2011 Intro: Montese Overton

WINTERVILLE, N.C. --- South Central had its first winning football season in school history, last fall. The main reason for the improvement was a strong defense, led by linebacker Montese Overton.

"He's an athlete that has the ability to do a lot of different things," South Central head coach Walt Davis said. "He's a 6-3, 215-pound athlete that can run… When I sit down with college coaches they talk about when the ball is snapped [Overton] doesn't stop until the play is over."

After six seasons of mediocrity, South Central went 8-4. The defense allowed 15 points per-game – ten points better than any of its six previous seasons. Overton ended the season with 62 tackles and six sacks.

Overton started the season at outside linebacker in South Central's 3-4 defense. Eight games in, though, he was moved inside.

"We had an injury or two; one of our kids hurt his groin and wasn't able to move as much," Davis said. "We felt like we needed to get a little more speed on the inside. It worked out well for us. The biggest reason we moved [Overton] was so he didn't have one side of the field to play. By playing in the middle, he could play both sides."

At both positions, Overton was asked to drop into coverage or rush the quarterback, in addition to his run responsibilities.

"He can drop in the flats, he can drop in the curl zone, or he can rush the passer," Davis said. "We like to have him rushing, because he's relentless when chasing the quarterback, which helps us."

On the collegiate level, Davis believes Overton is capable of playing any linebacking position and also strong safety in the right scheme. However, Davis feels Overton's best fit is weak-side outside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme.

"I think he's still a raw talent that has to continue to improve on technique and fundamentals – when he gets to college that's going to be his biggest thing he has to improve on," David said. "…Plus, he has a body he could put 25 or 30 more pounds on."

Overton is being recruited by schools throughout the nation, including Arkansas, Alabama, East Carolina, NC State, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Oregon, Tennessee, and UCLA.

UNC has verbally offered Overton, while East Carolina put an official offer on the table before Skip Holtz left for South Florida.

"Now they're going back and doing a reevaluation now that Coach Ruffin [McNeill] has come in," Davis said of ECU. "…Ruffin has been so busy with everything that he hasn't come back out and talked with me. As far as I know, from what they've told me, everything was still a go."

Most schools, most notably Arkansas and Notre Dame, are prepared to offer Overton. They are waiting to see him in-person during the Evaluation Period first before pulling the trigger, according to Davis.

Overton hasn't taken any recruiting trips, yet. With his basketball season now concluded, he plans to attend upcoming junior days at East Carolina, UNC, and NC State. He's also working on trips to several out-of-state schools with Arkansas, Notre Dame, and Oregon among those under consideration.

Overton plans on waiting until after his senior football to make a verbal commitment.

"I want to see who all is going to offer me," Overton said. "I'll probably find the five schools that I really like and just choose from there."

Overton, who grew up Texas fan but isn't being recruited by the Longhorns, says he doesn't have any favorite schools.

Following the football season, Overton helped South Central reach the NCHSAA regional finals. On the season, he averaged 12 points, six rebounds, and two blocks a game. He also runs the 100- and 200-meter dash.

Montese Overton Profile

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