"It was a real good experience," Montgomery said of his official visit to the Great Lake State. "Michigan is like a big family. Like told you before, I really fell in love with it. I just really fell in love with the place."
That he had such a positive experience despite a weekend-long snow storm may come as a surprise to some, but that's because few predicted how the Wolverine staff would use the fresh powder to its advantage. The less than ideal weather conditions actually created an opportunity to impress the four star talent. Not only did it open the door for a little outdoor fun that included an impromptu snowball fight, it also allowed Montgomery the chance to get a better feel for Michigan headman Rich Rodriguez.
"I like Coach Rodriguez," the talented youngster said. "He's a down to earth guy… a fun guy… a real guy. Any guy that will jump out in the middle of the snow and make angels is a fun guy to me. But I know he has that switch and he can be an intense guy. I could really see him being my coach over the next four years."
Montgomery's time with Rodriguez was but one of his memorable interactions on the trip. During his many tours he gained a better appreciation for how many people are involved in ensuring the success of the program and its athletes… both on and off the field.
"I met so many people," Montgomery stated. "I met the guy that helps out Coach Tall with the defensive line (Dan Hott). I call him the professor. I met Big Chris (i.e. Michigan recruiting coordinator Chris Singletary). That's my dude right there. All that needs to be said about Big Chris is that's my dude. I got a tour of the business school and met (Director, Undergraduate Student Affairs, Rob Koonce). He talked to me a lot about the different areas I could go into. I met with (academic advisor) Ms. Shari (Acho). She could be like my second mother. They make sure that you stay on the right path academically. I was really impressed with that. Plus I met the crazy man in the weight room and all of his insane exercises."
That familiar description of S&C coach Mike Barwis is a sign that he made his customary imprint on the visit. Montgomery actually sees Michigan's energetic strength guru as sort of a kindred spirit.
"It was a good experience meeting him, but I didn't get a chance to show my true colors that day," he said regretfully. "I think that my intensity can match his intensity and we can be great friends. His weight lifting tactics might beat my butt for the first couple of months, but I'd catch onto it. I respect him. He knows a lot about the human body and I like that. I don't think I'm going to find too many people that know more than him about the human body. He knows what he talking about."
As fulfilling as all of his dealings with the coaches and faculty were, Montgomery was truly blown away by how easily connected with the players.
"That team is a family," said Montgomery. "Michigan has a true brotherhood. I already felt like I was a part of it. I met so many players. There are too many to name, but I know a lot of them. One of the guys I really got to know though was (Brandon Graham). BG was hosting me. BG is just like me. He is silly, man (laughing). I love him. He is a great dude. I really had a lot of fun with him. They were talking about me lining up at defensive end or rush end on the other side of BG. I could definitely see myself doing that. But me and BG didn't really talk about football. We talked about other stuff. I was basically getting advice from him on how to handle different things… not so much college and recruiting… just life in general. Kind of like a big brother little brother thing."
On the strength of such a strong trip, Montgomery made it clear that Michigan is no longer at the bottom of his list of favorites.
"(Michigan) definitely moved up," he reported. "Now everything is back on a level playing field. That proves to me that I really can't have a top list until I go visit all of them because that (Michigan visit) was amazing. I've got to wait (to name a favorite) now. I've got to chill."
Next up on the docket are three more official visit weekends. North Carolina is up first on the 17th, followed by LSU on the 24th, and Tennessee on the 31st. Montgomery hopes to add in a visit to Oregon in the middle of one of the next three weeks.