Montgomery leaving OU for NFL

Sooners lose top recruiter during tumultuous off-season.

Oklahoma might very well be losing its best recruiter and one of the up-and-coming coaches in college football.

Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops announced Tuesday that defensive line coach and co-defensive coordinator Jerry Montgomery has agreed in principle to a contact accepting an NFL coaching position.

Montgomery joined the Sooners’ staff in 2013 and quickly became one of its top recruiters, primarily responsible for the recruitment of Top 300 linebacker Ricky DeBerry and defensive tackle Neville Gallimore this season.

He was recently named Scout's Big 12 Recruiter of the Year.

“This is a rare opportunity for Jerry and his family to join one of the finest organizations in the National Football League,” Stoops said. “I appreciate the positive impact that Jerry has made with our defensive line the past two seasons, as well as his many other contributions to Oklahoma Football. The NFL is getting a fine man and a very talented football coach. I support Jerry’s decision to further his career goals working with one of the most stable and successful franchises in pro football.”

The release did not state which team Montgomery would be attending, pending the execution of a signed contract. Initial reports indicate that it might be the Green Bay Packers.

Montgomery was key in the development of defensive end Charles Tapper and defensive tackle Jordan Phillips, who left Oklahoma early to enter the NFL Draft.

He is widely regarded as a one of the top young assistants in college football. Montgomery was promoted in early January to become Oklahoma co-defensive coordinator along with his role as the Sooners' defensive line coach.

“My family will be forever grateful to Coach Stoops for providing me with the privilege of learning from him and the rest of his staff at the University of Oklahoma,” Montgomery said in the release. “The past two years have been invaluable helping me grow personally and professionally. It’s truly been an honor to coach such a wonderful group of student-athletes at OU, and I’ll continue to follow their progress closely.

“I have been offered an unbelievable opportunity to pursue my dream of coaching in the National Football League,” he continued. “There are very few jobs that I would have even considered. Our family has been blessed to have represented the University of Oklahoma, and we will always have a great appreciation for our time working for Coach Stoops and the Sooners.”

Montgomery becomes the fourth member of the Oklahoma coaching staff to leave since the Russell Athletic Bowl loss to Clemson.

Co-offensive coordinators Josh Heupel and Jay Norvell were both fired, cornerbacks coach Bobby Jack Wright retired after 40 years in coaching.

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