Soon after the 2014 National Football League Draft ended, a handful of former Grizzly players signed as free-agents with NFL teams.
Brock Coyle signed with the Seattle Seahawks, Danny Kistler signed with the Oakland Raiders, Kjelby Oiland signed with the Houston Texans, and William Poehls signed with the Tennessee Titans.
Coyle, a 6-foot-2 linebacker, said he’s thrilled to have the opportunity to play for the Seahawks.
“This whole experience is just crazy,” Coyle said. “I’m so excited to be on the Seahawks, and go to Seattle to work hard and prove to the organization that I’m a great player.”
The Bozeman native finished his career ranked 11th in school history with 293 career tackles, and played in 52 career games. He led the Griz in total tackles as a junior and senior. Coyle said the prospect of playing on the Super Bowl champions’ defense is just awesome.
“They’re just obviously an amazing defense,” Coyle said. “They play very hard, and I really like their linebacker coach, Ken Norton Jr. When I was on my visit there, I really liked Ken, their defensive coordinator, their GM — everybody. They really took the time to talk to me when I was there.”
Soon after Coyle signed, three former UM offensive lineman committed to NFL teams. Poehls, a 6-foot-8, 340 pound guard, signed with the Titans.
“It was stressful and exciting at the same time,” Poehls said. “Once I signed with the Titans it was a huge relief to know where I’m going. I can’t wait to get back to football and see what God has planned for me on my path in the NFL.”
The Chandler, Ariz. native was a two-year starter who played in 45 career games, and started 27 contests. In 2013, Poehls was picked to second team All-Big Sky.
Kistler, a 6-foot-8, 315 pound offensive tackle, signed with the Raiders.
“I think excited is an understatement at this point,” Kistler said. “I’m truly blessed to be with a storied franchise like the Oakland Raiders. It’s an unbelievable thing.”
Kistler was a three-year starter at tackle and guard, and played in 48 career games, with 42 career starts. The Seattle, Wash. native said the Rams and Texans also showed a lot of interest in signing him.
“Once the draft ended, obviously I was disappointed at first,” he said. “But the calls came in so quickly, that I couldn’t be upset. I’m blessed to be able to go to learn from (offensive line coach) Tony Sparano. He’s one of the best, if not the best.
Kistler was a first team All-Big Sky selection for the second straight season in 2013, and played in the 89th annual East-West Shrine game a few months ago.
“I truly believe I can reach my full potential, and succeed and ultimately be a star in the NFL,” Kistler added.
Oiland, a Spokane, Wash. native, signed with Texans.
Oiland was a three year starter at UM, and played center his final two seasons. He transferred from UNLV after his freshman year, where he recorded six tackles as a defensive lineman.
— Montana Sports Information