Montana head coach Bob Stitt unveiled his third recruiting class on Wednesday, officially welcoming 22 student-athletes to the University of Montana on National Signing Day.
This year’s incoming class is made up 18 high school seniors and four college transfers who have enrolled for the spring semester at UM.
The Montana class of 2017 has been in the making for over a year, with Stitt and his staff placing emphasis on building the team with known talent from camps and visits to Washington-Grizzly Stadium to take in the game-day experience.
“We feel like we’ve got a well-rounded group of kids,” said Stitt. “We’ve done very well identifying players, evaluating those players, finding out what their character is all about, not just on the field but off the field, and also how well they do in the classroom. We want good students, and we got that in this recruiting class.”
Ten of Montana’s 18 incoming high school seniors hail from the state of Montana, reflecting the importance Stitt placed on home grown talent when building his 2017 class.
“Montana kids. That’s where we start. We did a very good job of identifying the players with FCS ability in the state very early,” said Stitt. “Our whole recruiting process revolves around the kids in Montana. There was a ton of them this year, and we’ve signed 10 of them we feel can help us win a lot of ballgames.”
Payton Stoner, one of two incoming offensive line recruits committed to Montana after previously committing to San Jose State. Stoner says his decision was built largely on the environment at Washington-Grizzly Stadium after a visit to Missoula in December.
“I just ended up loving it. It felt like home,” he said. “It’s a pretty incredible place. I think people take for granted how great a good fan base is, and how great it is for your stadium to be sold out at every home game. I’m excited to play in front of all those awesome fans.”
Montana’s incoming class of 2017 is balanced equally on both sides of the ball, with 10 players singed to the offense and 11 to Jason Semore‘s defensive unit, with one athlete (McKenzie Holt) who the staff believes could find a home on either side of the ball.
Montana Football 2017 Recruiting Class
Feb. 1, 2017
Isiahia Banks, S, 6-0, 205, Aurora, Colo. (Mullen)
Braydon Deming, DE, 6-4, 205, Billings, Mont. (West)
Bryson Deming, WR, 6-4, 192, Billings, Mont. (West)
Nate Dick, QB, 5-10, 179, Billings, Mont. (Senior)
Trevor Hoerner, DE, 6-4, 210, Columbia Falls, Mont. (Columbia Falls)
McKenzie Holt, ATH, 6-4, 235, Thompson Falls, Mont. (Thompson Falls)
Carder Key, LB, 6-2, 220, Broken Arrow, Okla. (Broken Arrow)
Skyler Martin, OL, 6-5, 240, Vancouver, Wash. (Skyview)
Michael Matthews, LB, 6-2, 205, Camas, Wash. (Camas)
Michael McGinnis, WR, 6-3, 185, Sidney, Mont. (Sidney)
Terron Moses, RB, 5-7, 175, Vian, Okla. (Vian)
RJ Nelson, DE, 6-4, 215, Hillsboro, Ore. (Hillsboro)
Matt Rensvold, WR, 6-4, 210, Polson, Mont. (Polson)
Mitch Roberts, WR, 6-1, 185, Missoula, Mont. (Sentinel)
Payton Stoner, OL, 6-6, 275, San Diego, Calif. (Mt. Carmel)
Kendall Sweet, LB, 5-11, 185, Tulsa, Okla. (Booker T. Washington)
Marcus Welnel, LB, 6-0, 207, Helena, Mont. (Capital)
Tanner Wilson, QB, 6-2, 190, Polson, Mont. (Polson)
Chris Favoroso, Jr., DE, 6-3, 255, Port St. Lucie, Fla. (Arizona Western)
Dylan Gilfoy, Jr., DE, 6-5, 252, Brentwood, Calif. (Diablo Valley)
Caleb Hill, Jr., QB, 6-4, 205, Brenham, Texas (Blinn)
David Shaw, R-Jr., DT, 6-5, 310, Spring Grove, Pa. (Maryland)