Columbia Wide Receiver and USF signee Jamaal Montague is having a good year. In February he signed his USF LOI, then got recognized as one of the State's top receiver's, and this weekend got some great news when he learned he achieved the necessary score on the ACT to meet NCAA eligibility requirements, enabling him to enroll at USF this summer.
"Yes sir, I got the score I needed to qualify," said Montague. "I went up three points and it added up to a 67 or a 68 composite score."
Montague said he still needs to maintain his grades before graduating May 14, but his ACT score means his academics are now in line.
"Yes sir, My GPA is a 2.5, I'm on pace to get all A's and B's this semester and all I have to is maintain those, and I'm good to go."
Montague came from being an under-the radar player to one of the most productive receivers in Florida last season while helping lead Columbia to the District 4-4A championship and the regional semifinals. Jamaal has 80 catches for state best 1,460 yards and 21 receiving touchdowns to go along with 300 yards rushing and a score. He also returns kicks and punts and scored on a73-yard punt return this year. After the season he earned 4A All-State First Team, and was named the3A-6A Offensive Player of the Year by the Gainesville Sun.
After doing everything he needed to do on the field, becoming eligible was the last hurdle for Montague to realize his dream, and has been working hard focusing on school.
"Academics come first before anything. If you don't focus on academics you won't get here," said Jamaal. "You got to do the work, and home work comes first before anything, and if you do your homework, then everything will work out good."
Now that he got the score he needed, Montague said it's a relief off of his shoulders, but it didn't really come as a shock to him.
"I feel good now that I got the score and don't have to worry about that anymore," said Jamaal, "But I kind of knew I did a lot better this time when I took it. It's kind of simple, especially when you have the right materials, you just have to concentrate. I kind of knew, but it's a relief off my shoulders."
Jamaal said the first call he made was to USF receivers Coach Phil McGeoghan to tell him the much needed good news.
"I called Coach Phil McGeoghan and told him that I was good and he was happy and pretty excited," said Jamaal. "That took a lot of stress off everything and the coaches know they can count on me.''
At 6-foot-1, 181 pounds, Montague has very good size, speed, great body control, and excellent hands, and could make an early impact this season. The Bulls lost junior receiver Carlton Mitchell, who left early and got drafted by Cleveland last weekend, and senior A.J. Love, who suffered a knee injury in USF's spring game is expected to miss at least the first half of the season.
"That's the idea," said Jamaal. "I think I have a good chance to come in and have a good freshmen year. But I know nothing will be handed to me and I got to earn it."
"All I've been doing is working out and focusing on school, just getting myself right. I'm looking forward to getting there in June."
Montague was one of two receivers that signed LOI's with USF for the 2010 class, joining Williston standout receiver Deonte Welch, who will also report this summer.