Blue and Gold Illustrated

December 2021

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

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Page 34 of 47 DECEMBER 2021 35 FOOTBALL RECRUITING BY MIKE SINGER C hrissy and Mike Montgom- ery took their kids, Luke, Nash and Ryan, to Notre Dame's football game on Oct. 23, a 31-16 triumph for the Fighting Irish over USC. The visit was a special one for a number of reasons. The Montgomerys have fam- ily in the South Bend area and got to tailgate with them several hours before kickoff. Luke and Ryan couldn't stay long though because they had their own ac- tivities to get to as recruits. At 6-foot-5 and 260 pounds, Luke Montgomery is ranked as the nation's No. 7 offensive tackle and No. 82 overall player in the 2023 class by Rivals. Schools are looking at him on both sides of the ball; Notre Dame has offered him on the defensive line. Ryan Montgomery is a class of 2025 quarterback who already holds offers from Georgia Tech, Michigan, Penn State and Tennessee. Both brothers are leaders on their Findlay (Ohio) High team. The biggest highlight of the day was good news that Ryan received. RYAN MONTGOMERY STUNNED BY IRISH OFFER A few days before the visit, Mike and Luke got indication from Notre Dame that Ryan was likely to receive an offer. Notre Dame wanted the Montgomery family to keep it a secret from Ryan so they could deliver the good news to him in person. "That was exactly how we wanted it, too," Mike Montgomery said. "When I heard about the offer, I was shocked and had trouble sleeping that night. I had to wait three or four more days until Ryan would get that news. He had no idea; it was really cool." T h e yo u n ge r Mo n tgo m e ry, wh o stands 6-3, 185 as a freshman, received the offer from the Irish in the locker room a little while before kickoff. "It was a very exciting and surreal mo- ment," Ryan said. "Coach [Tommy] Rees gave me the news, and after that, I talked to Coach [Brian] Kelly. It was great. That was my first time meeting Coach Rees and Coach Kelly, and they are great guys. "They're coaching at such a high level at Notre Dame, so I soak up as much as possible when I talk to those guys." Montgomery became Notre Dame's first offer in the 2025 class. "That's very cool," Ryan said. "I try not to think about it too much. It's awe- some to get the offer, but I'm focusing on my team and trying to get as far as we can in the playoffs." NOTRE DAME A TOP SCHOOL FOR LUKE MONTGOMERY Notre Dame defensive line coach Mike Elston offered Luke Montgomery earlier this year, and the Irish became an instant contender for his services. Montgomery visited Notre Dame for the Virginia Tech game in November 2019 before he had any scholarship offers. He made it to South Bend over the summer and was on campus twice in October for games against Cincinnati and USC. His Oct. 23 visit was another good one, and the Montgomery family spent their Sunday afternoon on campus, too. "The night game was really cool to see," Luke Montgomery said. "Coach Elston, Coach Chad [Bowden], Coach [Marcus] Freeman and Coach [Brian] Kelly were great. I had a film breakdown with Coach Elston on Sunday." Elston and Montgomery went through footage from the previous night's game and highlighted the play of Irish defensive linemen Jayson Ademi- lola and Rylie Mills, who play the three- and five-technique spots. "They can play all over the de- fensive line," Luke said. "I was fo- cusing on them during the game, too, because I would be playing the same position if I go to Notre Dame. Those guys did a great job." A handful of schools have shifted to recruiting Montgom- ery more on the offensive line, especially with the strong play he's had this season. Notre Dame still sees him on the defensive side of the ball but is more than open to him playing offense for the Irish, too. "I'm trying to figure out what my body will be at in a year," he said. "I have no idea what I want to play because I love both positions." Montgomery narrowed down his re- cruitment to Clemson, Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma and Penn State on Nov. 18. 'A TRUE BLESSING' Chrissy and Mike have the honor of saying that two of their children have scholarship offers from Notre Dame. "It's incredible. My wife and I are tick- led pink about it," the elder Montgom- ery said. "It's a true blessing. We're very aware of how big of a deal that is but also how important it is to keep the kids fo- cused on their academics, faith and high school team. We're keenly aware of it be- ing a huge deal, and we're super thankful. "I told Ryan that when he presses send on that tweet, the lights are on. Notre Dame offering is a big, big deal. You can say the same with Michigan and Penn State, but he camped at those two, and this one is neat because it comes after him leading us to a five-game win- ning streak heading into the playoffs. And Luke is his biggest fan and protect- ing him on the offensive line." "I'm super excited for him," Luke said. "He's earned it. Stepping in as the starting quarterback as a freshman is a lot to ask, and he's done a great job. He's a leader on our team already." ✦ Montgomery Family Has Memorable Visit To Notre Dame Notre Dame has been in pursuit of four-star class of 2023 defensive line- man Luke Montgomery (right) and is now after his younger brother, class of 2025 quarterback Ryan Montgomery (left), as well. PHOTO COURTESY MIKE MONTGOMERY

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