HELENA — While his name might not be signed on the dotted line of his letter of intent, Helena High's Marcus Evans is committed to play football and study exercise science at the University of Montana.
Evans said the decision was made on Wednesday after talking it over with his parents.
"Me and my dad sat down, and after track me and my mom did. We just talked about what's really holding me back, and I really didn't have anything to hold me back. So yeah, why not?" said Evans.
Evans noted he also got an odd text from one of his mentors while he was trying to decide.
"I was sitting there thinking about how I'm going to do it and I get a text from Coach (Mike) Van Diest. He sent me a video of Derrick Henry just lifting a bunch of weight. I'm like, 'Thanks, coach.' I really needed that in the moment," Evans said with a grin while shaking his head.
From there, Evans knew what he wanted to do, so he called Griz offensive coordinator Timm Rosenbach on Thursday morning to commit from the parking lot of Helena High.
“I was sitting there, called for, like, maybe 45 seconds, (Rosenbach) was going right in between a staff meeting and just said, 'Congrats. You're the first one in 2022,' and then sent out the tweet and went from that and went to school," Evans said.
With that conversation, the next couple of years are set for Evans, but the first thing on his list is to wrap up his senior year with some new hardware.
“I feel way better about it, like the relief is gone, because I know I'm going somewhere and they want me," said Evans. "Now I can focus on winning the state championship with the Bengals and being a better captain.”
When Evans joins the Griz in 2022, he’ll have a familiar face on the squad as well: his brother Zachary Evans, who committed to the Griz in November of last year. But if you ask Marcus about Zachary’s commitment playing a role in him committing to Montana, it’s safe to say it was his own decision.
“He is kind of whatever. I mean, it's Zachary. I mean, we'll see each other occasionally, but it's the same as usual,” Marcus said with a little grin.
While Marcus might play it off, the two have, in Zac’s words, “one of the closest relationships you can get as brothers,” especially when one gets in a little bit of trouble.
“These guys just got to start driving me to the end and I start getting in their face and I start talking a little crap and (Marcus) comes up and shoves him away from me and he gets a personal foul for 15 yards," Zachary recalled with a chuckle. "He gets a warning and if he gets another one, he gets kicked out of the game. It was the funniest thing.”
Though the two will play their first season apart in almost a decade, Marcus and Zachary will link back together to be on the same field in 2022 in Missoula.