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Freshman quarterback Gresch Jensen (2) looks to pass before getting sacked by linebacker Cy Sirmon (40).


Montana's first spring football scrimmage Friday gave us a peak into the Grizzlies' ever-evolving depth chart as they prepare for the 2017 season.

It's tough to pinpoint who will start at a handful of positions right now because several key players were missing from the scrimmage. We got an idea of whom the Griz coaches value based on playing time and order though.

The battle for QB is the most interesting and anticipated. Redshirt freshman quarterback Gresch Jensen helped his cause with a nice outing that included two touchdown passes. Jensen ran with the second string behind senior Reese Phillips but ahead of junior Caleb Hill. He may have narrowed the gap even further with Phillips though.

Among those missing Friday were all three expected starting linebackers (James Banks, Connor Strahm and Josh Buss), three-year starting left tackle David Reese, expected starting running back Jeremy Calhoun as well as a few others.

Montana's injury-plagued linebacking corps made way for a group of young backers, several of whom had nice outings. Redshirt-freshman Jace Lewis was a force in the backfield.

The Griz rushing attack looked meager at best, picking up just 65 yards on 26 carries. They were without both Calhoun and sophomore transfer Cody McCombs.

The interior starters of the O-line are likely set with guards Angel Villanueva and Robert Luke both with starting experience along side returning starting center Cooper Sprunk. When Reese returns at left tackle, senior Mike Ralston and redshirt freshman Thayne Jackson will duke it out for the right tackle spot.

The Griz are very strong at safety with senior Justin Strong likely to start again at free safety and sophomore Josh Sandry, who could have started last year, a good bet to take over at free. Junior Evan Epperly had two picks Friday as well and senior Mick Delaney laid some hard hits.

Cornerback is very inexperienced after junior Markell Sanders and senior Ryan McKinley, both of whom return with starting experience. It's only freshmen beyond that point, though newcomer Dareon Nash had some solid open-field tackles in the scrimmage.

With two missed field goals Friday, one each from sophomores Tim Semenza and Brandon Purdy, the kicking game is still a question. Sophomore Eric Williams appears to have added yardage and hang time on his punts since last year though.

Without further ado, here's the estimated depth chart based on Friday's participation. This only includes those who played in the scrimmage:



QB: Reese Phillips, sr; Gresch Jensen, r-fr.;Caleb Hill, jr.

RB: Treshawn Favors, sr.; Rey Green, r-fr.

WR1: Keenan Curran, jr.; Kobey Eaton, so.

WR2: Justin Calhoun, so.; Samori Toure, r-fr.

Z WR: Jerry Louie-McGee, so.; Mitch McLaughlin, jr.

H WR: Josh Horner, sr.; Colin Bingham, so.

LT: Thayne Jackson, r-fr.; Brandon Scott, r-fr.

LG: Angel Villanueva, so.; Dylan Eickmeyer, r-fr.

C: Cooper Sprunk, sr.; Cody Meyer, so.

RG: Robert Luke, sr.; Dallas Hart, so.

RT: Mike Ralston, sr.; Conlan Beaver, r-fr.


Leo DE: Chris Favoroso, so.; Randy Rodriguez, r-fr.

NT: David Shaw, jr.; Kyle Davis, jr.

DT: Jesse Sims, so.; Reggie Tilleman, jr.

DE: Tucker Schye, sr.; Dylan Gilfoy, jr.

OLB: Jace Lewis, r-fr.; Cy Sirmon, so.

MLB: Vika Fa'atuiesse, so.; Trase LeTexier, r-fr.

OLB: Shayne Cochran, jr.; Gage Smith, jr.

CB: Markell Sanders, jr.; Josh Egbo, r-fr.

CB: Ryan McKinley, sr.; Dareon Nash, r-fr.

FS: Justin Strong, sr.; Mick Delaney, sr.

SS: Josh Sandry, so.; Evan Epperly, jr.

Special teams

K: Tim Semenza, so.; Brandon Purdy, so.

P: Eric Williams, so.; Brandon Purdy, so.

Kickoff: Eric Williams, so.; Tim Semenza, so.

Long snapper: Gage Smith, jr.; Caleb Mitchell, r-fr.

Kick return: Evan Epperly, jr.; Treshawn Favors, sr.

Holder: Reese Phillips, sr.; Makena Simis, sr.

Punt return: Jerry Louie-McGee, so.; Justin Calhoun, so.

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