Griz Football Spring Game Discussion Points


This Friday, football is back in Missoula as the defending Big Sky Conference champions, the Montana Grizzlies, head to the annual spring game.

Eric Taber, Griz director of football sports information, is here to tell us about the storylines and players to watch for in the spring.

Which position group is the most compelling?

Last year, the Griz had depth at almost every position. There could be multiple quarterbacks playing, a balanced backfield, a variety of wide receivers, a deep offensive line, the best linebacking core in the conference and a ball-hawking secondary. Which group will be under scrutiny this year? Taber says quarterbacks, of course.

“I think people tell you that the quarterback position is the most compelling,” Taber said. “I don’t necessarily always agree with that, But I think quarterbacks are compelling this year.

Taber introduced the three best players at the quarterback position. Redshirt freshman and Griz legacy Keali'i Ah Yat has caught the attention of many people after only playing a few games last year. Logan Fife will bring Mountain West level experience to the team and Sam Vidlak returns after starting the year at quarterback a season ago.

They're certainly three favorites, but Taber also pointed out how valuable this spring game can be for young guys, especially quarterbacks Kaden Huot.

“Some young people can look really good and gain valuable experience,” Taber said.

The other position group Taber pointed out was the offensive line. Taber pointed to the loss of several pure Big Sky Conference offensive linemen – AJ Forbes and Chris Walker – but said they have upgraded and the line will be a “strength of the team.”

Read More: Griz Football Names New Defensive Coordinator(s)

A player expected to take a significant step forward…

Taber is convinced that we stick with the offensive line theme Liam Brown will take a leap forward.

“Liam Brown was a guy who went back and forth between a starter and a backup role. He's big now. “He’s put on some weight and is as strong as a country ox,” said Taber, describing the 6-5 redshirt junior.

Brown's arsenal has some versatility. Last year, he proved in 11 games that he could play at a high level at any of the five line positions.

A newcomer expected to make an immediate impression…

The Griz have added several transfers this season. Some will have an impact, so I asked Taber who he thinks will have the biggest impact on the team.

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Linebacker Vai Kaho

Kaho, originally from Reno, Nevada, came from San Diego State. During his four seasons with the Aztecs, Kaho played in 41 games and recorded 37 tackles.

“He’s a unit, man. He is tall. He's fast and runs downhill. “He'll be one of the leaders in that linebacker role,” Taber said.

The spring game is scheduled for Friday, April 12, at 6 p.m. Taber said to expect a lot of different looks and rotating players frequently.

Oh, and don't expect Coach Hauck to reveal too much about the rules of the game.

Favorite fried food for football fans

Gallery photo credit: Dave Roberts