Griz QBs Feature Depth and Versatility in 2019

Note: In the seven days before Montana’s first practice fall camp, will bring you seven stories previewing seven different position groups. First up: the quarterbacks.


Returners (2018 statistics)
Dalton Sneed (675 yards and 6 TDs rushing, 2,723 yards and 22 TDs passing, 241-384-7)
Cam Humphrey (241 yards and 2 TDs passing, 13-24-0)
Garrett Graves

Kris Brown


The Montana Grizzlies officially return to the field in one week’s time with the first practice of fall camp on Tuesday, Aug. 6 starting the leadup to the season opener at South Dakota.

In truth, the Griz have been at it all summer with a full lifting schedule in the immaculate Washington-Grizzly Champions Center and player-run practices (PRPs) two evenings per week.

While the NCAA prohibits coaches from attending PRPs, coaching is still being done by the team leaders and veteran players. And nowhere has that leadership been more evident than at the quarterback position, which is shaping up to be one of Montana’s biggest strengths in 2019.

For head coach Bobby Hauck, the summer months have been especially productive for the team as he gets set to enter his second season back at the helm of the Grizzlies. And for him, incumbent starting quarterback Dalton Sneed is a big reason why his squad is ahead of the game heading into fall camp.

Photo courtesy of Grizzly Athletics

“Summer was terrific. I think we’ve had great work. I think we’re in terrific physical condition, which allows us to work on being more technically sound early in camp and get earlier into the game planning segment of it,” said Hauck.

“The leaders on the team really grabbed the bull by the horns and lead the charge is during the summer and offseason. Dalton and our other older veteran players have done a really nice job. They aren’t afraid to demand more from their peers.”

Sneed, the reigning Big Sky Newcomer of the Year, returns for his senior season after bursting onto the scene as a junior, leading the Griz in both rushing and passing to rack-up the ninth-most yards of total offense in the country.

Now a year older and wiser, he will install the Grizzly offense for the fourth time since his arrival in Missoula at fall camp. Hauck believes he’s poised for another breakout year in Montana’s quest to return to the FCS postseason, and his improvement since this time last year is palpable.

“I think it’s night and day,” says Hauck. “I think he’ll have a dramatically firmer grasp of everything the offensive staff wants him to do this year.”

Sneed enters his capstone season with 675 rushing yards with six touchdowns and 2,723 passing yards with 22 TDs for a total of 3,398 yards.

He’s already written his name in the Montana record books with the longest TD run every by a Grizzly QB (75), and the most rushing yards in a game by a UM quarterback (206) as well. His passing total ranks among the best-ever single-season totals in team history, and his pass completion percentage of .630 ranks among the top 10 ever as well.

Sneed represents a true dual-threat attack to opposing defenses, and Griz fans can expect Hauck and his staff to take advantage of that fact in the season ahead, especially when he has targets like Jerry Louie-McGee and Samuel Akem.

“For defenses, the hardest thing to stop is a quarterback that can both throw and run. When you have a guy who can do both in the backfield with the ball in his hands every play, it’s tough,” says Hauck.

“We have enough weapons around him that we don’t have to solely rely on him carrying the ball or throwing it every down, so it’s got the makings of a team that can be fairly productive this year.”

No team can rely solely on one player in the backfield for a whole season, however. The next man up has to be able to go in and produce at the same level as the starter when his number is called.

During the spring season, the Hauck and his staff gave valuable reps to both junior Cam Humphrey and freshman Garrett Graves to put them in the strongest position to produce if necessary.

“You have to be ready. Football is a volatile game in terms of injury, and you can’t rely so much on one player that you can’t succeed if there is an injury,” adds Hauck. “We’ll keep working with all of our young guys and bring them along and see where that goes.”

Humphrey, who played at Boise State before attending junior college at Saddleback, threw for 95 yards and touchdown with no interceptions in the spring game. In six games as a sophomore last season, he completed 13 passes for 241 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

“Cam’s getting better. He’s continuing to learn the game, focus on improving his performance and making that a daily quest to become a better player. If he continues to do that, he’s got a chance to be good,” says Hauck.

Perhaps one of the team’s best overall athletes, Graves also saw plenty of reps in the spring after winning the team’s Offensive Scout Team Player of the Year award as a true freshman. As they did in the spring, Hauck anticipates using Graves athleticism in around the field to add variety and another dual-threat element to the Grizzlies attack.

“He’s a good athlete. He can do a lot of things. He’s big, strong, and fast. We’re going to use him in a variety of ways, and I think that will help his quarterback play,” said Hauck.

Montana reports for fall camp on Sunday, Aug. 4.