CollegeMontana Grizzlies


Montana Grizzlies announce addition of eight football transfers

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Posted at 1:47 PM, Jan 19, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-19 15:52:47-05

(Editor's note: University of Montana news release)

MISSOULA — With the start of the new semester, University of Montana head football coach Bobby Hauck and his staff have officially added eight transfers to the program, Hauck announced Friday.

Each of the eight are on campus and will join the team for winter conditioning and the spring training season.

Montana, fresh off an outright Big Sky Championship and trip to the FCS title game, added a mix of experienced talent from the Power Five, Group of Five, and FCS levels. Five of the newest additions come to Missoula from FBS programs, while three transfer in from FCS teams.

“Transfer recruiting is a bigger part of Division-I college football now than it’s ever been, and I don’t see that changing moving forward,” said Hauck. “We’re excited about these guys joining us and I think they’ll help us get better as a team.”

The Grizzlies bolstered the defense, which lost nine players to graduation following the 2023 season, with five additions among the newcomers. The offense added high level experience as well, adding players in two skill positions and an offensive lineman from the FBS ranks.

The additions come on top of 16 newcomers added from the high school ranks on National Signing Day in December to the incoming class of 2024 that will join the program in the fall.

Spring semester walk-ons who are invited back for fall camp by the coaching staff will be added to the roster at the conclusion of the semester.

Montana is expected to begin the spring practice season in early March, and cap it with the annual Griz Spring Game mid-April.

2024 Griz Football Newcomers

Hometown / High School / Previous School
Kade Cutler
Phillipsburg, Mont. / Flint Creek HS / Montana St.
Logan Fife
Tracy, Calif. / Tracy HS / Fresno St.
Pat Hayden
Deptford, N.J. / Gateway Regional HS / Monmouth
Everett Johnson
Turlock, Calif. / Turlock HS / Cal
Vai Kaho
Reno, Nev. / Bishop Manogue HS / San Diego St.
Kenzel Lawler
Corona, Calif. / Eleanor Roosevelt HS / Utah
Andres Lehrmann
Doral, Fla. / Doral Academy / Youngstown St.
Stevie Rocker Jr.
Tucson, Ariz. / Canyon Del Oro HS / Arizona

2024 Griz Football Newcomer Bios

Kade Cutler, S, R-So., 6-0, 206, Phillipsburg, Mont. / Flint Creek HS / Montana St.

2024 (R-So. – Montana) Transferred to Montana in time for spring drills with three years to play.

2023 (R-Fr. - MSU) Played in three games his freshman season against Utah Tech, Cal Poly, and Eastern Washington... logged his first career tackle against EWU

2022 (Fr. - MSU): Was a redshirt and did not see action.

High School: Earned 8-Man West First Team All-State honors in 2020, and first team all-conference honors at quarterback and kick returner... Was also conference MVP... Helped lead the Drummond-Phillipsburg co-op to state titles in 2018 and 2020 and was a reserve on the 2017 title team... competed in basketball and track.

Quoting Coach Hauck: “Cade is a local guy who we’ve known for many years. He’s just a tremendous young man and we’re excited he decided to join us.”

Logan Fife, QB, Sr., 6-0, 205, Tracy, Calif. / Tracy HS / Fresno St.

2024 (Sr. – Montana): Transferred to Montana in time for the spring semester with two years of eligibility remaining… Came to UM from Fresno State where he played in 21 career games over three seasons as the primary backup with the Bulldogs where he completed 143 of 224 (.610) pass attempts for 1,585 yards and six TD’s… Also rushed 64 times for 8 yards and four TD’s with a long of 30 yards, averaging 4.2 yards per carry… Also added a pair of two-point conversions… Also had interest from Minnesota and Utah Tech.

2023 (Jr. – Fresno St.): Played in all 12 games for the Bulldogs as a junior as the primary backup QB… Started in one game where he led Fresno to a 37-32 road win at Utah State, completing 22 of 39 passes for a career-high 291 yards and 1 TD… Completed 52 of his 91 passes for 642 yards and three TDs that season… Carried the ball 28 times for 40 yards that season and rushed for a TD against New Mexico…. Completed seven passes of 22 yards or longer with a season long 35-yard completion against San Jose State… Was also the backup holder on special teams.

2022 (So. – Fresno St.): Appeared in 10 games and helped Fresno State win the Mountain West Championship… Was the Bulldog’s starting quarterback in four games, stepping in for an injured Jake Haener … Went 2-2 as the starter, winning a key Mountain West divisional game over San Jose State and on the road at New Mexico… Stepped in to finish the game in place of an injured Haener at then-No. 7 USC, completing 11-of-12 pass attempts for 140 yards in the second half… His .917 completion percentage in his performance at USC is the second-best single game completion percentage in Fresno program history … In five games with a pass attempt, Fife completed 84-of-120 passes for 892 yards with six interceptions and two touchdowns … Completed 70 percent of his passes (84-of-120) for the second-best single season pass completion percentage in program history… Had a then-career high 236 yards in the win against San Jose State … In the run game, he added 32 carries for 30 yards and three touchdowns … Had 49 rushing yards and two rushing scores with an additional 225 passing yards and one passing touchdown at New Mexico … Had a career-long 75-yard touchdown pass against the Lobos … His 75-yard completion tied the 18th longest touchdown pass in FSU program history ... Fall Academic All-MW.

2021 (R-Fr. – Fresno St.): Appeared in the season opener against UConn (Aug. 28) in relief of Jake Haener … was 7-of-13 with one interception and one touchdown against the Huskies … Added 13 yards on four rushing attempts in the run game … Passed for his first collegiate touchdown on a 1-yard pass to Raymond Pauwels … Had a then-career-long 13-yard pass.

2020 (Fr. – Fresno St.): Did not see game action.

High School: Dual-threat quarterback with a powerful arm and quick legs, Fife threw for 2,230 as a senior quarterback at Tracy High School ... Was 129-of-258 in his senior season, finishing with a 50.0 completion percentage ... Threw 22 touchdowns and averaged 202.7 yards per game ... Rushed for 362 yards and seven touchdowns in 2019 ... In his three-year varsity career, Fife threw for 6,326 total yards and 67 touchdowns with his best passing performance coming in his junior season with 2,315 yards and 28 touchdowns ... Added 702 rushing yards and 20 rushing touchdowns in his varsity career ... In his first season as a starting quarterback (2017), Fife ran for 455 yards and five touchdowns ... Rated the 40th best dual-threat prospect in the class by 247Sports ... Rated a three-star quarterback by ESPN ... Was a two-time first team All-League selection ... Also earned a second team All-League pick ... Also recruited by and received an offer from Cal Poly ... Volunteered with the Boys and Girls Club and various other volunteer groups.

Personal: From Tracy, Calif. ... Son of Gary and Natalie Fife ... Has two siblings, Hayley and Carson ... Favorite athlete is Russell Wilson because he looks up to him as a quarterback, says he is very humble and a confident leader ... Biggest athletic thrill is playing the game of football because there is so much adrenaline involved.

Quoting Coach Hauck: “We’re excited about Logan. He brings dual threat ability to the quarterback room. He throws it well, he runs it well, and he’s got great experience. We’re excited to see what he brings to the table.”

Pat Hayden, DT, R-Sr., 6-2, 280, Deptford, N.J. / Gateway Regional HS / Monmouth

2024 (Gr. – Montana): Transferred to UM in time for the spring season with one year of eligibility remaining… Chose Montana over offers from Coastal Carolina, Eastern Michigan, Jacksonville State, Old Dominion, Ball State, Maine, Central Connecticut, and Western Kentucky, among others.

2023 (R-Sr. - Monmouth): Finished his career at Monmouth having played in 29 games… Totaled 60 career tackles (34 solo), 9 TFLs for a loss of 38 yards and 5 sacks for a loss of 24 yards… Played in nine games on defense in 2023… Totaled 17 tackles (7 solo) with one sack and two TFLs… Added a quarterback hurry at Towson… Had a season high four tackles against both Florida Atlantic and Elon… Named to the Spring CAA Commissioner's Academic Honor Roll

2022 (R-Jr. - Monmouth): Played in all 11 games, including two starts on the defensive line... Totaled 28 tackles, including 19 solo stops, with four sacks and 5.5 tackles for loss… Led the team in sacks and was second in tackles for loss… Added two quarterback hurries…. Had a season-high five tackles opposite Rhode Island… Contributed four tackles and 1.5 sacks in the win over Georgetown… Had five solo tackles and a sack in the win over Stony Brook

2021 (R-So. - Monmouth): Played in seven games, including six starts on the defensive line… Totaled 15 tackles, including eight solo stops… Had 1.5 tackles for loss… Earned first-career start at Middle Tennessee… Logged two tackles, including one for a loss, against Holy Cross… Made four tackles in the win at North Carolina A&T… Had a season-high five tackles at Kennesaw State.

2020/21 (R-Fr. - Monmouth): Appeared in two games spring on defense… Made first collegiate appearance against Gardner-Webb

2019 (Fr. - Monmouth) Was a redshirt on the Monmouth team that lost to Montana 47-27 in Missoula… Contributed on scout team as a true freshman… Named Defensive Scout Team player of the week three times

High School: Played defensive line under Coach Josh Mason at Gateway Regional High School… Named two-time first team all-conference… Also a two-time Second Team All-South Jersey selection… Helped the Gators to a 17-4 overall record in his last two seasons… Had 25 sacks and 42 tackles for a loss as a junior and senior… Finished with 138 tackles in his last two seasons.

Personal: Son of Felicia Hayden and Kevin Hayden… Majored in business/finance as an undergraduate.

Quoting Coach Hauck: “Pat Hayden gives us another player at the nose position. With Alex Gubner graduating, we needed to add some depth there. Everything from Pat’s jersey number to how he plays reminds us of Gubner as well, so we’re excited to see him fill that role.”

Everett Johnson, OL, Sr., 6-7, 300, Turlock, Calif. / Turlock HS / California

2024 (Sr. – Montana): Transferred to Montana with two seasons of eligibility remaining… Started two games and made 15 appearances in his career at California.

2023 (Jr. – Cal): Came off the bench to play in one game for the Golden Bears in a 58-21 win at North Texas… Helped the Cal offense score eight touchdowns and 58 points that were both its most since racking up 10 touchdowns in a season-opening 73-14 win over Grambling State in 2015 and pick up 681 yards of total offense that were its' most ever in a road game and third-most in school history

2022 (So. – Cal): Played in eight games and made his second career start at right guard at Oregon State but was primarily on the score team (FG/PAT)

2021 (Fr. – Cal): Saw the first action of his Cal career by playing in five games including his first career start at Arizona… Made his collegiate debut against Colorado…. Helped Cal to a record 636 total yards of offense against Stanford – the most since also compiling 636 in a double overtime win home win Oregon in 2016, while the Golden Bears' 352 rushing yards were their most since rushing for 431 against Washington in 2008

2020 (Fr. – Cal): Did not play… A mid-year enrollee in January and participated with the team during its four spring practices before the COVID pandemic cut spring ball short.

High School: Rated a three-star prospect by 247Sports, ESPN, and Rivals… Rated the No. 60 best offensive tackle in the nation by Rivals… Rated the No. 51 best overall player in California by Rivals and the No. 55 best by ESPN… Helped Turlock to a combined 25-10 overall record and a perfect 16-0 Central California Athletic League mark to win conference titles in each of his three varsity campaigns… Last two squads as a 2018 junior and 2019 senior reached the second round of the Division I Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs after his 2017 sophomore squad was eliminated in the opening round… Earned CCAL Lineman of the Year and first-team all-conference honors as a senior for a team that was 9-3 overall and 5-0 in the CCAL, while he was a first-team All-CCAL, second-team All-NorCal and first-team All-State junior selection in his junior campaign for a squad that was 8-4 overall and 5-0 in the CCAL… Also named to the Starbucks/Black Hat Football All-209 Team as a senior… Played three games on defense as a 2017 sophomore for a squad that was 8-3 overall and 6-0 in the CCAL… Also played one season of varsity basketball as a prep in his 2018-19 junior campaign, while playing both basketball and baseball at the junior varsity levels

Personal: Son of Kirk and Suzanne Johnson… Majored in sociology at Cal.

Quoting Coach Hauck: “Transfer offensive linemen are extremely difficult to find. Everett loves Montana and loves the Montana Grizzlies. That's why he's here. I think he fits in really well. He moves his feet. He's got a big frame. Everything else about him says Montana Grizzly, including the fact he was wearing shorts on his visit when it was 25 below out.”

Vai Kaho, LB, R-Sr., 6-1, 230, Reno, Nev. / Bishop Manogue HS / San Diego St.

2024 (R-Sr. – Montana): Transferred to Montana in time for the spring semester with one season of eligibility remaining… Chose Montana over offers from Portland State and Murray State… Was slated to be the projected starting ‘Will’ linebacker at SDSU before transferring… Noted for his hard-hitting and defense against the run… Played in 41 games for the Aztecs in four seasons… Totaled 37 tackles (21 solo), 3 TFL’s and a half-sack in his career.

2023 (Sr. – SDSU): Started five games and made 11 appearances... Recorded 23 tackles (10 solo) with seven quarterback hurries... Came off the bench to play 47 snaps against Ohio making two solo tackles... Appeared off the bench to play 56 snaps against Idaho State making two solo tackles... Also recorded two quarterback hurries... Came off the bench against UCLA to record a season-high four tackles in 33 defensive snaps... Also logged his third quarterback hurry of the year ... Played 22 snaps off the bench at No. 16/17 Oregon State and made one solo tackle... Made his first start of the season in the conference opener against Boise State and recorded a pair of tackles (one solo) and a quarterback hurry in 25 defensive snaps... Made his second straight start at Air Force and totaled three tackles (one solo), including 0.5 tackles for loss... His assisted TFL went for a loss of a yard as part of three straight Aztec TFLs on Air Force’s opening drive... Started his third consecutive game at Hawai’i where he tallied two tackles (one solo) and a quarterback hurry... Started against Nevada and put in two assisted tackles ... Also recorded his seventh quarterback hurry... Off the bench had two assisted tackles at Colorado State and one tackle at San Jose State... Also recorded a quarterback hurry ... Returned to the starting lineup in the season finale against Fresno State and recorded one tackle.

2022 (Jr. – SDSU): Played in 11 of SDSU’s 13 games ... Totaled 10 tackles (seven solo) with one for a loss ... Played in 113 snaps on defense ... Played five snaps in the opener with Arizona but did not record a stat ... Had a solo tackle in three snaps off the bench at Boise State... Had another solo stop in 11 snaps against Hawai’i... Had an assisted tackle in 18 snaps at Nevada... Had an assisted stop vs. UNLV in four snaps... Recorded a solo tackle in another four snaps vs. San Jose State... Had a career-high five tackles (four solo) with a tackle for loss in a career-high 33 snaps vs. Air Force.

2021 (So. – SDSU): Played in 12 of the team’s 14 games with one start ... Logged four tackles (three solo), including one tackle for loss ... Mostly played on special teams with his 59 defensive snaps coming over just three games… Had a solo tackle against Towson in 13 snaps... Logged another tackle, which went down as a tackle for loss, vs. New Mexico in two snaps... Played on special teams at San Jose State... Earned his first career start at Air Force, where he made a pair of tackles (one solo) in career-high 44 snaps... Played on special teams over the final five games of the season without recording a stat.

2020 (Fr. – SDSU): Played in seven games in his first season of college football at San Diego State on special teams ... Did not record a stat ... Made the travel roster for the opener against UNLV but did not play ... Made his collegiate debut on special teams the following week at Utah State.

High School: Was a three-year letter winner at Bishop Manogue High School in Reno, Nev…. A consensus three-star recruit by Rivals, 247sports and ESPN… Led the Miners to a pair of regional championships and a state runner-up finish in 2018 with an 11-4 record … Bishop Manogue HS was 20-8 over his final two seasons … Was a second-team all-state selection … Was a first-team all-section and all-league pick … An athlete who played linebacker, running back, wide receiver, tight end, quarterback and punter at BMHS … According to MaxPreps, totaled 134 tackles for his final two years, including 29 tackles for loss, six sacks, three fumble recoveries, two forced fumbles, two interceptions and two pass breakups … Also ran for 204 yards on just 21 carries (9.7 avg.) with three touchdowns and caught 15 passes for 186 yards (12.4 avg.) and three touchdowns … Also played basketball and lacrosse … Brother, Ale, played linebacker at Alabama and UCLA… Received a scout grade of 85 by 247sports and is listed as the sixth-best recruit in the state of Nevada … Also listed with a scout grade of 75 by ESPN and the seventh-best recruit in Nevada.

Personal: Pronounced VYE Caw-Ho... Son of Hopate Kaho and Lusiola Tuamoheloa ... Picked San Diego State over offers from Colorado, Tennessee, Brigham Young, Nevada, New Mexico, UNLV, Utah State and Sacramento State

Quoting Coach Hauck: “Vai is a guy that has some familiarity with our defensive system. He's a good football player. He's tough, he's physical, and I think he will bring a real physical presence to our defense.”

Kenzel Lawler, CB, R-Jr., 6-0, 184, Corona, Calif. / Eleanor Roosevelt HS / Utah

2024 (R-Jr. – Montana): Came to Montana and joined the program in time for the spring semester.

2023 (R-So. – Utah): Saw action in nine games, primarily on special teams… Made a tackle on punt coverage in the win at No. 18 USC.

2022 (R-Fr. – Utah): Five games played, seeing time on defense and special teams... First career pass breakup came in the win over Arizona.

2021 (Fr. – Utah): Did not see game action as a redshirt.

2020 (Fr – Utah): Did not see action.

High School: Rated a three-star recruit by 247Sports, Rivals and ESPN out of Eleanor Roosevelt HS… Moved to defensive back from quarterback as a senior, finishing with 15 tackles, two interceptions, two passes defended and one fumble recovery… Also had seven punt returns for 53 yards (7.6 ypr), 21 carries for 55 yards and five rushing touchdowns, and seven receptions for 129 yards (18.4 ypc) and two touchdowns his senior year… As a QB went 72-of-155 passing (7 INT, 10 TD) for 1,058 yards, 109 carries for 349 yards (7 TD), three receptions for 96 yards (1 TD), and three tackles as a junior… Went 72-of-146 passing (7 INT, 11 TD) for 1,004 yards and 82 carries for 517 yards (11 TD) his sophomore season…. Also played five varsity games as a freshman with 217 yards passing (13-of-25, 3 TD)… Also competed in track and field.

Personal: Son of Trudy and Kenny… Has eight siblings … Can play the piano.

Quoting Coach Hauck: “Kenzel is a guy that comes from a program at Utah that has a lot of similarities to ours in terms of approach to the game. I think he’ll fit in very well. We like his man coverage ability and think he can provide us with another good player on the outside.”

Andres Lehrmann, DE, R-Sr., 6-2, 255, Doral, Fla. / Doral Academy / Youngstown St.

2024 (R-Sr. – Montana): A grad transfer that came to Montana from Youngstown St with one season of eligibility remaining… Totaled 59 tackles, 10 tackles for loss, 5.5 sacks, 1 forced fumble and 1 pass deflection in 39 games over five seasons with the Penguins…. Also received an offer from Old Dominion, Incarnate Word, and Mercer coming out of the portal.

2023 (R-Jr. – YSU): Had his most productive season at Youngstown with 22 tackles (12 solo), 4.5 TFLs, and 3 sacks for a loss of 30 yards. Also forced a fumble… Helped the Penguins build the fourth-best rush defense in the MVFC… Started 11 games and played in all 13 games for YSU, helping them reach the second round of the FCS playoffs with an overall 8-5 record.

2022 (R-So. – YSU): Played in 11 games for the Penguins and totaled 16 tackles (11 solo) with 4.5 TFLs, 2.5 sacks and a pass breakup.

2021 (R-Fr. - YSU): Played in nine games as a member of special teams and reserve on defense…credited with 22 total tackles, including 12 solo stops…had four solo stops against Western Illinois…had four assists at Indiana State…had four total tackles, including two solos, vs. South Dakota State…had three tackles against UIW…credited with two solo stops at North Dakota.

2021 Spring (R-Fr. - YSU): Played in five games as a reserve defensive end and member of special teams units...credited with two tackles...had a solo tackle against Southern Illinois...had a solo tackle against South Dakota.

2019 (Fr. – YSU): Was a redshirt and did not see action.

High School: Played defensive end and outside linebacker... Returned a fumble for a touchdown against Miami Springs... Firebirds posted a 9-3 record in 2018 and played in the Class 7A playoffs... As a junior, was an honorable-mention All-Dade County Class 8A-6A selection... Coach was Jase Stewart.

Personal: Has already earned an MBA at Youngstown St.

Quoting Coach Hauck: “Depth is an issue for us at defensive end and we think Andres can come in and provide some playmaking ability there. He’s quick off the ball, he’s got good hands, and I think he’ll be a good addition to that room.”

Stevie Rocker Jr., RB, R-Jr., 6-0, 215, Tucson, Ariz. / Canyon Del Oro HS / Arizona

2024 (R-Jr. – Montana): Joined the Grizzly program in time for the spring semester with two years of eligibility… Comes to Montana with 12 games experience at Arizona in two seasons… Totaled 153 career rushing yards on 31 attempts with a long run of 59 yards, all in his freshman season at UA… Also caught 7 passes for 59 yards out of the backfield.

2023 (R-So. – Arizona): Was a squad member but did not see playing time.

2022 (R-Fr. – Arizona): Appeared in one game on special teams during the 2022 season, did not record a stat.

2021 (Fr. – Arizona): Played in 11 games and started the Cal game … Had 31 carries for 153 yards for an average of 4.9 yards per carry as a true freshman … Caught seven passes for 59 yards … Had eight carries for 87 yards vs. Washington, which included a 52-yard run … Had 24 rushing yards vs. Cal and 22 vs. Utah … Caught two passes for 27 yards vs. UCLA.

High School: Arrived at Arizona in Spring of 2021 as an early enrollee out of Tucson’s Canyon Del Oro High School…. Rated as a top-20 prospect in state of Arizona by Rivals… Earned All District and All Region honors during prep career… Final two prep seasons at CDO were impacted by injuries and COVID-19 pandemic… Erupted on scene as a sophomore in 2018 amassing 1,163 yards rushing and a dozen touchdowns.

Quoting Coach Hauck: “Stevie is a guy that was highly regarded coming out of high school. He had a good career at Arizona, and we think that he's a really terrific addition to our running back corps.”