(Editor's note: University of Montana media release)
MISSOULA -- Montana head football coach Bobby Hauck has added a pair of FBS transfers to the 2020 Grizzly roster, signing Nebraska offensive lineman AJ Forbes and South Florida quarterback Kirk Rygol to scholarship agreements.
The addition of the pair brings Montana's 2020 incoming class size to 24, with four FBS transfers joining the team this season.
Forbes arrives in Missoula as a redshirt sophomore with three years of eligibility remaining following two seasons with the Huskers. Despite not appearing in a game at Nebraska, the 6-foot-4, 310-pound interior offensive lineman will bring Big 10 experience to the Grizzly O-line as a member of the Husker travel squad in 2019.
After winning a high school championship and earning All-Nebraska honors at Bellevue West outside of Omaha, Forbes was a walk-on for the Huskers in his two seasons in Lincoln. A two-time member of the Nebraska Scholar-Athlete Honor Roll, Forbes will join the Grizzlies for summer workouts ahead of fall camp, and will add size and depth to an already strong offensive line.
"AJ has good film, both in high school and from the University of Nebraska. We think he will bring great attitude, work ethic, and intensity to our offensive line room," said Hauck. "I'm excited about his future as a Grizzly."
As a fall 2020 redshirt junior, Rygol rounds out the depth chart in Montana's quarterback room, giving the Grizzlies a signal-caller in every class.
The 6-0, 195-pound dual-threat quarterback from Fort Mill, South Carolina, played in five games during his one season at South Florida, completing 12 passes for 170 yards and two touchdowns. He also added 29 yards on nine attempts carrying the ball.
Rygol had a breakout game at UCONN, helping the Bulls to a 48-22 blowout win by throwing his first FBS touchdown on a 33-yard strike. He threw his second TD pass later that month in a 45-20 win over East Carolina while racking up a career-high 74 yards in the air.
Prior to South Florida, Rygol spent his redshirt season at ASA College in Brooklyn, New York, in 2018, and played in one game as a true freshman at North Greenville University, a D-II program in his home state of South Carolina.
At Nation Ford High School, Rygol threw for over 3,000 yards and 36 touchdowns in his senior season while rushing for 500 more with five TDs on the ground. He earned the district Player of the Year award and all-conference accolades his senior season in addition to second-team all-state accolades as a sophomore when he threw for 2,000 yards.
"Kirk has an interesting story. He's had to earn everything he's gotten in college football. I think he's a guy who hasn't scratched the surface of his production as a college quarterback yet, even though his film from South Florida looks great," Hauck said. "We're really excited to get him on campus and get to work."
Rygol will compete for the Grizzlies' starting QB spot left vacant by Dalton Sneed, who recently signed to play in the CFL with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. Montana's other quarterbacks include senior Cam Humphrey, sophomore Robbie Patterson, freshman Kris Brown, and incoming true freshman Carson Rostad.
Montana is scheduled to open the 2020 season on Sept. 5 at home against Central Washington. Season tickets are available now at GrizTix.com.