MISSOULA, Mont. — UM football receiver and return specialist Junior Bergen of Billings has been named to the Athlon sports preseason FCS all-American team as a punt returner.
The following is a press release from UM Athletics:
Montana’s dynamic receiver and return man Junior Bergen of Billings has been named to the Athlon Sports Preseason FCS All-America team as a punt returner, the publication announced Wednesday.
Bergen, who capped the 2022 season with a place on three different All-America lists, is one of just five players from the Big Sky Conference named to the 2023 Athlon Sports preseason team.
The rising junior returned 22 punts for 327 yards and two touchdowns as a sophomore, with a season-long return of 72 yards against Portland State.
One of those punt return touchdowns came in the FCS playoffs, where he helped the Griz erase a 21-point third-quarter deficit against Southeast Missouri, taking a 58-yard return to the house to tie the game.
He earned second-team All-America honors following the season as a returner from Stats Perform and Phil Steele Magazine and was named to the HERO Sports Sophomore All-America team. He also earned third-team All-Big Sky honors.
Defending FCS National Champion South Dakota State led the Athlon preseason All-America team with four selections. Receiver Hayden Hatten of Idaho, tight end Marshel Martin of Sac State, DB Maxwell Anderson and kickoff returner Abraham Williams of Weber State were the other selections from the Big Sky.
Athlon’s is the first of several preseason All-America teams to be published in the offseason.
Earlier in the spring, Athlon placed Montana at No. 10 in its preseason FCS top-25, the third-highest ranked of six Big Sky Conference teams.