Deming twins make early impact for youthful Griz
Montana’s starting lineup on Saturday will be a family affair of sorts for two of its Billings recruits.
Backup tight end Bryson Deming will for the first time join his twin brother, defensive end Braydon, on the field as the Grizzlies welcome Sacramento State to Washington-Grizzly Stadium.
At Billings West, it was actually Braydon who worked from the tight end position. He also played linebacker for the Golden Bears, while Bryson took snaps as quarterback. Each were among top in-state prospects for 2017, both of them earning full-ride scholarship offers from both Montana and Montana State.
The two both dedicated much of their first year with the Griz to learn their new positions.
“I got a year to redshirt and learn the position, watch film and get a grasp of it. It’s been fine. I love it,” Braydon said. “Just getting to know the position – all the blocking schemes, the pass rushing. There’s so much that you need to learn and pick up on. It just takes time.”
The identical twins have also learned to adapt to playing on different sides of the ball.
“It’s kind of weird now because we’re not on the field at the same time because one’s offense, one’s defense,” Bryson said. “I don’t really get the chance to watch him as much as I did in high school, but I still try to peek out and see how he’s doing and watch. … It’s fun in practice, we get to go against each other. That twin competition’s always there, and now we get to carry it to a collegiate football practice.”
The injury to tight end Colin Bingham marks just the latest in a series of events that has meant an especially young starting roster at Montana this season. Including the Demings, 16 true or redshirt freshmen are listed on the two-deep depth chart for Saturday’s conference opener versus the Hornets.
Head coach Bobby Hauck said the youth brigade has shown a willingness to play hard and learn from mistakes, and that what may be growing pains now could pay off in future seasons.
That’s what happened at Sac State two seasons ago. The Hornets were crushed 67-7 after bringing a relatively young defensive squad to Missoula in 2016, a season in which their defensive finished 11th in the Big Sky. Last year, they improved to fifth; this year, they currently lead the Big Sky in scoring defense.
“You either get better or you don’t progress, and that has to do with work ethic and attention to detail and want-to and all of those things,” Hauck said. “Those guys have exhibited that, so if they continue on the path they’ve been on, they’ve got a bright future.”