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Salmon, Idaho, linebacker Sam Petty tries to bring down Anaconda quarterback quarterback Braxton Hill during first-quarter action at Mitchell Stadium in the Copperheads' first game of 2017.

Al Balderas, The Montana Standard

MISSOULA — The Hill family legacy lives on for Montana Grizzly athletics. 

Anaconda's Braxton Hill — the younger brother of Lady Griz great Torry Hill — committed to play football for the Grizzlies on Wednesday afternoon. 

"Super excited to announce that I will be furthering my football career at the University of Montana!" Hill wrote. 

In an interview with, Hill added: "I'm really excited. I grew up a Griz fan and I got to watch my sister play four years at the University. Being able to follow in her footsteps is really exciting. ... She always wanted me to go to the Griz because she's a Griz fan and played for the Griz. She's excited for me and she's excited to watch now that her playing days are over."

Hill, a 6-foot-2, 210-pound linebacker, said he was offered a grayshirt by new Montana linebackers coach Barry Sacks at one of his recent basketball games.

Grayshirts are recruits who are offered a delayed scholarship and don't officially join the team until the spring. A player who's grayshirted doesn't affect scholarship numbers until the following season. 

Why is Hill grayshirting? Well, he's one tough cookie. 

Hill tore his labrum in his non-throwing shoulder against Bigfork in the second game of the season. Even though it was originally feared that Hill would miss the rest of the season, he entered the Copperheads' lineup again a few weeks later, but only as quarterback. 

"It was really hard," Hill said of the initial diagnosis. "Not knowing if I was going to be able to play basketball and football for the rest of my senior year and not even knowing about recruiting, it was a bummer for about three, four weeks."

He was cleared to play quarterback for the rest of the season, but he had to be especially careful. 

"That was really hard too because I didn't really get to run," Hill said. "I just had to go back there and get rid of it quick so I wouldn't get hit."

Hill, still with his torn labrum, is playing basketball for Anaconda this season and is on the verge of making Copperhead history. The reigning all-state hoopster is currently third on Anaconda's all-time scorers list and is only 134 points off the school record. 

But right now, all he cares about is that his shoulder is healthy enough to play. 

"I'm just really excited I get another opportunity at basketball," Hill said. " ... I have another month and a half and then high school sports will be over for me. I'll get my surgery and move on. I'm just working really hard at basketball right now and do everything I can to reach the goal to win state."

The grayshirt at Montana gives Hill time to make a complete recovery from surgery without starting the eligibility clock until he's healthy. 

"It's really exciting. I'm kinda shocked about the opportunity I have right now," he said. 

Amie Just covers Griz football for and is based in Missoula. Follow her on Twitter @Amie_Just or email her at

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