BILLINGS – One of Montana’s most highly touted football players has made his college decision.
Gabe Sulser, the dynamic do-everything receiver at Billings Senior High School, announced his commitment to play at the University of Montana on his Twitter account Thursday morning.
“I am extremely excited to announce that I have committed to the University of Montana to play football for the Griz! #UpWithMontana,” Sulser wrote.
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— Gabe Sulser (@GabeSulser7) July 13, 2017
Griz assistant coaches Shann Schillinger, Jason Semore and Mike Ferriter soon followed with celebratory posts of their own, but didn’t specifically mention Sulser. Coaches are not permitted to speak on recruits until they sign with the program.
“Shann Schillinger was the area recruiter and then Mike Ferriter, he’s obviously the receivers coach, and he recruited me quite a bit, as well.” Sulser told MTN Sports. “Shann is as good of guy as they come. Shann is a guy that played for the Griz himself, along with coach Ferriter. He’s awesome, a real down-to-earth guy. That’s another thing that really got me excited: Big names like Marc Mariani and Colt Anderson coming back to Montana. There’s something about the types of people those guys are. That made me feel really good about this decision, as well.”
Sulser, who will be a senior this fall, has been considered one of the best high school players in Montana the past couple years. He burst onto the scene as a freshman for the Broncs and continued to electrify fans across the state the past two years in helping Senior advance to the state championship game both seasons. The Broncs won their first Class AA state title in 37 years this past fall.
“It makes you feel good when people say those things, it’s extremely humbling for sure. (But) I tried to keep it more solely focused on the high school season until this decision had to come,” Sulser said. “Obviously, you’ve always had those thoughts linger in your head. I really just tried to focus on the high school year. … We were solely focused on winning football games at Senior. I think that really helped, having a group of really talented guys that could go win championships. It distracts you from recruiting, so that helps.”
Sulser, 5-foot-9, 160 pounds, is a lightning-quick slot receiver known for his ability to elude would-be tacklers to turn quick passes into long gains. He’s also spent time in Senior’s backfield as a running back or taking direct snaps out of a Wildcat formation, and is a dangerous kick and punt returner. Defensively, he lines up at cornerback for the Broncs, but Sulser will exclusively play offense at Montana.
Sulser caught 81 passes last season for 1,321 yards and 17 touchdowns. He added seven more scores on the ground and in the return game, totaling 24 touchdowns for the season.
He also excels on the track, placing third in both the 110- and 300-meter hurdles at the Class AA state track and field meet in May. As a sophomore, he was the state champion in the 110 hurdles.
With his commitment to Montana, Sulser follows in the footsteps of his dad, Mark, who played for the Grizzlies in the 1980s, and sister, Morgan, who runs track at UM.
Gabe Sulser said he was also considering Montana State, North Dakota State and the University of Washington, which was recruiting him as a preferred walk-on. In the end, he “felt at home” at Montana.
“It’s been my dream ever since I was little to be a Griz and play for the Griz,” Gabe Sulser said. “One thing, too, the University of Montana was actually the very first school to over me. That really meant a lot to me. They offered me really early in my career, and that stood out to me. I developed some close relationships with the coaching staff – Shann Schillinger, Mike Ferriter, Coach (Bob) Stitt all of them. It was just a gut feeling. Their offense is really exciting to play in, my position at receiver. Also, I want to try do everything I can to get us rolling again. I’m excited. I think they really have a lot. The guys are in place — they have done a really good job recruiting. It’ll be fun to see where we go from here.”