MISSOULA – One player has created more excitement for the Montana Grizzlies than anyone else the past two years. Fans fell in love with Jerry Louie-McGee’s breathtaking big plays from the slot receiver position, where he fit so perfectly in Bob Stitt’s offense.
A change in the staff and philosophy hasn’t seemed to change the expectations for the junior from Coeur D’Alene.
Bobby Hauck wanted a clean slate when he returned to UM, and he worried some returning stars might bristle when asked to prove themselves again. The quiet Louie-McGee never muttered a complaint, and then had no problems turning the new coaches into fans.
“Jerry was one of those guys I was worried about. Coming out of spring ball, he’s one of my favorite guys,” said Hauck. “I try not to play favorites, but he’s a worker. He’ll do anything he can. He plays like he’s 6-(foot)-5.”
Louie-McGee is generously listed at 5-9 on the Grizzlies’ roster.
“Jerry is an exciting player, obviously,” added new Griz offensive coordinator Timm Rosenbach. “He’s a smart player. He does a really good job. He’s got great hands. Has the ability to make big plays.”
“He’ll make me lose a little more of my hair once in a while because of that, which is not a bad thing,” Rosenbach said, citing Louie-McGee’s cutbacks that sometimes lead to big losses but often spring for huge gains. “For the most part, we look for Jerry to be a guy who sparks us when we need a spark.”
Louie-McGee broke out as a largely unknown freshman in 2016. Over his first two seasons in maroon and silver, he has hauled in 133 receptions, 1,358 yards, and six touchdowns. He also returned two punts for touchdowns.
Montana will hold one final closed scrimmage on Friday before turning its attention to the season opener versus Northern Iowa on Sept. 1.