HELENA -- Barely a month had passed since Zachary Evans took to Twitter to announce his intention of joining the University of Montana football program. Wednesday afternoon, that intention turned to commitment.
Evans, Helena High's senior fullback and linebacker, signed his national letter of intent on Wednesday in the Bengals' weight room, joining 18 other high school players in signing with Bobby Hauck and the Grizzlies on national signing day.
"It feels good to get it all done with," Evans admitted. "I don't have to worry about anything now except playing football and being ready for next year. It feels great to know that I can go there and help the team, and getting the offer of playing there, the opportunity."
Evans, who is officially listed as an athlete on the University of Montana signing day press release, was a first-team all-state selection at linebacker this fall, and garnered second-team all-state accolades from his fullback position. As a junior, he earned second-team all-state honors.
Evans, whose father Scott is the head coach at Helena High, posted back-to-back 100-tackle seasons from his linebacker spot, with 126 of those coming as a junior and 105 this fall. He finished his prep career with 232 total tackles,142 of those solo tackles, nine sacks, three forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, a pair of blocked punts and an interception.
He hopes his time with the Grizzlies brings even more improvements.
"Just trying to go as big as I can, work as hard as I possibly can," he said. "Just try to get as fast and athletic as I can be, try to be as good as I can for them."
Evans is one of 15 Treasure State signees for Hauck, bringing a flavor of familiarity for the incoming players. Evans has been across the line of scrimmage against at least nine of those future teammates, and looks forward to their time together in Missoula.
"It should be fun. I played against some for all four years of high school, so hopefully I can play with them some times and just have fun with them," said Evans.
"Geno Leonard," Evans continued, discussing which player he looks forward to joining forces with the most. "We played against each other forever, so we might as well try to play together."
Wednesday's signing came on the 25th anniversary of Montana's 1995 Division I-AA (now FCS) national championship win over Marshall, and though he wasn't even alive when the Griz won their first national title, Evans recognized the importance of that season and how it paved the way for opportunities like his.
"It feels amazing," he said of signing on the anniversary. "From those 25 years, from that national championship team, to be recognized as one of their players (it feels amazing)."