National Signing Day: Griz, Bobcats Land Local Football Recruits

By Beacon Staff

It’s National Signing Day for football recruits across the country, and a few athletes from the Flathead Valley have made their decisions and are headed to the Division I college ranks next year.

So far, the Montana Grizzlies have landed two local standouts, Glacier’s Evan Epperly and Whitefish’s Sean Foley, while the Montana State Bobcats tabbed one, Glacier’s Noah James. More recruits, including walk-ons, are expected to be announced in the coming days.

Bigfork’s Cameron Nissen and Glacier’s Zach Dennehy have signed letters of intent to play at Montana Tech in Butte. Whitefish’s Calub Thilmony signed to play at Montana-Western in Dillon.

Coaches and staff from the University of Montana will be in Kalispell tonight to discuss the latest recruiting class. Montana State coaches will celebrate signing day with a press conference and reception at 3 p.m. today inside Bobcat Stadium.

“One of our goals was to add size to our program without sacrificing athleticism,” Montana State’s eighth-year coach Rob Ash said on the eve of national signing day. “We want to add players that will be competitive at the national level.”

Here’s a breakdown of the local athletes who have signed so far:

Epperly, 5-foot-10, 180 pounds, had a monster year for the Wolfpack last fall and was named the Western AA Offensive MVP on the state runner-up team. He combined for 1,250 yards and 16 touchdowns on offense and earned three Class AA first-team all-state selections, the first athlete to do so at Glacier. He caught 55 passes for 1,126 yards and 14 TDs, averaging 20.5 yards per reception. As a return specialist, he averaged 22.6 yards on kickoffs and 14.8 yards on punt returns. On defense, he nabbed five interceptions and logged 51 tackles.

Noah James. File photo by Greg Lindstrom | Flathead Beacon

James, 6-1, 200 pounds, broke out as one of the state’s best running backs last fall for the Wolfpack. He rushed 169 times for 1,073 yards and 17 TDs on his way to a first-team all-state selection. He also caught 15 passes for 161 yards. He was forced to the sidelines during the final stretch of the playoffs after injuring his leg in the quarterfinal round of the Class AA playoffs.

Sean Foley. File photo by Greg Lindstrom | Flathead Beacon

Foley, 5-9, 160 pounds, barely left the field for the Bulldogs, filling in as wide receiver, running back, cornerback and return specialist. The team’s versatile three-year starter combined for 1,511 yards and 16 touchdowns, totaling a team-high 92 points for the playoff-bound Bulldogs.

Nissen, 6-6, 205 pounds, played both ways for Bigfork and earned Class B all-state at both tight end and defensive end. He was selected all-conference at both positions as a junior.

“Cam is easily one of the most athletic players in Class B. He will be able to play multiple offensive positions with his frame and speed,” Montana Tech Head Football Coach Chuck Morrell said.

Dennehy, 6-4, 240 pounds, is a Class AA two-time all-state offensive lineman.

“Zach had a great year as a mainstay on the front-lines for the state-runner up Glacier Wolfpack,” Morrell said.

Click here to view the Montana Grizzlies latest recruiting class.

Click here to view the Montana State Bobcat recruits.

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