Big Sky ConferenceMontana Grizzlies


Montana Griz prospects Patrick O'Connell, Justin Ford put skills on display at 77th Hula Bowl

Posted at 9:58 AM, Jan 18, 2023

MISSOULA — Representing the Montana Grizzlies at the 77th Hula Bowl in Orlando, Florida, Justin Ford and Patrick O'Connell had solid performances Saturday at FBC Mortgate Stadium.

O'Connell, a linebacker from Kalispell, had a team-high four solo tackles, tying for the second most in the game. O'Connell saw most of his playing time in the first half, playing for Team Kai coached by Brian Billick.

Ford, a cornerback from Concord, N.C., led all players with a game-high three pass breakups. According to a University of Montana press release, Ford reportedly met with NFL teams during the week in the leadup to the game, including the Steelers, Eagles, Bills, and Bears.

O'Connell is expected to remain in Orlando for his pre-draft training, working out Tom Shaw Performance. He is rated as a potential 7th-round pick or high-priority free agent, according to UM.

Both O'Connell and Ford are scheduled to return to Missoula for Montana's pro day, tentatively scheduled for early April.

The Hula Bowl is an annual college all-star game, giving players exposure to professional football scouts.