Three schools stand out for Montgomery

Greenwood (SC) 4-star defensive end Sam Montgomery is projected by many to be the top overall prospect in the Palmetto State's Class of 2009, and after making an unofficial visit to N.C. State over the weekend, the athletic lineman has gone on record with a top three list of schools. Read inside for all the details.


Although NC State didn't have spring practice yesterday, the Wolfpack coaches were working hard as they hosted three prospects from Greenwood (SC) High School. With one of their coaches, cornerback Byron Best, safety D.J. Swearinger, and defensive end Sam Montgomery headed up to Raleigh for the unofficial visit, and Montgomery, one of the top players in the state of South Carolina, left impressed with the Wolfpack.

"It was nice," said Montgomery. "When I first walked into NC State's building, I just got this feeling. It was a great feeling. I love the facilities."

"I just love the school... I really do. The coaches said they are looking for great players and they are trying to build the program so they can win championships. NC State's head coach talked about how he's trying to make something out of nothing right now. He said anybody can do it when it's easy but he's trying to go about it the right way. I can respect that."

At 6-foot-5 and 240 pounds, Montgomery is an elite defensive end recruit. Rated a four-star prospect and the No. 6 defensive end in the country by Scout.com, Montgomery tallied nearly 70 tackles, 15 sacks, and 18 tackles for loss in leading his team to a 12-2 record.

NC State made a statement early on as the Wolfpack was the first school to offer Montgomery a scholarship.

"NC State will always have my respect first and foremost because they were the first to offer me a scholarship."

The Wolfpack isn't alone in recognizing Montgomery as a talent. With over 20 offers from programs such as Southern Cal, California, Miami, Florida State, Florida, LSU, North Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama, NC State, Illinois, Clemson, Duke, Auburn, South Carolina, and Maryland among others, Montgomery has plenty of options.

"I feel honored these colleges have offered me, but I want to get ten times better between now and after my senior season. It's great they see I'm a good player, but there's still hard work to be done."

While he stated that he is wide open, Montgomery named three programs when asked if any schools stand out early in the process.

"I'd have to say that NC State stands out, South Carolina stands out, and Clemson stands out," said Montgomery. "I'm still wide open and everything and I like all of the colleges, but I've taken visits to those three schools.

"NC State, it feels like it's all about pride there. You can feel it. With my position coach at NC State, when I shook his hand, it felt like I was at home. He's like a father figure, and all of them are great people. I'm definitely going to go back and visit them again because I didn't get to stay a long time. We had to head back early, but I'm going back there for sure because I didn't get to see all of the campus."

"With Clemson, I love the people there. They keep it real and let you know everything that's going on with them. Coach Vic, Coach West, Coach Bowden... all of them are great. They are trying to win a national championship."

"South Carolina is a really good school. They have great kids, and they love to work hard. They have a nice academic advisor, and it seems like they live, sleep and eat football there. They are looking for those guys to help them take their program to the next level. They need new players, and they are trying to get them."

Don't expect an early decision from Montgomery. Looking to major in accounting, he will take his time before reaching a decision. He knows what he will be looking for in a school.

"Priority No. 1 is going to have to be a man with a vision and a brotherhood," said Montgomery. "You must have a man with a vision. Also I want to have the academics because I can't go anywhere that is just about football."

"I'm probably going to make my decision five minutes before Signing Day. I just want to take my time and relax. I'm going to enjoy my visits, enjoy the people, make some friends and take it step-by-step every day."

The Wolfpack offered Montgomery's teammate, D.J. Swearinger, a scholarship while he was up for the visit. Swearinger, who also holds offers from Vanderbilt, Illinois, Maryland, and Auburn, is one of the top safeties in the Palmetto State.

"D.J. Swearinger got an offer so that will make five for him," said Montgomery. "I know he likes it a lot up at NC State."

Talk to Montgomery and he will be quick to tell you that he has a plan when it comes to his recruitment. He's looking to find the college that best fits him and along the way build an "alliance" of recruits that could possibly join him on the next level.

"I've talked with D.J. about playing together in college," he said. "D.J. is an exceptional player, and I plan on introducing D.J. to the alliance of people I've been meeting and talking to."

"I've been doing a lot of extra work.. Basically, I'm trying to build an alliance of players and get them to go where I am going to go. I'm going to have an alliance, and when we go to college we're going to try and win the national championship. This class of 2009, wherever I go, we're going to try and do it."

Montgomery, who is out on spring break this week, plans on visiting Clemson over the weekend and will take more trips this summer.

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