Former Montana Griz Football Star Returns to Play Different Sport
His career encapsulates the highs, lows and in-betweens of life as a college football player.
Late in the 2022 season, we said goodbye to University of Montana running back Marcus Knight, who made his presence known in a record setting way in his first year with the program in 2019.
Marcus was a scoring machine during his debut season with the Griz. He lead the Football Championship Subdivision in rushing touchdowns and total touchdowns. He became just the 13th Grizzly to ever rush for 1,000 yards. He is the only Grizzly to ever run for three or more touchdowns in a single game three different times. All in his first season (sophomore) after transferring from a junior college. The future was as bright as could be.
Then the knee injury.
It wasn't bad enough that COVID essentially robbed the Griz and many other teams of a 2020 season. Marcus Knight's injury in January of 2020 during non-contact drills was severe enough that it also negated 2021. He finally returned, still a marquee name with high expectations accompanying him, for the 2022 season.
By then, three other running backs, Nick Ostmo, Xavier Harris and Isaiah Childs, were making names for themselves. A deeper talent pool and lingering injury issues left Marcus near the bottom of the depth chart. Shortly before the 2022 season ended, he left the team and entered the college football transfer portal.
We can only assume that other programs' recruiters were not forming a long line at his front door. And what many Griz fans might not know is that Marcus Knight was a Division I lacrosse prospect coming out of high school. So, maybe the next decision wasn't as surprising as it first might sound.
For now, Marcus, whose academic achievements have been remarkable as a scholar-athlete at UM, is a Montana Grizzly lacrosse player. And while the team is not a sanctioned varsity program at the university, the Griz are a force at the Division II level of the men's Collegiate Lacrosse Association, a team that made it to the national semifinals a year ago.
The Men’s Collegiate Lacrosse Association governs club-level lacrosse across the U.S. Montana won two games at the national tourney last year, finally to Rhode Island in semis. The Griz finished the season ranked Number 4 nationally in the division.
The program is thrilled to have him, and while it was a circuitous route, it's nice to know that Marcus still has the heart of a Grizzly.
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