MISSOULA — University of Montana quarterback Gresch Jensen is transferring out of the program, the university announced Monday.
Jensen played in 10 games last season as a redshirt freshman, passing for 2,531 yards and 20 touchdowns, after starter Reese Phillips suffered a season-ending ankle and leg injury against Savannah State. Jensen also rushed for 203 yards and six touchdowns.
Jensen, of Auburn, Washington, placed third in the STATS FCS Jerry Rice Award voting — an accolade presented annually to the FCS' national freshman of the year. He was also honorable mention for the FCS' National Freshman of the Week award four times. Montana awarded him with the team's MVP award at its annual banquet.
"After careful consideration and meeting with the staff, I have decided to pursue other opportunities," Jensen shared on Twitter. "I would like to thank the University of Montana, my teammates, fans, staff, and equipment/media personnel for an incredible two years. I look forward to the next chapter."
After careful consideration and meeting with the staff, I have decided to pursue other opportunities. I would like to thank the University of Montana, my teammates, fans, staff, and equipment/media personnel for an incredible two years. I look forward to the next chapter.— Gresch Jensen (@GreschJensen) April 23, 2018
Jensen is arguably the best freshman quarterback to ever play for the Grizzlies. Of the 10-best freshman quarterback passing performances in school history, Jensen accounts for six of them — including the top five.
Jensen's name is in the record books in other categories too. His 80-yard non-touchdown pass to Samori Toure against Savannah State is the longest non-scoring pass play in school history. Jensen's 81-yard touchdown to Toure against Weber State is the seventh-longest passing touchdown in the UM record book. His 423-yard outing against North Dakota tied for the 19th-best game in terms of passing yards in Griz football history.
Jensen's reasoning for leaving the program is unknown at this time. Coach Bobby Hauck said in Monday's news release that he appreciates Jensen's efforts at Montana and wishes him well.
“We think Gresch is a great guy, and hope good things happen for him," Hauck said in the school's news release. "We appreciate his efforts at Montana, and we will help him any way we can in the future."
UNLV quarterback Dalton Sneed transferred to Montana in January and will be a junior in the fall. Montana's other quarterback is redshirt freshman Tanner Wilson from Polson. Other than Phillips, there were two other quarterbacks on last year's roster. Caleb Hill, now a senior, switched positions to tight end and Nathan Dick, a freshman last year, transferred to Rocky Mountain College.
During the spring game earlier this month, Sneed completed 13 of 16 passes for 136 yards and a touchdown while Jensen completed 5 of 9 passes for 123 yards and a score.
This story will be updated.