MISSOULA — Until National Letters of Intent are signed, college coaches are forbidden from publicly discussing recruits.
That rule applies even when a coach's son is the prospect.
As Nick Germer signed his NLI in the friendly confines of Sentinel's gym on Wednesday, his dad, Chad — Montana's offensive line coach — could finally talk openly about his son.
"As any dad could relate, it's obviously almost surreal," Chad said. "It's an awesome deal, more so that I get to be part of it and get to be around and be a close observer as he goes through his college career.
"It's going be a lot of fun. It'll really sink in when he runs out on the field for the first time. Seeing him do that will be quite a pleasure."
When Nick committed back in April, all Chad could tweet was a graphic saying, "Griz Family."
"It's great," Nick said of having the opportunity to play for the same team his dad coaches. "Also, I know he's going to be on me for every single second of the day. There's highs and lows about it."
Chad won't be Nick's position coach, though.
Nick is a 6-foot-2, 175-pound wide receiver. Chad coaches the offensive linemen.
Even though Nick won't be under his dad's direct tutelage — and never has been — Chad's still given his son advice.
"He's given me tips here and there but with the way I've grown up, I've always been the tall, lengthy kid," Nick said, smiling. "I haven't been an O-lineman so he can't really give me tips about being an O-lineman."
There's another link between the two Germer men too.
Chad played for Montana from 1989-1991.
By the end of Chad's career, the Three Forks native was an All-American and started in 36 consecutive games. Former coach Don Read called Chad "one of the three great centers" he coached. The other two — Chuck Bradley and Fred Quillen — went on to play in the NFL.
"I know my dad was a great player back in the day," Nick said. "It's gonna make me have high expectations for myself to be like him back in the day. It's going to be a great time."
Nick's self-imposed high expectations have already taken root.
As a Spartan, he was an all-state honorable mention honoree as a junior. As a senior, the Sentinel captain earned a nod as a second-team all-state wide receiver.
"He embodies the student athlete we look for," Sentinel football coach Dane Oliver said. "He's a great public speaker, comes from a great family, takes AP classes and he's a tremendous athlete on the football field. Just that leadership and providing hope for those younger kids that when you do the right things on and off the field, there's a reward for it."
That reward: playing football at the next level. In Nick's case, playing football for a Division I team.
At that next level, Nick has some goals, both personal and team-oriented.
"Just to be the best team player I can, no matter what," Nick said. " (And) lead us to getting those Big Sky championships and national championships and, of course, beating the Cats."
And for the next foreseeable future, he'll be aspiring to achieve those goals alongside his dad.