MISSOULA — It's finally game week for the Montana Grizzlies. The maroon and silver will take the football field for the first time this Saturday. While they still have question marks at several spots, UM has plenty of answers at wide receiver.
The Griz return more than 80 percent of their receiving production from last year. Sammy Akem broke out with 13 touchdown catches in 2018, and the 6-foot-4 junior looks ready to become a full-blown star in 2019. Senior Jerry Louie-McGee needs only 17 receptions to become the all-time leader in program history. Junior Samori Toure started all but one game last year.
And because of those three, two of the sophomores drawing a ton of attention this offseason aren't even on the first string. Gabe Sulser is a game-breaking talent that made plenty of plays as a freshman, and Mitch Roberts, a quarterback at Missoula Sentinel High School, is now a polished wideout who catches everything thrown his direction.
"Going into my third year, it's definitely starting to feel a lot more natural for me -- routes, blocking, just understanding coverages a lot more," said Roberts.
"A lot more comfortable just having a full year of college football under your belt, whether it's going through all of fall, to spring, the winter, the everything, the summer, the prep, and all of that," said Sulser.
The two know Montana's receivers have the chance to do something special in 2019.
"Everyone brings something a little bit different to the table," added Sulser. "Everyone kind of has a different skill that kind of sticks out. So, I think that will be kind of exciting to have a piece of everything this year."
"One day Sammy will have a great day. One day Samori," said Roberts. "We trade on and off, and we just push each other in the film room and on the field every day. We have a lot more experience. And I think the sky is the limit for this group."
Head coach Bobby Hauck wants to play plenty of receivers to keep everyone fresh, so Roberts and Sulser will get their chances in the opener. Montana kicks off at South Dakota at 1 p.m. this Saturday.