Football is back in Missoula this Friday when the defending Big Sky Conference champion Montana Grizzlies hit the gridiron for the annual Spring Game.

Griz Football Sports Information Director Eric Taber is here to tell us about the storylines and players to watch for heading into Spring.

Which position group is most compelling?

Last year the Griz had depth at nearly every position. Multiple quarterbacks could play, a balanced backfield, a plethora of wide receivers, a deep offensive line, the best linebacking core in the conference and a ball-hawking secondary. So what group is going to be under a microscope this year? Taber says quarterbacks, of course.

"I think people tell you the quarterback position is most compelling," said Taber. "I don't necessarily agree with that all the time, but I do think quarterbacks are compelling this year."

Taber laid out the three top guys in the quarterback position. Redshirt Freshman and Griz Legacy Keali'i Ah Yat has a lot of people's attention after just a few games played last year. Logan Fife will bring Mountain West level experience to the team and Sam Vidlak returns after starting the year at quarterback a season ago.

They are three favorites for sure, but Taber also pointed out how valuable this spring game can be for young guys, especially quarterback Kaden Huot. 

"Some young guys can look really good and get some valuable experience," said Taber.

The other position group pointed out by Taber was the offensive line. Taber referenced losing multiple all-Big Sky Conference offensive linemen - AJ Forbes and Chris Walker - but said they reloaded and the line will be a "strength of the team."

Read more: Griz Football Names New Defensive Coordinator(s)

A player expected to take a significant step forward...

Sticking with the offensive line theme, Taber believes Liam Brown will take a leap forward.

"Liam Brown has been a guy who's bounced back and forth between a starter and backup role. He's big now. He's put on some weight and is strong as a country ox," Taber described the 6-5 Redshirt Junior.

There is some important versatility in Brown's arsenal. He proved last year, playing in 11 games, that he can play at a high level at any of the five line positions.

A newcomer expected to make an immediate impact...

The Griz added several transfers this season. Some that will make an impact, so I asked Taber who he believes will make the biggest impact on the team.

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Linebacker Vai Kaho

Kaho, originally from Reno, Nevada, transferred in from San Diego State. During four seasons with the Aztecs, Kaho played in 41 games and racked up 37 tackles.

"He's a unit, man. He's big. He's fast and he runs downhill." He's gonna be one of the leaders in that linebacker role," said Taber.

The Spring Game is scheduled for Friday, April 12 at 6 p.m. Taber said you can expect a lot of different looks and players rotating frequently.

Oh, and don't expect Coach Hauck to reveal too much of the playbook.

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Gallery Credit: Dave Roberts

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