BUTTE — Butte High graduate Tanner Huff would love nothing more than to emulate the success of his football idol, Colt Anderson.
He's heading in the right direction.
A few weeks after bringing home four gold medals from the State AA track meet, Huff announced on Twitter that he would be committing to the football program at Anderson's alma mater, the University of Montana.
"It's a dream come true to be able to commit to the Griz," Huff said on Tuesday at Naranche Stadium where he played receiver and defensive back for the Bulldogs. "It's always been a dream of mine since I was little to play for them."
Huff's tweet was comprised of two photos. One was of an at-capacity Washington-Grizzly Stadium during a home game. The other was a picture of Anderson superimposed over a schematic diagram of a tactical ballistic missile, a fitting juxtaposition considering he was once one of the most explosive safeties in the Big Sky Conference.
I am blessed and excited to announce my commitment to the University of Montana🐻 to continue my academic and athletic career! Go Griz🏈 @SacksGriz pic.twitter.com/co1BK82wEk— Tanner Huff (@tannerhuff06) June 10, 2021
"You have to idolize him and how much he gives back to the community, especially coming from a small town like Butte and making it to the NFL," Huff said of Anderson who went on to be a three-time all-Big Sky player at Montana before playing in the NFL for nine seasons. Anderson is now the assistant special teams coach for the Cincinnati Bengals.
Huff wants to see playing time as a Griz, and he'll likely need to rely on his speed to accomplish that. He certainly showed it off at his final state track meet in Missoula.
Huff won the 100-meter dash in 11.06 seconds and the 200 in 22.40 and helped Butte's relay teams take first in the 400 and 1,600 relays. His efforts enabled the Bulldogs to finish in second place in the team standings.
"Last high school event ever, to come out on top in four events, it's just amazing," Huff said. "We just went in there and we thought of it as every other meet. We couldn't make that meet more than it actually was. Don't let the moment get too big."
Huff etched his name into Butte athletic history, and now he's looking to do the same at Montana.
"They want me to play receiver but I'm open to playing anywhere to help the team and get onto the field," he said.
Like Anderson, Huff has been given an opportunity by the Griz, and he intends to make the absolute most of it beginning with his summer training regimen which begins with 6 a.m. workouts and ends with sprint and footwork drills at Naranche.
"Just to be given a chance from a Division I school means a lot," Huff said. "I just need to up my training a lot more and be able to go out there and compete like I love to do."