MISSOULA — The Montana Grizzlies might have found their answer to Montana State ultra-versatile star Troy Andersen. The Griz are developing their own home-grown talent that could make an impact as a redshirt freshman in the fall. The question now is, where do you play Garrett Graves?
The two-time state champion at Eureka stands 6-foot-3, 200 pounds, and looks the part of a college football athlete. Head coach Bobby Hauck said Graves could play up to eight positions on defense and five on offense.
He took seven carries as a running back in a couple games last season. But this spring, the Griz are giving him plenty of snaps at quarterback. He made only about 20 starts under center in high school, so every rep counts.
“I’ll play anywhere the coaches want me to play,” said Graves. “Obviously, last year we were a little sparse there in the running back position. When there’s limited depth I’ll step up wherever I’m needed, but I think the coaches believe in me as a quarterback and are trying to develop me there.”
“He is going to be part of the plan moving forward,” added Hauck. “He hasn’t been hit like he gets hit out here in high school. He just hasn’t played at that speed, none of them have, so he needs some live action. It’s really good for him to get banged around a little bit, and he’s physical enough to give his own back.”
The Grizzlies will head not far from Graves’ home for their annual Spring Game. They’ll kick off at 1 p.m. on Saturday in Kalispell’s Legends Stadium.