Griz football logo (copy)

MISSOULA — Montana added three players to its 2020 recruiting class on Wednesday, bringing its total up to 22 players after signing 17 in December and two in January.

The three players who signed on National Signing Day were Butte Central tight end Matt Simkins, tight end Peyton Brammer from Brush Prairie, Washington, and long snapper Grayson Pibal from Clackamas, Oregon.

Simkins is a 6-foot-4, 190-pound tight end who impressed head coach Bobby Hauck and the coaching staff when he came to Montana to participate in a camp. He had eight touchdowns catches and over 1,000 receiving yards as a four-year varsity player for the Maroons, although his senior season was cut short by injury.

“When he came to camp, he really showed up,” Hauck said in a video posted to Twitter. “He had a great senior year. When you start looking at these guys, their frames, their size, I’m anxious for the future with a lot of these guys including Matt because in a few years, he’s going to be a good-looking guy.”

Brammer is a 6-5, 205-pound tight end who was a 3-star recruit coming out of high school and will move from wide receiver after recovering from knee surgery. He also had known offers from FBS Air Force and FCS schools Jacksonville State, Portland State, Idaho State, Northern Colorado, Columbia, Lehigh and Georgetown.

“I think he’s a steal for us,” Hauck said in the video. “Obviously, he’s got to come off a knee injury and do a bunch of rehab and that. But Peyton’s a guy off his junior film that had a lot of interest in the recruiting process. We’re lucky that he decided to jump in. We’ll see how fast he can come back off of that knee, but we’ve got a plan for that. And we’re really excited to have him.”

Pibal is a 6-3, 205-pound long snapper who’s rated as a 5-star prospect by Rubio Long Snapping. He impressed the Griz at their camp for specialists.

“He was No. 1 out of our camp,” Hauck said in the video. “We had two other guys we liked; I’d say they were 2A and 2B behind him, but he jumped in, and we’re excited about him. It’s funny, you talk to these long snapper guys, they’re kind of like the Australian guys with the punting. They think the game revolves around the punter. You know, the object’s not to punt or long snap. But when you do, you got to be able to do it. We’re glad that we’ve got him.”

In total, Montana has signed 22 players in its 2020 class, eight of which have come from within the state. They brought in four from California, three from Oregon, two from Utah and Washington, and one from Idaho, Hawaii and Texas.

As far as positions, they signed three at wide receiver, cornerback, tight end and offensive line; two at quarterback, defensive line, linebacker and running back; and one at safety and long snapper.

Nineteen of the 22 are high school players, while three are college transfers: Oregon State cornerbacks Trajon Cotton and Omar Hicks Onu, and Saddleback Community College quarterback Robbie Patterson.

Dareon Nash, one of Montana's starting cornerbacks the past two seasons, transferred to Idaho and signed with the Vandals on Wednesday. He played in 36 games and started 24 for the Griz after redshirting as a wide receiver. He tallied 75 tackles, 28 passes defended, 5 interceptions, 1 fumble recovery and 1 tackle for loss at Montana.

Sign up for our Cat-Griz Insider newsletter

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

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

Load comments