Montgomery OU's gem on the trail

When OU needs to close with a recruit right now, it's Jerry Montgomery doing the work. With good reason, too.

The “boom” was echoed loud and clear the morning of Dec. 19. Oklahoma recruiting, well, OU as a whole, was looking for some sort of spark and received it in Virginia of all places.

That morning Mechanicsburg (Va.) Atlee five-star linebacker Ricky DeBerry gave all OU fans an early Christmas present by picking OU over the likes of Texas A&M, Alabama and the hometown Cavaliers.

An incredible recruiting win for the Sooners and OU ace recruiter Jerry Montgomery. He’s only in his second full season as a recruiter at OU, but it’s safe to say Montgomery has done enough to get that ace label and maybe even one better, closer.

When OU has needed an impact on the trail, Montgomery is a guy who can be called into action. It’s not a secret anymore.

“It’s powerful,” said Ricky DeBerry Sr. about the relationship with Montgomery. “He said to us whether Ricky comes to OU or not, want him to stay in contact with me, and I can help him however I can.

“Anytime we reached out to Jerry, he’s reach right back out at me. You don’t see that all the time in recruiting.”

Two weeks later that same joy was found when Canada Prep four-star defensive lineman Neville Gallimore picked the Sooners instead of college football playoff teams Florida State and Ohio State.

This “boom” resonated loud and clear on NBC at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. Gallimore, much like DeBerry’s family, had no issues saying how Montgomery was a huge factor in him picking OU.

“He’s a young coach and really understands his players,” Gallimore said. “He knows when to push them to their limits and when to tone it down. As a recruiter, he knows how to relate to young players, and he’s trustworthy.

“He does whatever he can to make sure that the guy he’s recruiting and their families are the most comfortable with him and confident in ensuring that his recruit is taken care of.”

Family is spoken a lot by Montgomery. He considers OU his family. But when he takes to the trail, he finds that family connection with a recruit.

Montgomery doesn’t just build the bond with the recruit, but he goes above and beyond. Case in point with Gallimore as Montgomery had an in-home visit with the Scout 100 prospect’s family when Gallimore wasn’t even there.

Trust is a strong word in recruiting. Tough to gain, but Montgomery is building that reputation as being as genuine as can be. It’s paying off for OU, and now it’s paying off for Montgomery.

OU coach Bob Stoops promoted Montgomery to co-defensive coordinator last week. It was a critical move because though a lot of OU coaches are on the chopping block, the concern with Montgomery is he could bolt somewhere else because that’s how much his stock is rising right now.

Stoops recognized that and made the move.

“Jerry is a guy that really contributes a lot,” Stoops said. “He’s a guy who has excellent experience from the places he’s been. He’s an excellent leader and great recruiter. Jerry is a guy, who again, I feel is a rising star in this profession.”

Montgomery delivered that very same night. Not less than 12 hours after getting that bumped, Montgomery landed another top defensive product in Yazoo City (Miss.) defensive end Gabriel Campbell.

Campbell, in the heart of SEC country and pursued by top SEC schools, chose OU following a great official visit last month. Montgomery’s name once again popped up.

“He’s just a cool guy,” Campbell said. “You look at Coach Montgomery, and that’s a cool guy. He’s real laid back, and he relates to guys my age a lot better than some of the other ones out there.”

Montgomery spent last season making OU a factor in Louisiana once again. It worked, landing New Orleans products Courtney Garnett and Joseph Paul. An OU offer in that state means something again with OU trying to close hard with a couple of Louisiana kids, linebacker Arthur McGinnis and safety Justin Reid, to fill out the 2015 class.

It’s not just Louisiana anymore, though. Montgomery has hit the ground running nationwide. Only a week into his promotion, but it’s clear this is one move that nobody is ever going to question for the Sooners.

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