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MISSOULA — Montana offensive lineman Payton Stoner announced that he's leaving the football team, marking his second departure from the Griz in two seasons.

The redshirt freshman became the fourth player and first offensive lineman from the 2018 team to leave during or after the season.

"It was such an amazing opportunity to be able to come back and play with my boys this season," Stoner shared on Twitter on Wednesday. "My college football carrer (sic) may not have been long lived and plagued with numerous injuries but I am so grateful to have made life long friendships and be mentored by some great coaches."

He added a follow-up tweet: "On to new adventures! Thank you for everything Griz nation!"

Stoner was a backup offensive tackle who played in seven games, including three of the final four, in the 2018 season. The 6-foot-6, 282-pound lineman redshirted as a true freshman in 2017.

The San Diego native came to Montana on a full-ride scholarship, but he decided to leave the team after the 2017 season. He returned ahead of the 2018 season as a walk-on. Stoner had surgeries on both shoulders in high school after tearing the labrum in each shoulder.

Stoner joins three other players who have transferred from Montana: senior running back Jeremy Calhoun announced his intent transfer in December, redshirt sophomore running back Rey Green announced he's transferring to a junior college in December and junior wide receiver Lamarriel Taylor left in October for personal reasons.

Frank Gogola covers Griz football and prep sports for the Missoulian. Follow him on Twitter @FrankGogola or email him at

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