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Griz DE Favoroso leaves Montana football program

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Chris Favoroso is the latest Griz who is moving on from the Montana football program.

The junior defensive end confirmed to Skyline Sports on Friday afternoon that he has asked for and been granted his release from UM.

In his lone year with the Grizzlies, the 6-foot-3, 245-pound Port St. Lucie, Florida product started nine games and played in all 11. The former Arizona Western transfer who started his college career at Appalachian State finished his sophomore season with 44 tackles, 13 tackles for loss and six sacks. His sack total was second on the Griz and ranked seventh in the Big Sky Conference. His tackles for loss total ranked fourth on the UM defense and eighth in the conference.

Favoroso is the ninth player confirmed by Skyline Sports that has left Montana this off-season. Following last fall’s 7-4 campaign that ended with a second straight loss to rival Montana State, Montana athletic director Kent Haslam did not renew the contract of head coach Bob Stitt. Bobby Hauck, who served as UM’s head coach from 2003 until 2009, returned to Missoula to take the head coaching job for the second time in December of last year.

Former Montana quarterback Nathan Dick/ by Jason Bacaj, Skyline Sports

A collection of young players recruited by Stitt were the first to leave the UM program. Nathan Dick, the 2016 Montana Gatorade Player of the Year out of Billings Senior, was the first to announce his new destination. The 5-foot-10 dual-threat signal caller transferred to Rocky Mountain College, a Frontier Conference program in his hometown.

Isiahia Banks, a former 3-star safety from Denver who redshirted last season, and Kendall Sweet, a former 2-star outside linebacker from Tulsa, Oklahoma both left the team two days after Dick announced his transfer. Neither has reported finding a new home, although Banks held offers from Colorado, Air Force, Hawaii, Northern Colorado and Montana State before committing to the Griz. Sweet picked UM over Arkansas State, Eastern Michigan, Missouri State and Sam Houston State.

Markell Sanders, a junior cornerback who started 21 games in three seasons at Montana after transferring from Washington State, announced his departure from the program the same day as Banks and Sweet. Sanders notched 28 tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss, an interception and broke up five passes during his junior season. He has not resurfaced on the recruiting scene either.

Before spring football began in March, offensive linemen Payton Stoner and Ashton Torres, both recruited by Stitt, left the UM program. Stoner, a 6-foot-6, 265-pound offensive tackle out of Mt. Carmel High in San Diego, originally committed to San Jose State before flipping to Montana. The former two-star recruit, who redshirted last season, posted on Twitter in April that he will transfer to Golden West College. Torres, a 6-foot-4, 300-pound offensive tackle, earned a 3-star rating during his career at Cherokee Trail in Aurora outside of Denver. He chose Montana over offers from Hawaii, Idaho, Air Force and Northern Colorado.

A pair of veteran offensive players, including the standout quarterback many believed would be the incumbent under center, asked for their releases following spring ball. Gresch Jensen, a Freshman All-American who threw for 2,531 yards and 20 touchdowns in seven starts, left Montana following a heated quarterback competition with transfer Dalton Sneed throughout spring practices. Jensen has not announced where he will play next season.

Cody McCombs, a junior running back out of Billings West, announced his decision to transfer to Rocky Mountain College following UM’s spring game as well. McCombs carried the ball 10 times for 49 yards last season.

The Griz have added a pair of transfers in the last week. Reid Miller, a graduate transfer safety from Arkansas, and Cam Humphrey, a quarterback from Saddleback College who started his career at Boise State, are both expected to report for summer workouts next week.

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 13-year career covering the Big Sky Conference. In August of 2014, Colter and brother Brooks merged their passions of writing and art to found Skyline Sports.

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