Top five position battles to watch at Griz fall camp
MISSOULA, Montana — The Montana Grizzlies return 18 players with starting experience, including at every single offensive position, although all 11 might not start in 2019.
But plenty of positions remain up for grabs as the Griz enter the dog days of fall camp this month.
The Griz have entrenched starters at quarterback with senior Dalton Sneed, inside linebacker with Buck Buchanan finalist senior Dante Olson and on the defensive line with senior Jesse Sims, who will wear Montana’s iconic No. 37 one more season. It will be hard to displace sophomore safety Robby Hauck or senior tight end Colin Bingham or senior Rover Josh Sandry or junior wide receiver Sammy Akem in the Griz starting lineup.
Senior wide receiver Jerry Louie-McGee and sophomore burner Gabe Sulser are sure to see plenty of touches on offense. And returning offensive tackles junior Conlan Beaver and sophomore Colton Keintz surely have advantages over any challenger.
But Montana head coach Bobby Hauck has long taken pride in cultivating internal competition on his roster. The Griz opened fall camp with their first practice at Dornblaser Field on Tuesday afternoon with temperatures soaring above 90 degrees.
When asked what position battles he was most eager to watch, Hauck said, “All of them.”
“I think when we were good around here, we had good depth,” said Hauck, who won seven straight Big Sky Conference titles at Montana during his first stint at his alma mater between 2003 and 2009. “Our groups beyond our starters were good players. We didn’t go seven years without an injury. So we are going to develop depth and they will all compete for playing time. That goes across the board.”