Gone from the Griz secondary are Nate Harris and Justin Whitted, who started at cornerback and safety for multiple seasons at Montana. But the secondary does boast plenty of talent, including three Pac-12 transfers.
"I feel like we may have a slight advantage coming form a Pac-12 division, but on game day, all that goes out the window, it's just about making plays," says senior safety Yamen Sanders.
"Athletic ability, we will be exceptional. But do those guys gel together, do they communicate well, will they mesh and be great teammates. That's the thing that's unanswered, and the thing we as coaches need to do a great job of facilitating because the ability will be there, but there's a lot of great players. That doesn't mean you'll be a great team," says Griz defensive coordinator Jason Semore.
While Yamen Sanders started every game at Safety last season, as did corner JR Nelson, the Griz are fairly young, especially at cornerback.
"They're definitely getting better. The secondary will be amazing. The corners will be great, the safeties will be great, and what is so good is that we are so young. I feel like we will progress so quickly, and that will carry over for years to come," says Sanders.
Without much experience amongst the cornerbacks as a whole, the coaches will look to JR Nelson, as well as former Washington State Transfer Markell Sanders for leadership
"He is a good leader. He's a mature kid. Markell is doing a great job, he's young but he's very mature in how he prepares and practices. His method as far as preparation and working hard is great, so we're very satisfied," says Semore.
Despite only having two returners who started games last season in the secondary, the group is plenty confident going forward.
"The sky is the limit for us. Everyone is out here ready to compete and learn and listen to our coaches. They have a great scheme, they have all the right tools for us, and we just have to go out and execute. Really, it's up to us, what we want to accomplish. I think we have a great group of guys who are ready for anything," says the sophomore cornerback Markell Sanders