BOZEMAN — From college to now NFL teammates, another pair of Bobcats are continuing their football careers together.
Both Montana State's Ty Okada and James Campbell signed undrafted free agent contracts with the Seattle Seahawks Saturday following this year's NFL draft.
“We talked right after and I was just like the band's back together," cornerback James Campbell smiled.
Signed ✍️— Montana State Football (@MSUBobcats_FB) April 30, 2023
Congrats to @jcampbell10_ on signing with the @Seahawks 👊#BobcatBuilt | #ProCats pic.twitter.com/ZDh3wS1eyl
While neither Bobcat heard their name called in this year’s 2023 NFL Draft, if you know anything about either of their stories, this is just the beginning of another chapter in proving others wrong.
The Final Drive: James Campbell
“It's actually been fun having the conversation with some of the Seahawks coaches that have been calling me and just making the statement like, I know exactly how to handle business," Okada explained. "I've been in this position before, and they love that. I think they could tell that in my character early on, and that's why I think this relationship is going to grow and flourish.”
The Seahawks were one of the seven teams present for Montana State’s Pro Day last month.
Signed ✍️— Montana State Football (@MSUBobcats_FB) April 29, 2023
Congrats to @tyokada on signing with the @Seahawks 👊#BobcatBuilt | #ProCats pic.twitter.com/dnDB7eL3HI
Okada shared that he had already started building a relationship with the franchise prior to April 5, but Campbell didn't get Seattle's attention until after his performance on pro day.
“I turned a lot of heads and my stock went up right after pro day and just let God do his work after that," Campbell recalled.
While both Bobcats traded texts on Day Three of the NFL Draft, it wasn’t until the final pick that either of them knew they were both signing with Seattle.
“I didn't know it was gonna happen, but right after — oh my gosh — we called each other, and I'm super excited for him," Okada smiled. "He's worked extremely hard... and having James there right alongside me will be great. We'll be bouncing ideas off of each other and just learning the playbook together."
The journey to making Seattle’s 53-man roster begins on May 11 with a rookie minicamp, but in the meantime, both of them have important messages for Bobcat Nation:
“I just wanna say I really appreciate Bobcat Nation coming in every Saturday and making the stadium loud, filling the stadium," Campbell said. "You honestly played a big role, and the Bozeman community, thank you for everything."
“Bobcat Nation, as you guys already know, you’re the best fan base in the country.”— Ashley Washburn (@ashleyjwashburn) May 1, 2023
Here’s @tyokada’s heartfelt thank you to #MSUBobcatsFB fans before beginning his journey with the Seahawks: pic.twitter.com/hkWJhDDoBc
“Bobcat Nation, as you guys already know, you're the best fan base in the country and your support for our players, including myself on and off the field does not go unnoticed," Okada smiled. "Bobcat Nation, I can't thank you enough, and let's go join the 12th man. I'm excited.”
While teammate Callahan O'Reilly did not sign an undrafted free agent contract, the linebacker was invited to join the Chicago Bears'rookie minicamp.
Los Angeles Rams' Daniel Hardy and Lance McCutcheon are the only other Bobcat duo on an NFL roster.