Player Profile: Ajee Montes

Patrick profiles SMU cornerback Ajee Montes in the first Pony Stampede player profile for the 2015 season!

Position: Cornerback
Size: 6-foot, 199 lbs.
Year: RS junior (two-year letterman)
Hometown: La Puente, Calif.
High school: Bishop Amat (La Puente, Calif.)


Scout ranked Montes as a two-star member of SMU’s 2012 recruiting class and the 160th-ranked cornerback nationally (24th in California). He held FBS offers from SMU and New Mexico. Following his senior season, Montes was named first-team all-Mission League, invited to the Cal State All-Star Game and named to the California Top 100 team.

2014 Recap

Montes started all six games he played in 2014, notching 29 tackles (16 solo), one pass breakup and a half-sack. He missed the final six games with a concussion. He made a team-high seven tackles against Baylor and six against North Texas. While the high number of tackles might suggest he was burned in coverage, that wasn’t necessarily the case. He made a lot of tackles because he’s a dependable and aggressive run defender. He tackled well in the open field and took the proper angle to the ball carrier. He wasn’t as good in coverage, but managed to avoid giving up a lot of big plays and was SMU’s most reliable corner before the injury. Opponents attacked him early in the season because of his inexperience, but he mostly held his own.
Grade: B

2015 Outlook

No one’s spot is safe after a 1-11 season, but Montes will likely begin camp as the starter at right cornerback. He showed improvement from his freshman season to his sophomore season, and he’ll continue to improve with secondary coach Jess Loepp’s emphasis on toughness and playmaking ability. Montes’ coverage skills aren’t quite on par with his run defense, but that doesn’t mean he’s a liability in coverage. He needs to keep his receiver in front of him on a consistent basis and make more plays on the ball, but he showed well in those areas in spring ball. Montes is arguably SMU’s most complete corner already, and if he can make a few more plays on the ball, he’ll become one of SMU’s better defensive players.

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