As the new NFL season kicks off, the Montana Grizzlies have the distinction of being the best represented FCS team in the league, according to STATS.com.
Out of 133 total FCS players on Week 1 NFL rosters, Montana leads the way with eight listed on a team’s active roster — Colt Anderson (Indianapolis); Kroy Biermann (Atlanta); Dan Carpenter (Buffalo); Brock Coyle (Seattle); Trumaine Johnson (St. Louis); Marc Mariani (Chicago); Chase Reynolds (St. Louis); and Jimmy Wilson (San Diego).
Two more former Griz are also listed on practice squads, and another two are either injured or close to signing.
“It says a lot for the environment that is created on Saturdays here that these kids are playing not only high-level football, but they are also playing in front of big crowds in a hostile environment,” said Montana Grizzlies head coach Bob Stitt.
“That prepares them to go into a situation in a preseason game in the NFL and it’s not any different than what they played in on Saturday at Montana, so I think the whole environment created here helps our guys be able to handle the pressure of making a roster.”
Six of the current eight professionals from UM are also from high schools across Big Sky Country.
Not included on this list, but still in the NFL mix are four more former Grizzlies, two of which are Montana natives. Lineman Danny Kistler (Oakland) and Will Poehls (Tennessee) have signed with their respective practice squads. Jordan Tripp (Missoula) was recently waived by the Miami Dolphins, but recently worked out with the Minnesota Vikings according to ESPN.com. Zack Wagenmann (Missoula) remains on the Arizona Cardinals’ Injured Reserve list.
Following behind Montana as the best-represented FCS programs in the NFL are Delaware (seven), Coastal Carolina (five) and North Dakota State (five), which are the only other schools to have more than four players on an active roster.
Former Griz on NFL Rosters
Colt Anderson (Butte) – Indianapolis
Kroy Biermann (Hardin) – Atlanta
Dan Carpenter (Helena) – Buffalo
Brock Coyle (Bozeman) – Seattle
Trumaine Johnson – St. Louis
Marc Mariani (Havre) – Chicago
Chase Reynolds (Drummond) – St. Louis
Jimmy Wilson – San Diego
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