Montana Grizzly Football Standouts Named Preseason All-Americans
Now that we've left the dog days of July and June and enter the dog days of August, do you find yourself talking football a little bit more?
While preseason honors don't mean much in terms of how the season will go, they sure are a benchmark for expectations. And familiar Montana Grizzly names continue to pop up.
Our thanks to UM Sports Information Director Eric Taber for letting us know that today (Monday), the Montana Grizzlies landed five players on one of three Stats Perform Preseason All-America teams, the FCS news organization announced Monday. Weber State and Montana, who went one and two, respectively, in the preseason Big Sky polls, were tied with five selections each - the most of any team in the league.
Griz receiver Samuel Akem and linebacker Jace Lewis were each named to the second team, while safety Robby Hauck, long snapper Matthew O'Donoghue, and kick returner Malik Flowers each landed on the third team.
Akem, Lewis, Hauck, and O'Donoghue were also named to the preseason All-Big Sky team last week at the conference's annual kickoff event in Spokane. Flowers, a preseason all-league pick in 2020, earns his first preseason nod ahead of the 2021 season.
Sam Houston and North Dakota State, the two most recent FCS national champions, had a team-high six players each named to the list.
Sammy Akem, a preseason All-Big Sky pick, is set to enter his senior season as one of the top-20 receivers in Montana history with 2,022 career yards to date. He also enters the season among UM's top-20 in career receptions (142).
Jace Lewis, the 2020 Big Sky Preseason Defensive Player of the Year, was also a repeat preseason all-league pick in 2021. The senior from Townsend MT will be wearing legay jersey #37 this season.
Robby Hauck has started every game of his career at Montana. His 236 career tackles currently place him at No. 31 on UM's all-time leading tackler list.
Matthew O'Donoghue was a consensus All-American after his junior season in 2019 and is expected to handle UM's snapping duties for a fourth-straight year.
And Malik Flowers continues his junior season after two years as one of the most dominant kick returners in FCS football.
Congrats and best of luck this season to all five. Glad they're on our team!
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