MISSOULA — Sophomore wide receiver Samori Toure turned on the jets last season, racking up 553 yards receiving on 31 catches.
That mark was good enough for third on the team, behind Jerry Louie-McGee and Keenan Curran — who both have previously donned Toure's current jersey in No. 82.
With one season under his belt, he already owns a Montana program record: his 80-yard reception against Savannah State is the longest catch without scoring a touchdown. His name's in the record book three more times, too: ninth longest catch (81 yards versus Weber State), 10th longest catch (the Savannah State grab) and 33rd longest catch (71-yard grab against Idaho State).
The Portland native only started in one game last year — the Portland State game that was played just outside his hometown — but suited up in all 11, playing a big part in Montana's aerial assault.
The sophomore is ready for more when his second season starts on Saturday against No. 13 Northern Iowa.
Q: You've been named a starter for Saturday. How excited are you for that?
"I'm very excited. It's been a long time. I've been here for a while, even though I've only technically played one season, but I'm just really excited. I'm ready to go."
Q: What are your initial thoughts on Northern Iowa?
"I think they're a really good team. They've always been a strong program. We definitely have our hands full with them. I'm just excited because it's going to be a good matchup. It's a night game. Everyone's going to be out. I'm so excited."
Q: When did you start playing football?
"I started playing football in the third grade. In Oregon, that's the earliest you can play football, except if you have a dad coaching you can play in second grade, but my dad didn't coach, so I had to wait until third grade."
Q: What position did you play?
"I played running back when I first started. I played running back third and fourth grade and then I moved to receiver in fifth grade. I've been a receiver ever since."
Q: What's it like playing for Coach Hauck?
"Coach Hauck, it's really good playing for him because he's not just about turning you into the best player you can be, but he's about turning you into the best person you can be off the field as well. That's something I've really noticed about him. He really cares about us as people off the field. That's just something that can make us all more successful in life."
Q: What's your major and how did you choose it?
"I'm majoring in communication studies. I just chose it because that's something I've always been really good at. Whether it's verbal or nonverbal communication, I've been really good at reading people and accurately telling people how I feel about certain situations, so I just feel like that's something I can be good at."
Q: What's your favorite spot in Missoula?
"Favorite spot in Missoula has to be, other than my house, the movie theater. I like to go see movies. That's always been something I've done, whether that's at home or out here. Especially the new movie theater, too. They serve you food and whatnot. I really like it there."
Q: What's your favorite movie you've seen lately?
"Probably 'Equalizer 2' with Denzel Washington. I saw it with my dad like a couple weeks ago. It was a really good movie."
Q: What is next up in your Netlfix/Hulu queue?
"Right now, I've been on an HBO kick lately. I've been watching 'Hard Knocks' a lot, but next up is a show called 'The Shop.' It's Odell Beckham, LeBron (James), Draymond Green, all them at a barbershop just talking. I've been wanting to watch that."
Q: What's your go-to pregame pump-up song?
"That's a tough one. I put everything on shuffle, but I have to say anything by Chief Keef gets me hyped up."
Q: Any hobbies outside of football?
"I really like playing video games. Watch movies. I'm really passionate about music. I listen to music all the time. Other than that, anything to do with my friends, bowling, just anything. I'm a laid back guy. I don't go out and do stuff a lot, usually I'm just at the house hanging out."
Q: Any hidden talents?
"I can juggle. Definitely. It made my hand-eye coordination better for receiver. I sing, but I'm not a good singer, but I'll still sing. Other than that, not really."
Q: Who's your favorite professional athlete?
"That's a tough one. I'm going to go with Antonio Brown, just because I follow him on everything and he's literally working out every single day. It's crazy. That's what it takes to go to the next level so that's something that really inspires me."
Q: Why No. 82?
"Originally, that was just the number I got. But I realized that Jerry (Louie-McGee) had that number, Keenan (Curran) had that number. It's been getting passed down. I've just stuck with it. Everyone was telling me like, 'Switch your number' because they want to keep passing it down. They thought I should get a more attractive number or whatever, and I was open to changing my number, but once everyone started telling me to change my number, I was like, 'No. I'm not changing my number just because everyone else is telling me to.' So I'm keeping it for now. But we'll see in the next couple years. I don't know."
Q: What are your goals for the next three years?
"First of all, get my degree. Beat the Cats the rest of my years. Get a Big Sky championship and get a national championship."