MISSOULA – The Montana Grizzlies didn’t stray far to sign their newest class of recruits. But they did break right into the backyard of a few Big Sky rivals. The Griz signed two players from Bozeman and one from Cheney, Wash.
Head coach Bobby Hauck raved about all three. He especially showed his excitement about Cheney High’s Jacob McGourin, a 6-foot-5, 230-pound defensive lineman. Hauck said he could be ready to play right away, and even added that McGourin reminds him of former Griz star Kroy Biermann.
A Bozeman quarterback-receiver connection will stay together in Missoula. Hauck called QB Kris Brown a gem in this class and wideout Ryan Simpson a playmaker. When asked how they convinced the high school stars to leave and compete against their hometown, Hauck simply said, why wouldn’t they?
“They’re smart guys. They are all smart guys,” said Hauck. “They can see where this is going in terms of Grizzly football. And our style of play fits them.”
“I just love how they’re a more leaning towards passing offense,” agreed Simpson. “And I definitely picture myself in that role, compared to other schools I was considering. I picture myself making those plays. I definitely thought it was a good place for me.”
“I think my goal as I go into college is going to be to (become) the most hated person in Bozeman,” admitted Brown. “That’s probably going to happen if I get that starting spot eventually. But it is what it is. I don’t expect them to love UM (in Bozeman).”
Montana also added a couple recruits from northern Idaho. Coeur D’Alene linebacker Kale Edwards and Grangeville defensive lineman Noah Kaschmitter both came from Idaho Vandal territory, but picked the Griz.
Add in Portland running back Nick Ostmo and several future Grizzlies will return home in Big Sky Conference play as the enemy in the coming years.