Montana Boyz Are 'Supportive' of Mark Estes' Romance with Kristin Cavallari as He Says It's 'Going Great' (Exclusive)

The trio of former college football players talk to PEOPLE about their growing social media presence and Mark's blossoming relationship with Cavallari

<p>Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic; Belmont Acres</p> Kristin Cavallari; the Montana Boyz

Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic; Belmont Acres

Kristin Cavallari; the Montana Boyz

Kristin Cavallari’s new relationship has garnered nothing but support amongst her boyfriend’s circle of friends.

The Laguna Beach alum, 37, went public with her relationship with 24-year-old Mark Estes on Instagram in February, and since then, the couple has taken the Internet by storm as people weigh in on their age-gap romance.

“It’s going great,” Estes tells PEOPLE of his relationship with Cavallari. “Obviously, we’re chill about it if we feel like we can share it on our social media platform.”

His best friend and fellow Montana Boyz member, Kaleb Winterburn, teases, “He loves it.”

“We love it,” Kade Wilcox — who makes up the final third of the Montana Boyz, the trio of Montana-raised friends that Estes creates content with on TikTok — agrees. “[We] support it. It’s been fun.”

Winterburn, 24, adds, “It's been fun meeting her and getting to know her and just everything about that whole world, too. It's cool to see.”

Related: Kristin Cavallari Met New Boyfriend on Social Media: 'He's Not Your Typical 24-Year-Old' (Exclusive)

The boys started their account — which now boasts over 700,000 followers — almost by accident in 2021. While Estes and Winterburn were friends beforehand, they met Wilcox, 22, in college, as they all played football at Montana Tech.

"One day we were just playing beer die, out messing around in the yard and said, 'Hey, let's record a video.' And it did all right," Winterburn recalls.

Things weren't immediate, though. All three of them finished out their college football careers in December 2023, and at that point, they'd only been consistently making content on TikTok for about nine months. Now, they're "diving into it full time," and have relocated from their native Montana to Nashville, though they're not letting go of their rancher roots.

"We are all Montana born and raised, and then most of my family's in agriculture, so I grew up around that my whole life," Winterburn says. "I know Mark used to ride bulls, so we've been a part of the Montana way of life for quite a while."

"We all grew up having horses, hunting, fishing, just a classic Montana guy thing," Estes says of the boys' upbringing.

He also "used to ride bulls," Winterburn shares, adding, "We've been a part of the Montana way of life for quite a while."

<p>Belmont Acres</p> The Montana Boyz, Kaleb Winterburn, Mark Estes and Kade Wilcox, pose for Belmont Acres

Belmont Acres

The Montana Boyz, Kaleb Winterburn, Mark Estes and Kade Wilcox, pose for Belmont Acres

Related: Kristin Cavallari Shares Sweet Photo of Her Son Bonding with Her Boyfriend Mark Estes

In tandem with pursuing content creation full-time, the group also admits that they've "definitely" seen some impressive growth since Cavallari’s hard launch of her and Estes’ relationship. She’s also appeared on the group’s TikTok account once in a video that’s racked up over 11 million views.

“It all kind of happened in the right time, but since that's happened, yeah, it's been a complete shift,” Winterburn says. “I think more people are curious about what we're doing — different age ranges, different everybody. It's just from her…. what she's done before. I think it's sweet to see all those other people that are curious about what we're trying to do.”

<p>Kristin Cavallari/Instagram</p> Kristin Cavallari hard launches her new boyfriend, 24-year-old Mark Estes

Kristin Cavallari/Instagram

Kristin Cavallari hard launches her new boyfriend, 24-year-old Mark Estes

As Cavallari has shared previously, the relationship started after she received an Instagram DM from the Montana Boyz account in December. Wilcox and Winterburn say that was “all him,” referring to Mark.

“Yeah, I thought I was on my own account and I DMed her,” Estes admits. “We woke up the next day and [my friend] was like, ‘Who DM'd Kristin?’ I was like, ‘Oh, that was me.’”

Related: Kristin Cavallari Was Not 'Searching Out' Romance with a Man 13 Years Younger and Admits It Was a 'Hangup'

On an episode of her podcast, Let’s Be Honest with Kristin Cavallari, the mother-of-three’s longtime friend Justin Anderson said she acted like “a little high school girl” when she got the DM. “I get a DM on Instagram from the Montana Boyz that just says ‘I love you.’ And I’m going, ‘Oh, my God!’” Cavallari recalled.

She described her first impression of Mark on social media as thinking he was “the hottest guy we’ve ever seen,” before detailing their romantic first date, which took place the day before Valentine’s Day.

“It worked out,” Winterburn tells PEOPLE of Estes shooting his shot over DM.

<p>Belmont Acres</p> The Montana Boyz: Mark Estes, Kaleb Winterburn and Kade Wilcox

Belmont Acres

The Montana Boyz: Mark Estes, Kaleb Winterburn and Kade Wilcox

Having such a public relationship is something that, “a year ago today, I would never picture,” Estes says. “I’d be like, ‘Yeah, that’s not real.’ But at the end of the day, that's just the shoes we're in now, I guess.”

Of sharing their status with the world, he notes, “If someone did try to hide a relationship, I don't think you could [online]. It's going to get out there, so it's just something you kind of have to deal with.”

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As for how the Montana Boyz as a group are handling the change, Wilcox says, “I think we're all pretty good at being the same people in front of the camera that we are behind the camera.”

“For example, Mark and Kristin would never be hidden just because we have a public profile or she has a public profile,” he adds. “It is going to be portrayed in the same way in front of the camera that it is behind the camera.”

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