The Montana Grizzlies have filled one of their top needs this recruiting season.
Helena High kicker Dan Carpenter committed to the Grizzly football program last weekend, and will get a chance to step in and replace the record-setting Chris Snyder.
The 6-foot-2, 190-pound Carpenter made five field goals his senior season, including a school-record 53-yarder. He was true on 26-of-29 point after attempts.
Carpenter has been selected to play in this summer's Shrine Game, and was named first team all-state as a kicker and a punter. Carpenter, who plays for the Bengals' basketball team, also played wide receiver for Tony Arntson's football team.
"He is a pure raw talent as far as kickers go,'' Arntson told the Helena Independent Record. "He has as strong a leg as anyone I have been around.''
The job won't be handed to Carpenter next season. Montana football coach Bobby Hauck said he'd give sophomore Paul Cahill, the younger brother of defensive tackle John Cahill, and junior Lucas Langbehn, from Deer Park, Wash., a chance to win the job. Both have both been practicing with the Griz the last couple of years. Both are walk-ons.
Carpenter was also recruited by Michigan State, Washington State and Montana State.
Carpenter will officially sign with Montana on Feb. 4, the first day when high school athletes are allowed to sign a national letter of intent.
Carpenter is the fourth Treasure State player to commit to Montana. Great Falls Russell wide receiver Ryan Bagley, Great Falls High running back Rob Schulte and Dillon safety/quarterback Torrey Thomas have also announced their intentions to play for the Griz, who finished 9-4 last season in Hauck's first year.