For as long as he can remember, Max Morris has dreamed of suiting up in the maroon and silver and taking the field for the Montana Grizzlies on fall Saturdays.
Now he’ll get the chance to make that dream a reality.
Morris, a 6-foot-4 tight end at Glacier, announced his commitment to play football for Montana on Sunday afternoon after an in-home visit by new Montana head coach Bobby Hauck and Justin Green, the running backs coach and recruiting coordinator for the Griz.
“When the Griz came into my house and made the offer, there’s no way I could turn that down,” Morris told the Daily Inter Lake.
“I wasn’t really sure what to expect when they came in, but by the time they left, I was completely sold on being a part of the Griz nation for the rest of my life.”
Morris’ commitment continues the Glacier-to-Griz pipeline that was already well established.
Three former Wolfpack football players are already on Montana’s roster, and two more Glacier seniors — running back Drew Turner and safety Jackson Pepe — are Griz commits slated to join the team next year.
“It’s going to be nice having some guys I know coming in from the start, and I’m looking forward to keeping them as my teammates for the next four or five years,” Morris said.
Morris, who Glacier head coach Grady Bennett and offensive coordinator Aaron Deck with aiding his development this year, caught 16 passes for 177 yards and two touchdowns for the Wolfpack in 2017, but Bennett said his best attribute is his blocking ability.
“He’s the best blocking tight end that I’ve ever coached and one of the best blocking tight ends possible our state’s seen,” Bennett said. “He’s very, very gifted.
“Drew’s a great running back, but the year he put together averaging almost eight yards a carry and 1,700 yards in nine games, really, Max is a huge part of that.”
Though his blocking is the most polished part of his game now, Bennett believes Morris has the athleticism to develop into a receiving threat, as well.
“His last game, he had a great game receiving,” Bennett said. “I just feel like, down the stretch, he got better and better. Improved his route running, started to improve his pass-catching skills. I do think he has a big upside and a lot of potential in that area.”
Morris, who earned honorable mention honors on this year’s all-state team, is Montana’s 15th commitment in the 2018 recruiting class, according to The Missoulian. He is also the first commit reeled in by Hauck, who was formally announced as Montana’s head coach on Friday.
“I’m really looking forward to having him coach me,” Morris said of Hauck. “He seems like an intense guy on and off the field, and I feel like he’s going to bring a lot of passion back to the University of Montana.”
A senior transfer from Helena High, Morris garnered interest from Wyoming and a bevy of NAIA schools during and after his lone season at Glacier. None of the schools, however, could beat out the Griz for his services.
Morris had considered walking on at Montana before Hauck extended a scholarship offer, so when the offer came, he says the decision wasn’t a tough one.
“He’s a Griz all the way,” Bennett said. “Now that Coach Hauck gives him a little bit of incentive, he’s going to go in very motivated to prove that he’s worth (a scholarship) and to work hard to show Coach Hauck is making the right decision, and I believe he will.”