GROVELAND – It’s never been an issue about having the look the part of a BCS-level prospect for South Lake linebacker Jordan Montgomery. That has been the case ever since the 6-1, 197-pound Montgomery joined the South Lake varsity side in the spring of 2009.
However, the rising senior prospect is now starting to play like a big-time linebacker prospect as well. He’s more aggressive than he was a year ago. He seems to have a better feel for the game, and his ability to read, diagnose and fill in run support is light years ahead of where he stood a year ago. There’s still a long way to go in the development of Jordan Montgomery, but there’s a reason he now has offers from multiple SEC institutions, and it doesn’t take long to recognize it when he takes the practice field.
Playing at a new position this year, Montgomery has adjusted quickly to his new spot on the Eagles’ defense.
“It’s always good to learn a new position on the field,” said Montgomery, who will play as a strong-side linebacker in South Lake’s new defensive scheme this year. “I’m just trying to improve there everyday.”
That improvement has been clear, as South Carolina came forward with an offer this week. The Gamecocks join Arkansas and Ole Miss as a SEC programs to come forward with offers for Montgomery. Montgomery currently claims a bench press maximum of 285 pounds. He recorded 80 tackles (12 for loss), along with three passes defended, two sacks and a forced fumble during his junior season in 2009.
Overall, he is pleased with the direction his recruitment is taking.
“I’ve got family in South Carolina,” Montgomery noted. “So I was surprised, and excited about getting that offer.”
Although Montgomery isn’t ready to name favorites just yet, the SEC programs to offer stand out a little more above the crowd at the present time.
“The SEC is the biggest conference out there,” Montgomery said. “That’s where all the big stars come from.”
Now the big question in regards to Montgomery is, what position will he line up at on the next level? His size and athleticism give the school Montgomery chooses some options as to what to do with him on defense. He has the speed (he has been clocked in as fast as 4.52 seconds in the 40-yard dash) to play in the secondary, yet he has the size (Montgomery is now pushing 200 pounds) to potentially play linebacker in college as well.
“Different schools want me to play different positions,” Montgomery said, while noting his current preference is to play safety on the next level. “I just have to find the place that is the right fit for me, and the rest will take care of itself.”
As South Lake spring practice starts to draw to a close, Montgomery is already starting to shape his summer plans, which will include several visits to schools around the country, in an effort to starting narrowing down the recruiting process in time for the start of the season (as Montgomery could have a college decision in before fall camp starts).
“(Teammate) Nick (Waisome) and I are planning a little road trip this summer,” Montgomery said. “To visit all the schools that have offered. Just to see what the campuses are like.”
That tour will also include a stop at Friday Night Lights in Gainesville, where Montgomery has one goal in mind: earn an offer from Florida.
“That’s where all the big-time (prospects) go to compete,” Montgomery said of the camp. “We’ll definitely be there.”