Montana senior defensive end Tucker Schye has been tabbed as the Grizzlies next No. 37, the football program’s famed jersey number.
Over the Christmas break, Schye, a Malta native, received a text from his friend, former teammate, and incumbent No. 37 Caleb Kidder asking if he had time to talk.
“My heart was pounding when I went up to my room to take the call,” said Schye.
“We talked about what it means, had a great conversation, and I told him I’d be honored to wear it.”
Montana’s traditional legacy jersey is passing from one Montana-born standout to the next, as it has been since 1986 when Kraig Paulson bestowed the jersey on Tim Hauck.
“I’m really just honored to be thought of in the same arena of all the guys that have come before me that have worn the number,” Schye said. “It truly is an honor for me. It might be a cliché, but it’s a humbling thing.”
Schye has impressed Montana coaches and teammates alike since he was a freshman, earning the defensive “Scout Team Player of the Year” award in 2013.
Since 2014, the 6-foot-4, 240-pound pass rusher has played in every game for the Grizzlies, making 38 career appearances to date. Schye has racked up 63 total tackles, and 12.5 tackles-for-loss in addition to 2.5 sacks.
“Tucker, to me, exemplifies everything that 37 means to the state of Montana. He’s a hard worker, he does everything the right way, he’s accountable, and to me, it would be a great honor I think for the state of Montana to have him wear 37,” said Kidder.
“There are really no limits with Tucker. He could have a great year next year, so I just want to see him go out and play, and just exemplify what he’s already shown me, and the rest of the team, who he is and what his character represents.”
The #37 Legacy
* Kraig Paulson – Fullback, 1983-86, Plentywood
* Tim Hauck – Safety, 1987-89, Big Timber
* Todd Ericson – Safety, 1990-93, Butte
* Jason Crebo – Linebacker, 1994-97, Helena
* Andy Petek – Defensive End, 1998-00, Helena
* Ciche Pitcher – Defensive End, 2001-03, Anaconda
* Loren Utterback – Linebacker, 2004-07, Fort Benton
* Carson Bender – Defensive Tackle, 2008-10, Deer Lodge
* Ryan Fetherston – Defensive End, 2011, East Helena
* Jordan Tripp – Linebacker, 2012-13, Missoula
* Zack Wagenmann – Defensive End, 2014, Missoula
* Caleb Kidder – Defensive End, 2015-16, Missoula
* Tucker Schye – Defensive End, 2017, Malta