Griz Football Adds Two Transfer Students - News, Sports and Weather

Griz Football Adds Two Transfer Students

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The Montana Grizzlies have kick started the recruitment season early this year, adding two transfer student-athletes to the 2016 roster, who will arrive in Missoula and be eligible to compete in spring camp.

Linebacker James Banks will join the Griz as a transfer from the University of Alabama-Birmingham, who notably disbanded its football program last year. Joining Banks is Blinn College (Texas) transfer wide receiver James Homan, who will enter his junior year at Montana.

Banks, a 6-1, 225 pound junior originally from Junction City, Oregon, comes to Montana from UAB, and the New Mexico Military Institute, where he spent his freshman year.

No stranger to the Griz, Banks played high school ball with current UM linebacker Connor Strahm and defensive end Mike Ralston at Sheldon High in Eugene.

“He’s a tremendous athlete,” said UM recruiting coordinator Justin Green of Banks.

“He’s really put himself in a great position to be, what I think is going to be a great leader, a great mentor to our younger linebackers, and a guy who’s really been through some stuff that will make him the linebacker he’s going to be.”

“He’s very physical, very hands-on. Academically he’s very smart. He’ll probably have one of the higher GPAs on our team. I think he’ll mesh well too, because he played with Connor (Strahm) and Mike (Ralston) in Oregon. I’m excited for his opportunity.

Banks recorded nine tackles in 2014 as a sophomore at UAB, including a sack, a pass breakup, a quarterback hit and fumble recovery.

“If anybody is going to play in the linebacker position on our team he’s got to be physical, and he’s a hard-hitting guy,” added Coach Green. “I think his smarts off the field also show themselves on the field. He finds himself in the right place at the right time, as you watch him on film, and I think he’s going to be a great addition to what we currently have.”

James Homan has also signed with the Grizzlies as a midyear junior college transfer from Blinn College, the same school where Auburn Heisman Trophy winner and current NFL star Cam Newton got his start in college football. Blinn has seen over 40 alumni go on to play in the NFL.

Homan, a 6-2, 175 pound receiver originally from Brenham, Texas, played in 13 games for the Buccaneers over two seasons, and tied for second on the team in receptions (25) for 273 yards and a pair of touchdowns his sophomore year. He also earned Dean’s List honors at Blinn.

“He’s another good academic guy as well,” said Coach Green. “He brings a very unique thing as far as being able to win the one-on-one matchups. When you watch his film, you see that he wins a ton of one-on-one situations. He also has the versatility to play inside or outside. Playing in that league (at Blinn), you’re playing against SEC guys, and guys that are playing in the Big 10 and Big 12, and he does an awesome job at beating them.

“I’m very impressed with what he’s done in his career at Blinn, and excited for his opportunity here.”

The Montana Grizzlies will announce its complete 2016 recruiting class on February 3, 2016.

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