“It definitely wasn't an easy decision because I love everything about my experience at Montana.”

Those are the words of University of Montana Grizzly football player Jacob McGourin. But with academic achievements far outpacing eligibility, a painstaking decision had to be made about the rest of his playing career. And injuries don't care if you still have lots to contribute on the field.

Eligibility-wise, Jacob was set to enter just his junior season this fall. UM Sports Information Director Eric Taber shared the news with us that, after suffering a knee injury during spring ball, the starting defensive end has decided to retire. The last uniform he will wear as a Griz will be a cap and gown next month.

As Jacob begins rehabbing a torn ACL, he is also starting the application process for law school, either at UM or Gonzaga, which is near his hometown of Cheney, Washington.

Jacob boasts a 3.5 GPA and two-time Academic All-Big Sky honors. In terms of his sensational achievements as a student, he’s already at the end of his senior year, and will participate in the spring commencement ceremony May 13, with a bachelor of science in management and entrepreneurship from the UM College of Business

While it was undoubtedly difficult to walk away from the team he loves, imagine facing the prospect of undergoing rehab for a year then trying to balance the rigors of law school and the demands of college football.

A kid of character who puts the "student" in student-athlete will surely be missed. And he will miss the Griz, too. As Jacob puts it, “I'm just really thankful for everybody that allowed me to come here and play. It was one of the greatest experiences I'll probably have in my life. I’m very thankful for everything that everybody has done for me here.

"I’m glad I got to be a part of it.”

Griz Nation is, too, #92.

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