Smithwick-Hann commits to Griz
Posted: Wednesday, January 27, 2010 2:00 am | Updated: 4:27 pm, Wed Jan 27, 2010.

Class AA All-State quarterback and Glacier senior Shay Smithwick-Hann has committed to play football for The University of Montana next fall. The 6-foot-4 standout met with incoming head coach Robin Pflugrad and other members of the new Grizzly coaching staff recently and agreed to sign a national letter of intent on Feb. 3, the first day that recruits can officially join a program. Smithwick-Hann threw for more than 1,800 yards and ran for more than 700 yards this past season and helped lead Glacier to a 7-3 regular-season record that put the Wolfpack in the Class AA playoffs for the first time in the school’s three-year history. Both Montana and Montana State offered full-ride scholarships for football, but Smithwick-Hann said in the end playing in Missoula had been a lifelong dream. “Growing up you always watch (the Griz) on TV, you always watch them when they play the ’Cats, you always watch them when they’re in the playoffs,” he said. “They’ve won the Big Sky Conference championship every year this decade. I mean there’s not a better program in the nation than The University of Montana, and that was something I wanted to be a part of. It’s something that you dream of as a little kid, and to just step foot in Washington-Grizzly Stadium has always been a dream of mine. Now it’s going to come true, so I’m pretty excited.” Smithwick-Hann, 18, said he will be given a chance at quarterback but could also see time at tight end, a position his father Jim played at UM in the 1970’s before being drafted in the NFL by the then-St. Louis Cardinals. “The goal for me is to play quarterback,” Smithwick-Hann said. “They feel good about my opportunity to play quarterback ... but they also feel good about me as a tight end in that spread offense. My dad played tight end so the position kind of runs in the family and that would be a fun opportunity. Whatever I can do to get on the field.”

Last season, the Grizzlies had one of the top-ranked offenses in the nation and went 14-1, losing in the title game of the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision. In late December, Pflugrad replaced seven-year head coach Bobby Hauck, who left Montana with a 80-17 overall record and took over head coaching duties at the University of Nevada Las Vegas. Montana currently has five quarterbacks listed on the roster (three seniors and two sophomores).

In three seasons at Glacier, Smithwick-Hann passed for 5,584 yards and 37 touchdowns. Last season, he threw for 1,896 yards and nine touchdowns and had 724 yards rushing with 13 scores. He also is currently leading the boys varsity basketball team in scoring with roughly 19 points-per-game. “A lot of the credit goes to my parents and my sister Grier and (Glacier head football coach) Grady Bennett, just the way they brought me up and the things they’ve done for me to get me to the point where I am,” Smithwick-Hann said. “I have great people around me, all the credit goes out to those people.”

Griz go ‘physical’ with 19 recruits

Posted: Thursday, February 4, 2010 2:00 am | Updated: The Daily Inter Lake

First-year head football coach Robin Pflugrad unveiled the newest recruiting class for the Montana Grizzlies in Missoula on Wednesday, with two local athletes joining a “physical” class of 19 incoming players. The newest additions to the Griz legacy include Glacier’s Shay Smithwick-Hann and Whitefish’s Derek Crittendon.

“Physical. That word describes this class, which is of course a big part of what Grizzly football is all about,” Pflugrad, who took over for outgoing seven-year coach Bobby Hauck at the start of the year, said in a press release. “The amount of players we signed compared to the number of players who we actually had visit here over the past three weeks is truly amazing. Of course we really won’t know just how good of a recruiting class we have for a year or so, except maybe those offensive linemen who are already here on campus.” All told, the Griz added four offensive linemen, four defensive linemen, three wide receivers, two quarterbacks, two safeties, two linebackers, a running back and a tight end. Three players are coming from junior colleges. Pflugrad said speed was one of the main traits that the new recruiting class was judged on. “We need to get faster, and I think we did with this class,” he said. “When you watched number 80 (graduated senior Marc Mariani) run with the football you can see the speed I am talking about. That is one area — recruiting more team speed, that will always be a goal for myself and our staff, and in any coach and staff for that matter.”

Smithwick-Hann leaves Glacier as the first starting quarterback and continues a local and family legacy by heading to Missoula. His father Jim played tight end at UM (1971-72) while his head coach during high school was Flathead High graduate and former Griz starting quarterback (1988-90) Grady Bennett, the current Glacier head football coach. “He’s the type of kid that you want in your program. He’s going to represent the school well,” Bennett said of Smithwick-Hann. “Montana is getting a winner and just a great young man.”

Montana football signings. The list of players who have signed with the University of Montana:
CJ Atkins, wr, 6-2, 210, College of the Canyons
Alex Bienemann, dt, 6-2, 275, Regis Jesuit HS, Denver
Derek Crittendon, dl, 6-3, 230, Whitefish HS
Sean Haynes, wr, 6-3, 183, Bishop Alemany HS, Los Angeles
Jake Hendrickson, og, 6-3 1/2, 285, Scottsdale CC
Jordan Johnson, qb, 6-1, 185, Sheldon HS, Eugene, Ore.
John Kanongata’a, lb, 5-11, 218, Bellevue (Wash.) HS
Brett Kirschner, rb, 5-10, 207, Bellevue (Wash.) HS
Danny Kistler Jr., ot, 6-3, 335, O’Dea HS, Seattle
William Poehls, ot, 6-8, 286, Chandler (Ariz.) HS
Trevor Poole, dl, 6-5, 275, Ferris HS, Spokane, Wash.
Austin Reifeis, te, 6-3, 230, Eastlake HS, Sammamish, Wash.
Stephen Sabin, og, 6-4, 305, Scottsdale CC
Mitch Saylor, wr, 6-5, 210, Union HS, Camas, Wash.
Shay Smithwick-Hann, qb, 6-4, 215, Glacier HS, Kalispell
Taylor Tuliaupupu, lb, 6-0, 225, Claremont HS, LaVerne, Calif.
Bo Tully, s, 6-2, 185, Mead HS, Spokane, Wash.
Zach Wagenmann, de, 6-3 1/2, 210, Sentinel HS, Missoula
Justin Whitted, s, 6-1, 175, St. Bernard HS, Los Angeles