BILLINGS — It’s not often you’ll find Joe Gradney in Griz gear, but the former Montana State defensive lineman will don the maroon and silver for one more week to watch his son Trevin in the FCS title game against South Dakota State.
“It was really, really difficult at the beginning," Joe Gradney said. "And it's still hard now, but it's family over everything for me. I support Trevin 100 percent. But yeah, it's hard. It's hard."
Speaking of family, the Gradney clan will have plenty of that on hand down in Frisco, Texas, this week.
“My wife, my daughter, then we have a son that's going to meet us there. We have a bunch of family coming from Houston and coming from Louisiana, so he's going to have lots of support in Frisco," Joe Gradney said.
“I think having all those people down there and them finally getting to watch me play in person, I don't know, it's going to be really special," Trevin Gradney said. "It's going to be really fun. Again, just so blessed that it's happening down there close to them and going to be able to show out for them, so it'll be cool."
Trevin Gradney, a former Billings West High standout, burst onto the scene for Montana early in the season recording interceptions in each of the first four games. He was an all-conference performer and the first Montanan to start at cornerback for the Griz since 2006.
The redshirt junior has been patiently waiting for his opportunity in Missoula and is now reaping the rewards of the work put in behind the scenes.
“The fall camps, the (conditioning), the spring balls — I've been through it feels like 15 of each by now," Trevin Gradney said. "Going to those workouts with your guys and just grinding, putting your nose down and grinding, you've got to love that. I've always enjoyed it — maybe not loved it, but in the end you've got to enjoy it."
“All these kids have a great work ethic, and they're willing to put that time in and be successful," Joe Gradney said.
Montana and South Dakota State will play Sunday in Frisco at noon Mountain Time inside of Toyota Stadium.