HELENA — The Montana and Montana State football teams will begin preparing for the 2014 season with spring drills.
Montana is scheduled to begin its spring drills on Saturday, while the Bobcats spring camp opens on March 18.
Montana returns 14 starters, including halfback Jordan Canada, wide receiver Ellis Henderson and quarterback Jordan Johnson on offense and free safety Matt Hermanson and end Zach Wagenmann on defense. But they’re losing several standout players including linebacker Jordan Tripp, a consensus All-American who is expected to be drafted by an NFL team in May.
Montana’s scrimmages are scheduled for March 22, April 12 and April 17 and the Griz open the season on Aug. 30 at Wyoming.
“I’ve always felt that spring ball is kind of the second phase of identifying what type of team you’re going to be in the fall,” head coach Mick Delaney said. “The first thing obviously is your winter program, and that starts in January and runs right through this Thursday. That’s phase one, and it’s just been tremendous. Our players have worked so hard. I think they are starting to develop their own identity, and they’re going to do what it takes to be successful. We’ve been outside (in Washington-Grizzly Stadium) for every workout. We have not cancelled one workout, no matter how bad the elements were out there.”
Montana State, meanwhile, will be looking to replace several key players including four-year starting quarterback DeNarius McGhee, running back Cody Kirk and defensive end Brad Daly, the Buck Buchanan Award winner. MSU returns its entire offensive line and linebacker corps.
The Bobcats hold their Triangle Classic Scrimmage in Great Falls on April 12 and their Sonny Holland Classic in Bozeman on April 19.
MSU opens the 2014 season on Aug. 30 at Arkansas State.
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