CollegeMontana Grizzlies


Eight former Montana Grizzlies show out at UM football's Pro Day

Posted at 6:49 PM, Apr 02, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-02 22:32:46-04

MISSOULA — Tuesday was a perfect day to host Pro Day for the University of Montana, as some former Montana Griz greats looked to get their shot at the next level in professional football.

Eight ex-Grizzlies were on hand on a sunny and perfect-conditions day as linebacker Braxton Hill, safeties TraJon Cotton and Nash Fouch and defensive tackle Alex Gubner were the defensive players participating Tuesday in front of pro scouts, as they all were working toward their pro football dreams.


"As a kid, you always dream of playing in the National Football League or playing football as long as you can," Hill said. "So after playing here for five and a half years, and you know, seeing the guys every year do Pro Day and whatnot, and you think like, that'll be me, that'll be me.

"And then when it's actually you, it's crazy, man. Everyone's out here watching, just working on these drills. It was a fun day."

Gubner, who was the Big Sky Conference defensive MVP last season, was the star of the day as his numbers, including his speed in the 40-yard dash, stood out with marks that would've been among the best at this year's NFL Combine.


Gubner finished the 40-yard dash with a time of 4.85 seconds, which would've been tied for second among defensive tackles at this year's NFL Combine. His 4.60 shuttle time would've been third among his position group peers and his three-cone time of 7.45 would've been second.

Hill also had a head-turning time in the three-cone drill with a 7.01 result that would've ranked fastest at the NFL Combine among linebackers and would've been among some of the best of all the athletes participating. He also posted a 4.29 in the shuttle which would have been third among the linebackers.

"It would mean everything," Gubner said. "I mean, it's my dream, it's the only thing I want to do for a living. And I think my film speaks for that. I just want an opportunity and whoever you know, is able to give me that, I'm going to lay it all on the line for them every play, every down, you know, I'm going to go 100% and do whatever they need me to do."

Scouts from the Seattle Seahawks, Green Bay Packers, Jacksonville Jaguars and Calgary Stampeders of the CFL were in attendance in Missoula to watch the athletes compete.

On the offensive front, UM had a pair of reps in linemen AJ Forbes and Chris Walker.

Both were captains alongside Hill and Cotton last season for the Grizzlies, and Forbes noted how special it was to get a chance to show what he could do one more time in Washington-Grizzly Stadium.

"This has been a goal of mine ever since I was 7 years old playing football," Forbes said. "I'm super thankful for the fact that I even get this opportunity to come out in front of NFL scouts and see them interested in me and me trying to show them why I belong at the next level."

Kicker Nico Ramos and punter Travs Benham also participated on Tuesday.

Since the season ended in January in the FCS national championship for Montana, these players have spent two months preparing for this opportunity.

Now that the work is done, all will now wait and see as the NFL Draft approaches at the end of the month. The 2024 NFL Draft runs April 25-27 in Detroit.

And for them, all they need is a shot.

"I feel like I kind of controlled everything to this point, like my training, my preparation and things like that. But now it was kind of not in my hands. It's in other people's hands," Cotton said. "So you just kind of just got to pray and hope for the best.

"It'd be great, it'd be amazing, it'd be a dream come true. I just need an opportunity to get out there and show what I could do on a football field. And I think any team will like me."