Former Big Sky Eagle continues rapid improvement for Griz

Like many kids growing up in Missoula, Colten Keintz insisted he would someday play football for the Montana Griz.

But it wasn’t until his sophomore year at Big Sky High School that he even suited up for a game.

Bacaj-Colton-KeintzNow, just four years later, the redshirt freshman is battling for a starting position on the Griz squad, taking reps at both offensive tackle spots during the team’s highly competitive fall camp.

“This time four or five years ago, I didn’t even know the rules,” he said. “I ended up falling in love with [football] and I ended up walking on here, and it ended up being one of the best decisions I ever made. Going out for football ended up being one of the best things I ever did.”

Keintz’s quick rise is due to a couple of things.

First, times are desperate for the Montana offensive line. Four of its senior starters graduated last year; injuries and additional departures through the spring has made depth a serious concern going into this fall.

But to Keintz’s credit, he has the physical skill-set for the job. An imposing 6-foot-8 and 287 pounds, he’s the tallest player on the roster. That height gives him the length needed to keep pass rushers away from his body – and that’s what inspired Big Sky head coach Matt Johnson to encourage him to suit up for the Eagles in the first place.

“He was my computer design teacher, I guess it was as a freshman, and he told me I had to go out and play football,” Keintz recalled. “And I went out my sophomore year and the rest is history.”



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