HELENA — On Aug. 4, Helena Capital’s Austin Buehler announced his commitment to the Montana Grizzlies football program, making him the first in-state commit of the 2023 class.
The O-lineman was heavily sought after, receiving offers from Eastern Washington, Carroll College, and Montana Tech.
“It was closer to home than some of my other offers. And it was just somewhere where all my family had gone. So I decided that I kind of wanted to follow in their footsteps and go there, too,” Buehler said.
Both of Buehler’s parents were also a part of Griz athletics. His mom played on the basketball team, and his dad competed in football, making him being the first 2023 in-state commit all the more special. Naturally, the commitment came with some fatherly advice.
“Well, first he told me, he just wanted me to make my own decision, not be forced to go there. Because that's where they went. And then once I committed he told me just keep working hard. And make sure that they want you there the whole time,” he said.
Buehler is known for his ability to move and make plays at a whopping 6-foot-6, and going to a team that won't ask him to change was a big factor in his decision.
“I just, I enjoyed being a larger but not fat, offensive lineman, so I just enjoy playing how I play,” he admitted.
Buehler also mentioned that his play style is his own, that he doesn’t necessarily take after any CFB or NFL player.
“Coach [Jim] Hogan taught me everything. And that's just kind of how I've been doing it. And I think it works well. So I keep doing it,” he said.
But before he steps on the field in maroon and silver, he’s focused on tackling his senior season at Capital.
“I made a commitment to all my brothers on the team, so I'm making sure that we go as far as we need to go, and we're hoping for the state championship, so I'm gonna keep working for them,” he said.
Buehler is feeling good about this year’s Bruins team.
“We had most of our starters return and so that we look pretty good on that end. So I'm excited," he said. "And I think we're a state championship team. And so I'm excited to see how it turns out.”
The Bruins will kick off their season with an away game on Aug. 26 against the Bozeman Hawks.