BOULDER — For just likely the second time in Jefferson High School history, a Panther will be on the Montana football roster after Joey Visser announced his decision to commit to the Griz in November.
I am proud to announce my commitment to @MontanaGrizFB!Beyond excited to continue my academic and football career as a Grizzly. I would like to give a special thank you to my family, teammates and coaches who have helped me reach this point. Go Griz🏈🐻 @coachsacks @Coach_Hauck pic.twitter.com/iiKk0CRgN3
— Joey Visser (@JoeyVisser06) November 11, 2021
Visser is believed to be the second Jefferson Panther to commit to Montana, however, it is possible there are more as Montana Football's letterman list showcases former players' hometowns and not the high schools that they played for prior to joining the football team.
Despite that when asked about coming from Jefferson, a school that "serves 280 students grades 9-12" per the school website, Visser said he's proud of what he's been able to accomplish as a Panther and hopes to show that it doesn't matter where you come from, it's what you do at the next level.
"It's kind of hard to describe, it feels good. And to show that just because I'm a small-town kid and you know, everybody thinks that big schools, you go to bigger schools for college. You know, that just kind of proves that no matter how hard you work, you can get shot, you can get noticed. Just because it's a small school doesn't mean that you can't. have this thing that I hold that as a like a good it's a word a good accomplishment that you know, I did that go into a smaller school" said Visser. "I hold that as a like a good — what's the word — a good accomplishment that you know, I did that going to a smaller school."
Visser told MTN that committing to Montana was like a dream come true, even though as child his fandom did bounce around between both in-state FCS programs.
"I went back and forth a little bit. I started out as a Griz fan. I will admit, I went to the Cats for a little bit, but I found my way back," said Visser.
Visser said when he got the call from Montana, there was hardly a thought in his mind aside from "Yes, I'm all in."
"Coach [Barry Sacks] called me and told me what everything was going on, and I said, "Coach, yes, I'm all in," and it was, it was great," said Visser. "I started calling my family and friends. Let them know what happened and stuff. That was great."
Aside from being a Montana Grizzlies commit, Visser was also a state champion in the Class B track and field ranks last season, and as he heads into his final few months as a high school senior, being able to make his decision before then feels like a weight lifted off of his shoulders.
"That weight of 'I really want to go to U of M, but if I don't get an opportunity, then where am I going to go?' It was huge on my shoulders," said Visser. "The second coach [Sacks] called me I knew and I was like, 'Oh my gosh.' Right, when he called me I just felt all the pressure leave."
While Visser is excited to start the next chapter of his football career while studying criminology and criminal justice at Montana, there will certainly be some things he'll miss about home, and memories he'll take with him along the way.
"Family dinners. Not gonna have a lot of that when I get there and probably just going to be eating with the teammates and whatnot. But I just think that spending time at night with your family, like it doesn't happen a lot. But like when it does, you got to cherish the moments," said Visser. "Probably the first time, me and my buddy Jake [Genger] started together. That was kind of a memorable, memorable time for both of us and I think that I'll stick with me forever."
The Montana Grizzlies have 13 total known commits for the upcoming year, with 11 of them coming from in-state. That list can be found by clicking the link below.