Football fans will be glad to know that the Montana Grizzlies begin their spring drills on Saturday, March 15.

Head Coach Mick Delaney said on Monday, March 10, that the team features great strength and depth on both sides of the ball, offense and defense.

"On offense, it's our receivers, running backs and quarterbacks, and I'm really excited about developing the offensive line," Delaney said. "On defense, it's the big, experienced defensive line and our safeties. Of course, with the loss of Jordan Tripp and Brock Coyle, we have to develop some depth and identify our starters at linebacker. We've got about 14 starters back, and so we're excited to start putting the pieces together."

Delaney praised his senior leadership for helping to prepare the younger players.

"At the corner, we have a senior, Joshua Denard, at safety we have senior Matt Hermanson," Delaney said. "On the defensive line we've got Tonga Takai and at defensive end we'll have Zach Wagenmann. On the offensive line, we'll have the two Hines brothers and Trevor Poole as seniors. We've moved Mitch Saylor from wide receiver to tight end, and he's also a senior. At the running back position we'll have Jordan Canada and Trevon Van, and obviously, if you want to single out one outstanding senior leader on offense it would have to be our quarterback Jordan Johnson."

Delaney says the road season for the Grizzlies this year will be brutal.

"We go to Wyoming and then to North Dakota State, and both teams will be virtually identical in strength and skill, and both will have new coaches," Delaney said. "Those will be difficult non-conference games. We also have to play Cal Poly on the road, Eastern Washington there and Southern Utah there. We've got a difficult schedule, there's no doubt about it, but if you want to play in the post season, you have to play the tough games."

Spring drills will run from March 15-28, and April 7-17.  The first of three scrimmages is Saturday, March 22, and starts around 10:00 a.m.  UM’s annual spring game is Saturday, April 12th in Washington-Grizzly Stadium, and will begin about 6:00 p.m.  The final scrimmage of spring drills is Thursday, April 17, and will start at around 7:30 p.m.

The Grizzlies went 10-3 overall and were 6-2 (third) in the Big Conference last year.  Montana, which won seven of its final eight regular-season games, was ranked eighth in the nation in the Sports Network’s final regular-season poll.

The Griz open their season August 30th at Wyoming.

Montana Head Football Coach Mick Delaney