Player Profile: Ajee Montes

With J.R. Richardson out, SMU DB Ajee Montes will need to step up even more in an unproven secondary.

Ajee Montes Player Profile

Position: Cornerback

Size: 5-11, 187

Year: Sophomore

High School: Bishop Amat

Hometown: La Puente, California

Recruitment: Montes was not heavily recruited out of high school and held offers from just New Mexico and Eastern Michigan, besides his SMU offer. Following his senior season, Montes was named first-team All-league and earned an invitation to the Cal-State All-Star game. Montes was also named to the California Top-100 team.

2013 Review: Following his 2012 redshirt season, Montes saw a good amount of playing time even as a freshman. The California native saw playing time in all 12 games and notched 22 total tackles including 14 solo tackles. Montes even hauled in his first career interception against Cincinnati, where he showed good range.

Despite having just 27 tackles as a senior, Montes was constantly aggressive and always in on tackles. That type of play continued last season and helped Montes make a name for himself on this SMU defense.

Like the rest of SMU’s secondary, however, Montes struggled against the pass.

Grade: B-

2014 Outlook: Heading into his sophomore season, Montes will see a big boost in playing time, especially with projected starting right corner J.R. Richardson likely missing the entire 2014 season due to complications with his sickle cell anemia.

With Richardson out, and the unexpected departure of Ty Law, SMU’s secondary loses some important depth and Montes’ development will be key for the defensive backs to improve on a subpar 2013 season.

Montes’ speed and aggressiveness alone will help him become a key part of SMU’s secondary, and his defense against the run is a plus. The rising sophomore will have to work on keeping his receiver in front of him, but his instincts help him learn quickly from his mistakes. Offenses are going to look to take advantage of Montes because of his inexperience, but he isn’t one to back down from a challenge.

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