John Montelus (Offensive Line, 6'5" 310 pounds)A left tackle at Everett High School (Everett, Mass.), Montelus brings the necessary attitude to compete early -- and finish blocks often -- against BCS-level competition.
Said Montelus of his official trip to campus, one taken in November for Senior Day, seven months after announcing his Irish pledge:
"(Nick Martin) is a great guy," Montelus said of his official host. "I bonded with the whole offensive line. They really love me there. I can't wait until I get down there.
"You can't come to a program where you're going to be the awkward kid, where you don't talk to them. You have to talk to them and be friends with them early. I have his number and I can text him any time I want."
Veterans returning on the Offensive Line: 5th-year seniors Zack Martin (LT) and Chris Watt (LG), redshirt-juniors Christian Lombard (RT), *Tate Nichols (RT) and Bruce Heggie (G), redshirt-sophomores Conor Hanratty (G), Nick Martin (C/T/G), and Matt Hegarty (C/T), redshirt-freshmen Ronnie Stanley (OT) and Mark Harrell ©
*Nichols career remains in question due to a recurring knee injury.
Berk on Montelus Athletic big man with a very bright future along the Irish offensive line as he brings great feet and above average technique for such a young player. Best football is ahead of him and would not be surprised if he gets early looks for playing time in his career.
Dohn on Montelus:When it comes to a road-grader type of blocker, Montelus comes to mind. He's the kind of guard you think of when discussing a guard who can pull and bury a linebacker to create a hole. He moves well and can play center or guard. He plays with strength and is nimble. Well, as nimble as a 300-pound offensive lineman can be.
O'Malley's Initial SlottingLeft guard behind 5th-year senior Chris Watt. Like Watt, Montelus is a mauler at the point of attack. Like Watt, he explodes from his stance in the run game, and like Watt, he seems to enjoy inflicting as much punishment as possible at the tail end of every assignment.
At least three, if not four backup positions are up for grabs this spring, summer, and early fall: one of two tackle spots (Ronnie Stanley will occupy the other) center, and pending any veteran player movement, both guard spots.
With Conor Hanratty expected to emerge at right guard, and Nick Martin to center, Montelus would be a natural fit for the left side where he could tutor under Watt and fight for the starting job in 2013. Should Montelus begin at right guard, he could offer competition for Hanratty, a scenario that would likely make the third-year player better for it (Montelus won't push Watt for a starting job).
(Speculation exists that Christian Lombard could move inside to right guard, thereby allowing Ronnie Stanley to compete for a starting spot at right tackle. Its a move that I feel would weaken the offensive front for 2013, as Hanratty has been knocking on the door at guard for more than a full season.)
Links of Note: Click the links below for more highlight reels and comprehensive recruitment information for James Montelus: