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The Griz offensive and defensive lines collide during the start of a play during a scrimmage.

Rebekah Welch, Missoulian

MISSOULA — Tyler Ganoung hasn't yet been to a football game in Washington-Grizzly Stadium, but he announced his commitment to Montana on Sunday anyway.

What he saw and felt when he came up on his junior day over the summer and then on his unofficial visit was enough. 

"I really like the atmosphere," Ganoung told 406mtsports.com in a phone call on Sunday evening. "The facilities were awesome. I saw pictures of the new building they've made. I really liked it. It really holds up with all the bigger schools and I just really liked it overall.

"I can't wait to be a part of that."

Ganoung, a 6-foot-4, 319-pound offensive lineman from Portland, Oregon, announced his commitment via Twitter on Sunday evening.

"I would like to start off by thanking my mom and dad for being there for me every step of the way, and every school that has been recruiting me," Ganoung said in his tweet. "I'd also like to thank all my coaches (from Sunset, Prairie, and also Alex Linnenkohl) for teaching me everything I know, but special thanks to Coach Merrick and the Sunset coaching staff for welcoming me with open arms into their program for my senior year. I've been thinking long and hard and have decided I wouldn't want to spend my next four years anywhere else and am ... verbally committing to the University of Montana!"

Ganoung, even though he hasn't been to a Montana game in Missoula, said he'll be at the Northern Arizona game on Nov. 4 and was at UM's win against Portland State in Hillsboro, Oregon, two weeks ago. 

He's already been up to Missoula for junior day and his unofficial visit. 

Montana offered Ganoung on Oct. 10 and after talking with family members, he decided to not prolong his recruitment process any longer.

"Me and my family have been thinking it over," Ganoung said. "When I've been down there, I really like the school. I really like the coaching staff and some of the players on the team. I decided that it'd be the best fit for me.

"I'm very excited. I've been working for this for years now and now that it's finally here, it's like a weight's been lifted off of my shoulders. I'm ready to perform for the rest of my senior season and go out and play for the Griz."

Ganoung is a 2-star offensive tackle, according to 247Sports, and moved to Portland from Vancouver, Washington, for his senior season. Ganoung currently lines up as a tackle for 5-2 Sunset High School, but he said he'll be moving back to guard when he gets to UM.

Montana isn't the only school that's been in contact with Ganoung. He said the other top two schools that have been communicating with him were Washington State and Portland State.

"I've been talking to several other ones around the country, but nothing really has gone anywhere with them."

Ganoung said one of the things he liked best about the recruiting process with Montana is that coach Bob Stitt was straight up with him and his family.

"(I like) how up front Coach Stitt was with everything," Ganoung said. "Some other schools beat around the bush. They told me that they just needed to see some other film from this senior (season). Then (offensive line) Coach (Chad) Germer came down and watched me play. A couple days later, they offered me."

One thing that's stood out to Ganoung, like all other recruits, is the team-first approach that Stitt and Co. have implemented within the Montana program.

"It's a good philosophy, I think, personally," Ganoung said. "I feel like when you have that you can count on the person next to you and on your team instead of having a whole bunch of individuals on the team. I think that's a really good way to build a successful team is having that team-first type of mentality."

Other verbal commits in Montana's 2018 class include: Loyola Sacred Heart's David Koppang, Kalispell Glacier's Jackson Pepe and Drew Turner, Eureka's Garrett Graves, Helena Capital's Conor Quick, Billings Senior's Gabe Sulser, Missoula Sentinel's Nick Germer, Valier's Colten CurryNash Fouch of Woodinville, Washington, Matthew Robinson of San Juan Capistrano, California and Sean Anderson of Buckeye, Arizona.

Amie Just covers Griz football for the Missoulian, among other things. Follow her on Twitter @Amie_Just or email her at Amie.Just@406mtsports.com.

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