6-foot-6, 255 pounds in high school? That’s the kind of size ECU’s most recent 2015 commit, Lake Dallas offensive tackle Dalton Montgomery, brings to the table. Montgomery pledged to the Pirates on Dec. 30 making him the newest member of the class and he is the tallest member by three inches.
Another thing that sets Montgomery apart is his intellect. Academics are a huge part of his life and he currently ranks No. 1 in his class. When asked about his commitment to the Pirates Montgomery gave such well-rounded answers it would be foolish not to transcribe them all.
Below are the answers he provided:
On how he committed to ECU:
I called offensive line coach Brandon Jones on Dec. 30. He and the team were already in Birmingham getting ready for their bowl game. I believe he thought I was calling simply to confirm my parent's plane itinerary for my official visit; however I had greater news in store. Toward the end of the call I told him that I was ready to be a Pirate. I said that when I came for my visit, I didn't want it to be a time in which I was evaluating ECU and Greenville, but instead a time in which I was celebrating my home for the next five or more years of my life. I was ready to verbally commit. It was great to be able to hear the excitement in his, Coach (Lincoln) Riley's, and Coach (Dave) Nichol's voices, as the phone was passed around the room. It made me feel as if I was instantly a part of the Pirate family.
On what went into the decision:
While numerous factors went into me deciding on ECU, there were a few that really stood out in my eyes. First off, the coaching staff is top notch. Coach Jones was able to fly out to one of my games, and Coach Nichol and Coach Riley both stopped by for a in-home visit. They all seemed like great men to play for. On top of this, Coach (Ruffin) McNeill already had a reputation in my household as not only a great coach, but a great man as well. We heard about Coach McNeill due to his work at Texas Tech and the way he conducted and continues to conduct himself on a regular basis. This kind of a coaching staff produces great seasons like the Pirates had this year. Secondly, the fans are unbelievable. Pirate Nation is insane. I don't think there is another college team in America that has fans THAT passionate for their team. I will feel honored every time I get the chance to play in front of all those loyal individuals in Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium. Lastly, ECU is a place where I feel I can be successful academically. I am currently first in my class, so academics are extremely important to me. I will probably major in Biology. I know I want to pick up all the prerequisites for medical or dental school. The fact that ECU has both of those schools right there is just icing on the cake for me.
On committing without a visit:
Because ECU is a great program, I heard of ECU football before I received my offer, but in all honesty, I did not know much about the school itself. Having never been to ECU before, I did a massive amount of research before committing. I made sure that ECU was a place in which I felt I could thrive not only as an athlete, but also as a student, and a man. I’m extremely excited to finally get on campus during my official visit on January 16.
On the chance of decomittment:
I do not even see decommitting as a possible option. I want to be a Pirate. I'm ready to bleed purple and gold. Before the next level, I would love to put on some healthy weight while improving my footwork and maintaining my drive and speed. I’m doing everything to eat the right foods and put the necessary amount of time and work in the weight room to achieve that. Coach Riley told me to not get discouraged, just to keep at it. He said that once I got to ECU, I could get up to 285 in my first year easy by working with the strength and conditioning coach. I am extremely excited for what my future as a Pirate has in store.
Montgomery is a solid offensive lineman with tremendous upside. Strength and conditioning coach Jeff Connors will have no problem building on his frame and preparing him for his career. ECU was his only offer, but he drew interest from Dartmouth, Davidson and Rice.