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Despite late start in football, Florence's Jonathan Luhmann thriving ahead of Montana State career

Posted at 6:15 PM, Jun 15, 2023
and last updated 2023-06-16 17:26:26-04

BUTTE — The Florence Falcons knew only success over the last two years as they won back-to-back Class B state football titles.

A big part of the success this past season was lineman Jonathan Luhmann. He's only been playing football for two years, but after this most recent success, he's signed, sealed and delivered at the next level as he'll suit up for the Montana State Bobcats this coming fall.


Luhmann is one of many standouts across the state currently getting their final high school football opportunity Saturday in the 76th East-West Shrine Game.

"It just means a lot honestly," Luhmann said. "I just think I'm very lucky and blessed just to be playing football out here and just get another chance to be among the best guys, and just like grow with relationships, and then also grow my skills on the field with some great athletes around the state so it's been good out here."

It's the final notch on a rapid and remarkable high school football journey.

Luhmann was home-schooled growing up, but decided to attend Florence-Carlton High School once he entered freshman year.

And quickly, the football bug was planted.

"Sophomore year I had a bunch of classes with a bunch of the football guys and they were like, 'Dude, you need to play football,' so end of sophomore year I started hitting the weight room with the football guys then I just started junior year," Luhmann said.

Photos from the West practice on Tuesday, June 13, 2023 at Naranche Stadium in Butte ahead of the 76th Montana East-West Shrine Game.

The learning curve was drastic his junior year as an offensive lineman, but Luhmann learned and played mostly JV as the Falcons won the Class B football championship.

"It was fun, it was a little intimidating and scary at first for sure but then all of the guys were super nice, like all of the coaches were super inviting," Luhmann said. "They saw my size and that I was a great guy and wanted to put in work and so just made it very inviting and it was just fun just felt like part of a team, just felt like I was part of something and it was good.

"It was a little difficult at first just learning the position, learning the technique but I've got great coaches and I'm a pretty quick learner so everything just kind of clicked and I had great teammates that helped me technique-wise and everything, so it just clicked. I kept working, stayed disciplined basically and just try to do my best. I only had two years instead of all four."

Luhmann utilized team camps in the summer between his junior and senior years to grow in the game.

Once things clicked, he was off and running as helped lead the Falcons to another state title as the team's starting left tackle.

He also drew the attention of MSU, who signed him as a preferred walk-on, which confirmed his growth in the sport in such a short amount of time was good enough for the next level. The Bobcat coaching staff invited him to a game, stayed in contact, and eventually, extended an offer.

"When I got the offer I was just like wow, I was speechless because like just two years putting in work and then finally seeing it pay off and get an opportunity like this to go to MSU is just like unreal," Luhmann said. "Then the coaches, I love them, they're all great and so then deciding to go to MSU, I committed and knew this is the place I think I want to be. Talked it over with my parents and they were supportive. My parents have been supportive through the whole process too so that's helped me a lot so I just committed and that felt great."

He'll also be suiting up alongside Florence teammate Patrick Duchien, who also will play for the Bobcats.

The future is bright for Luhmann who had an unorthodox path to this point, but is now seeing his hard work reap the rewards.

"I think it's just because I've only been playing for two years and there's so much more," Luhmann said. "Like I missed out on the other years and I think it's just a great opportunity to build relationships, get disciplined, I think it's just a great thing to do so I just want to put in work for the next 4-5 years and just see what comes out of it. I just fell in love with football and I just got two years out of it why not get more out of it. Just fell in love with the sport and I really enjoy it."