Griz Gameday: Longoria inside (copy)

Former Montana lineman Esai Longoria celebrates after the then-No. 5 ranked Grizzlies beat then-No. 3 Weber State, 35-16, on senior day Nov. 16 in Missoula. Longoria is grad transferring to Montana Tech for his final season of eligibility.

MISSOULA — Former Montana Grizzly Esai Longoria is staying in the state for his final season of eligibility by grad transferring to Montana Tech.

Longoria played in seven games over three seasons in Missoula after redshirting after as a freshman. He was a defensive lineman for three years and an offensive lineman for one season, primarily as a scout team player.

Longoria will be suiting up on the interior of the defensive line for the Orediggers. The Caldwell, Idaho, native chose them over offers from other Frontier Conference and Division II teams.

"They made it feel like home," Longoria told "From coach (Kyle) Samson down the staff to the players and other staff, they were all so kind and welcoming. They are giving me the opportunity to return back to defensive line, which is what I was hoping to do so. Most importantly they are giving me the opportunity to further my education, which I’m very grateful for."

He added: "Also gives my parents and family the chance to continue to come to the games."

Longoria originally shared the announcement on Twitter on Monday night.

"So excited for the next chapter!" he tweeted. "Thank you to @CoachKyleSamson and staff for giving me the opportunity to stay in the beautiful state of Montana. Very blessed to be joining the Oredigger family!"


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