Keenan Curran has finally found a place he feels he can call home.
The Federal Way (Wash.) product who once committed to San Jose State before spending most of the past year at the United States Air Force Preparatory Academy, will transfer to Montana and join the football team in June.
Curran, who received an honorable discharge from the Air Force, will join the Grizzlies as a true freshman receiver, bringing the total number of pass catchers in first-year head coach Bob Stitt's initial recruiting class to eight.
"I’ve told coach (Nolan) Swett and told coach Stitt and told all the coaches that I’m coming to compete and I’m going to give it all I have," Curran told the Missoulian on Wednesday from Federal Way.
Curran is the latest in a series of roster moves that have overhauled the receivers group. Montana signed six wideouts on national signing day in February and then added Penn State transfer Tyler Lucas in late March.
Following spring drills, the staff cleared roster spots for the new additions -- many of whom will be counted on to contribute this fall. Montana cut eight receivers from the group and parted ways with Marq Rodgers, who left the team to pursue other opportunities.
With the inclusion of the 6-foot-2, 200-pound Curran, the group will count 18 members when fall camp commences in early August and that's just fine with the Grizzlies' latest addition.
"I’m not coming in expecting to start, obviously they have two great receivers in Jamaal (Jones) and Ellis (Henderson); two great guys to learn from," Curran said before adding, "Me going to Montana, I’m going to be around some dawgs who love the game of football and give it their all every play."
As his first season in Colorado unfolded it became increasingly clear to Curran that what he signed up for was no longer what he desired.
After committing to the Spartans, he took an official visit to the Colorado Springs campus in late January 2014 and later committed to play safety for the Falcons after weighing out the future benefits the Air Force Academy presented.
"For me, I’ve always thought, what am I going to fall back on?” Curran told the Seattle Times in Feb. 2014. "What kind of education am I going to get, what kind of job is going to be available to me and what kind of opportunities are going to be available to me if I don’t make it or after I’m done in the NFL?”
By late November he was having second thoughts. And once his half brother passed away, Curran, who has a strong relationship with redshirt freshman receiver Caleb Lyons, was ready to find a school closer to his family.
"It kind of just put things in perspective for me as far as how much time I get away from the Academy – I only got to go home like three or four times in a year and I’m a big family guy and it killed me not being around them," said Curran, who was a flight commander at the Academy in charge of three element leaders, placing almost 30 people under his supervision.
"With my brother passing away, that just kind of put things in perspective like how much time do you have left with your family and is it worth trading?"
Once he made the decision to leave the Air Force, suitors came calling. UC Davis offered the former prep quarterback a scholarship to play safety. San Diego offered him a spot and so did Montana State, but Curran's first call was placed to Griz defensive line coach Legi Suiaunoa.
Suiaunoa, a holdover from former head coach Mick Delaney's staff, helped recruit Curran during his senior year. The fifth-year defensive line coach had already developed a bond with Curran's family during his time at Eastern Oregon where he coached Curran's older brother.
"To still be there after a kid doesn’t commit to your school just shows how much they believe in me," Curran said.
The adjustment to receiver will be a new one for Curran, who hasn't played the position since his freshman year at Federal Way, and he wasn't sure where he would fit when he first contacted Montana. Regardless, he has spent the past few months in Washington preparing himself for the new position.
"I don’t want there to be any drop off if or when I come in," Curran said. "I don’t want there to be any drop off in talent or the defense saying we don’t have to guard this guy as tight or we don’t have to show him enough attention. I want to be consistent throughout."