker, missed nearly half the season with an injury, but still compiled 13 hurries and nine sacks, both of which ranked No. 3 on Helena’s defensive charts.
He also shared HHS' lead with two caused fumbles, while tying Kendall Johnson's 2015 school record of five sacks in a game.
“I had lots of interest (from other colleges) before I tore my ACL,” Mader said. “But Western was the lone school to offer me a scholarship.”
He said the Bulldogs plan on using him at linebacker or defensive end.
In track and field for the the Bengals, Mader is a 21-foot long jumper, and a 42-foot triple jumper.
“Max is a quality young man that has a huge future, he has a high skill set and a good work ethic,” Bengal coach Tony Arntson said. “His top end in college is unlimited.”