The #MTTop40, MTN Sports’ list profiling some of Montana’s best football players, started on July 2 with the defensive backs. We then moved through the defensive line and linebackers before tackling the offensive line this week.
There have been some tremendous offensive linemen from the Treasure State over the years, dating all the way back to the early 1900s. While the #MTTop40 is by no means the definitive list, MTN Sports profiled Barry Darrow of Great Falls CMR, Mike Person of Glendive, Sonny Holland of Butte, Kirk Scrafford of Billings West and Pat Donovan of Helena High. Donovan is arguably the greatest football player Montana has ever produced.
But there have been plenty of other offensive linemen worthy of recognition. Guys like Milan Lazetich and Stan Renning – at both linebacker and offensive guard – are deserving of being on any top-five list, so we do that here, presenting the #MTTop40’s honorable mention offensive linemen.
#MTTop40 offensive line honorable mentions
Max Copeland, Billings West
A former tight end/offensive lineman at Billings West, Copeland walked on at the University of Missouri. He eventually became a two-year starter, helping the Tigers to a 12-2 record and Cotton Bowl win in the 2013 season.
Scott Curry, Valier
After graduating from Valier, Curry became a first-team all-Big Sky Conference selection at Montana. The Green Bay Packers selected him in the sixth round of the 1999 NFL Draft, and he spent two years in professional football.
Chad Germer, Three Forks
Germer, a Three Forks product, earned first-team all-conference and all-American honors for the Montana Grizzlies in 1991. He now coaches UM’s offensive line, and his son Nick will be a freshman on the team this fall.
Jeff Hansen, Great Falls CMR
A standout tackle under Jack Johnson at Great Falls CMR, Hansen transitioned to guard at Montana State. He earned second-team all-conference honors in both his sophomore and junior seasons and became a first-team all-American as a senior in 2009.
Cliff Hysell, Helena High
Hysell was a three-sport standout at Helena High, earning all-state honors in both football and track and field. He played at Montana State after transferring from Utah and late became the Bobcats’ head coach for eight seasons.
Milan Lazetich, Anaconda
Lazetich was arguably the best player from one of Montana’s best football families. The former Anaconda star became a first-team all-conference tackle at Michigan and played five seasons of professional football in the 1940s.
Dylan McFarland, Kalispell Flathead
An all-state athlete at Kalispell Flathead, McFarland was the Montana Grizzlies’ best offensive lineman in 2002 and 2003, earning all-American honors while helping UM to the FCS playoffs. He was selected in the seventh round of the 2004 NFL Draft by the Buffalo Bills and served a short stint in the NFL.
Casey McMillan, Billings Central
McMillan earned all-state honors on both offense and defense his junior and senior seasons at Billings Central, winning Montana’s Gatorade player of the year in 2007. He continued his career at Iowa and saw action in the 2010, 2011 and 2012 seasons. McMillan is now the offensive line coach at Billings Central.
Russ Peterson, Miles City
Peterson, who was born in Saskatchewan, Canada, went to high school in Miles City before playing college football at the University of Montana. He played briefly in the NFL for the Boston Braves in 1932.
Stan Renning, Great Falls High
A 1955 graduate of Great Falls High, Renning was a standout linebacker and offensive lineman. He continued his career at Montana and became a legendary Grizzly after receiving first-team all-conference and second-team all-America honors.