Big Sky Conference

Former Griz QB Jensen chooses Fullerton College

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MISSOULA — During his two years in Missoula, Gresch Jensen was one of the relatively few Grizzlies over the last 25 years to never taste the postseason.

The former Montana FCS Freshman All-American quarterback will join the national’s most dominant junior college program. On Saturday, the third-year sophomore from Auburn, Washington announced he will transfer to Fullerton College of the California Community College Athletic Association, the two-time reigning junior college national champions.

Griz sophomore quarterback Gresch Jensen makes a pass during a spring practice drill in Washington-Grizzly Stadium on March 5, 2018/ by Lacey Young

The 6-foot-2, 220-pound Jensen broke into Montana’s starting lineup last season after senior Reese Phillips suffered a season-ending broken ankle. Jensen ended up starting seven games, completing 60.2 percent of his passes for 2,531 yards (253.1 yards per game) and 20 touchdowns compared to 10 interceptions. He earned national FCS Freshman All-American honors from Hero Sports during his lone season playing at Montana.

Jensen posted a 4-3 record as Montana’s starter as the Griz finished 7-4, missing the FCS playoffs for the second straight year. UM had not missed the playoffs in consecutive seasons since 1991 and 1992 before last season.

The quarterback was actively vocal on social media following the non-renewal of Bob Stitt’s contract after three years at the helm. Jensen came to Montana to play for the heralded offensive mind, breaking into the starting lineup earlier than most expected and performing as well as any freshman Griz quarterback in program history.

Last season, Jensen threw for the top five passing yard totals by a Griz freshman in UM history. He holds six of the Top 10 passing yardage totals for a rookie at Montana. He threw an 80-yard non-touchdown pass to Samori Toure in his debut against Savannah State, the longest non-touchdown pass in UM history. He also threw an 81-yard touchdown pass to Toure in a loss to Weber State, the seventh-longest touchdown pass in school history. He threw for 423 yards in Montana’s homecoming win over North Dakota, the 19th-most yards passing in a single game by a Griz.

With Stitt’s non-renewal and the hiring of Bobby Hauck for his second stint with the Griz, Jensen faced internal competition for the starting job throughout spring football practices. Hauck and offensive coordinator Timm Rosenbach added former UNLV and Fort Scott CC quarterback Dalton Snead to the fold to push Jensen. As spring ball progressed, Snead seemed to improve practice by practice while Jensen never looked comfortable.

Snead took the bulk of the first-team repetitions in Montana’s spring game on April 14. On April 23, Jensen declared he wanted his scholarship release from Montana so he could pursue transfer opportunities.

Since that decision, Hauck has added former Boise State and Saddleback College transfer Cameron Humphrey and former Alabama walk-on Wheeler Harris to Montana’s quarterback position.

Montana stokes quarterback competition with JC transfer Humphrey

Last season, Fullerton College had one of the most explosive offenses in all of college football during a 13-0 run to its second straight CCCAA and NJCAA titles. The Hornets averaged 54.2 points and 556 yards per game.Jensen joins a team that has four freshmen quarterbacks listed on last season’s roster. Three different quarterbacks threw for at least 1,000 yards last season, led by sophomore Kane Wilson. Just Ladrius Skelton (1,048 yards, nine touchdowns) was not a returning sophomore, but he is as Southern University this fall. Wilson and fellow sophomore Johnny Feauto both transferred to Division II schools in the off-season.

A total of nine players from the 2017 Fullerton roster were mid-year transfers over the last seven months, the highest ranking transfer being defensive lineman Montre Bonner signing with Memphis. The 2016 Hornets landed 35 players at four-year colleges, including three in the Power 5 of the FBS and six more in the Mountain West.

Jensen will have three years to play three. He redshirted during the 2016 season at Montana.

Photos by Brooks Nuanez, Jason Bacaj and Lacey Young. All Rights Reserved.

About Colter Nuanez

Colter Nuanez is the co-founder and senior writer for Skyline Sports. After spending six years in the newspaper industry with stops at the Missoulian, the Ellensburg Daily Record and the Bozeman Daily Chronicle, the former Washington Newspaper Association Sportswriter of the Year and University of Montana Journalism School graduate ('09) has cultivated a deep passion for sports journalism during his 12 year career covering the Big Sky Conference. In August of 2014, Colter and brother Brooks merged their passions of writing and art to founded Skyline Sports.

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