Originally a New Mexico commit, Jesse Montgomery flipped his pledge to SMU about a month before signing day in 2013. Those were the only programs to offer him. A two-star recruit, Montgomery played for Dallas Madison High School and also ran track there. His father, Alton, played in the NFL for the Atlanta Falcons and Denver Broncos.
Montgomery played in eight of SMU’s 12 games as a redshirt sophomore, making three starts. He had 10 tackles, 2 passes defended and grabbed his only interception of the season against James Madison. A versatile defensive back, Montgomery saw most of his time at corner. He flashed in some moments and made some nice plays against James Madison, but like most of SMU’s defensive backs in 2015, he had some struggles in coverage. He has length and decent ball skills, but doesn’t have great awareness while in coverage.
Entering his redshirt junior season, Montgomery’s outlook is unsettled, but the same goes for most of SMU’s defensive backs. SMU is going to have a wide-open competition in fall camp at defensive back and a Montgomery will get a chance. If he performs well, he could earn a regular role in the secondary and that would make the coaches feel more comfortable to redshirt a freshmen if they choose. But the big freshmen class was brought in to help turn the roster over quickly, push veterans to play better and overtake them if ready.
At 6-foot-1, Montgomery has length that the other corners don’t possess. He’s not a press corner, doesn't have elite speed and can struggle in coverage, but had a few nice plays on the ball last season and has solid leaping ability. It’d be hard to imagine Montgomery not having a role at all, unless he really struggles in camp and all the freshmen impress. With a good camp, Montgomery could prove himself as a consistent rotational player by displaying improved awareness and coverage ability. If he can, he’s a deep sleeper pick to be a solid rotational player for SMU. If Montgomery has an average or unimpressive camp, he’s likely to be buried on the depth chart at corner.