No Lock Here

With his family background, Nick Montana expects college recruiters to ask him the question about whether or not he is a Notre Dame lock, if the Irish coaching staff were to give him the opportunity to play there.

He expects that, and gets that a lot.

What Nick Montana didn't foresee, but he has also come across quite a bit, is that recruiters ask him if he is a USC lock.

"I just tell them I'm keeping my options open," Montana said. "I'm looking around at a lot of places, just enjoying the process and looking all over the country.

"It's been fun."

Montana has had fun racking up scholarship offers from LSU, Maryland, South Carolina, Stanford, Arizona and most recently, Ohio State. Arguably the best quarterback in the state of California in the class-of-2010, Montana is also hearing from plenty of other schools including Notre Dame, where his father Joe starred before having his Hall of Fame career in the NFL, and where his older brother Nate is a reserve quarterback. An older sister has graduated from the school, and another sister is currently enrolled.

With all the Notre Dame ties, Montana grew up an Irish fan, but isn't as dead set on attending school there as say the Golic family has been. However, Montana's hoping he is given the option to do so by Charlie Weis.

"I don't see how it doesn't attract everyone in the country, with coach Weis and the long-storied tradition," Montana said. "It's a great university and a great environment.

"I grew up watching them because it's my Dad's alma mater and all that, but it's hard to say. I'm not really stuck on it. It doesn't have to be them, and it doesn't have to be USC."

Places like Ohio State are hoping that holds true. Montana is taking his first-ever visit to Columbus this weekend.

"Ohio State told me I'm their guy," Montana stated. "They told me they're not recruiting anyone else unless I tell them I'm committing somewhere else, or have no interest. I'm looking forward to my visit there."

Montana is also looking forward to his senior season, where he plays on a stacked Oaks Christian team that includes players like Malcolm Jones, Erik Kohler and Zac Stout. This past fall, the 6-foot-3, 185-pound signal caller, helped lead his team to a 14-0 record and the Southern Section Northwest Division championship. From the same program as current Irish quarterback Jimmy Clausen, Montana completed 133-of-241 passes (55 percent) for 2,404 yards, and 33 touchdowns to just seven interceptions. The Buckeyes and Arizona are recruiting him the hardest. Many other schools have showed their faces around the school.

"What I've heard from Ohio State and Texas, they think I fit really well into their system, throwing on the run, just the athleticism," Montana explained.

Besides letters, Montana hasn't had too much direct contact with the Notre Dame coaching staff so far. He was invited to the Irish's junior day in late January, but he wasn't able to attend. He's been to the campus plenty of times in the past, and he could be back in South Bend during the spring.

"I think there is a good possibility of that because I have a couple siblings up there," Montana said.

The week after his trip to Ohio State, Montana will visit Texas. After that, he doesn't have anything setup, but plans to get to Alabama sometime in the future. Besides Notre Dame, Montana has taken in the campuses at USC, UCLA, Oregon, Stanford and Tennessee.

Montana isn't sure when he's going to make a college decision.

"It has to start with academics. that's the going to be the foundation," Montana said. "You have to have strong academics to fall back on, in case football doesn't workout or you get hurt. If I'm comfortable at the school, if I like the environment, again if football doesn't work out, do I see myself there for four or five years? And obviously, the football program and the coaches, and how I fit into their offense and what they're trying to do."

Montana isn't really concerning himself with depth charts.

"I'm pretty sure everyone wants to get on the field as fast as they can, but it's not the end all. I don't have too big of a problem sitting and waiting for two or three years, but it would definitely be nice to get on the field as soon as possible."

So, not a lock to either USC or Notre Dame, those two programs remain solid options for Montana, and he wouldn't have any issues competing for playing time with Clausen, Dayne Crist, his older brother Nate or anybody else.

"Oh no, I wouldn't have a problem with that," Montana said. Top Stories