For QB Nick Montana, 14 offers, no leaders

The Bootleg caught up with four-star, 14-offer QB Nick Montana Saturday, on his Notre Dame visit. Read on to learn which quarterback he compares himself to, when he'll be cutting his list, and, of course, what he had to say about his Junior Day visit to Stanford.

By the offer list theory, Nick Montana is a clear-cut five-star quarterback. Arizona State and North Carolina marked offers No. 13 and No. 14, respectively, for the Westlake Village (Calif.) Oaks Christian quarterback, the son of NFL Hall of Famer Joe Montana. Those schools join a list of 12 which include a majority of college football's traditional powers: Georgia, Alabama, Ohio State, Notre Dame, Florida State, LSU, Tennessee, South Carolina, Nebraska, Stanford, Arizona and Maryland.

Despite not wanting for suitors, Montana refuses to publicly announce any leaders.

"I've been taking a couple of trips around the country; I've been pretty much all over," he told The Bootleg. "I'm in South Bend right now, and just watched my brother's [Notre Dame walk-on quarterback Nate Montana] spring game. I'm taking in all these trips and just looking at these schools with an open mind, and no preconceived notions. I am still just looking and seeing the schools I want to see, and then I'll make a decision. … I'd really not say that any of the schools are standing out."

While that's all public knowledge, some of these tidbits may not be:

-- First, Montana says Oklahoma and USC are among the schools showing interest in him right now – which would truly cement a five-star list were the programs to decide to offer.

-- Second, Montana plans to narrow his list soon.
"I'll probably come out with a top three or top five in the next couple of weeks," he told Saturday.

-- Third, Montana says one school is recruiting him more aggressively than the rest.
"Probably recruiting me the hardest is Ohio State," he said. "They've given me a lot of attention from the coaches, from Coach Tressel, and I definitely appreciate that."

-- Fourth, despite the prestige of some of the football programs he's considering – including Notre Dame, where his father exploded onto the national consciousness before launching his NFL career -- Nick Montana says a program's history won't be a major influence.
"I really could care less about tradition," he said. "It's not going to be a big factor. Really, it's offensive style, are they putting guys in the NFL, and the coaching staff."

-- Indeed, as Montana does see a future for himself in the NFL, he is focusing on finding a school that can help develop him as a quarterback.
"I'd ideally like a pro-style offense, but OSU is really interested, and they're more of a spread, so I'm not going to turn my back on that either. But I know that a pro-style offensive is more conducive to getting into and being successful in the NFL, and I have aspirations to do that."

-- Perhaps it's no surprise, then, that the quarterback Montana most models himself after is attempting right now to undergo just what Montana hopes is in his future – a successful transition to an NFL career.
"I'd like to say I'm like Mark Sanchez," Montana said. "Obviously, I'm not that good yet -- maybe someday. But it's kind of the intensity he brings. You can just tell how into every game and every snap he is. He's just a competitor."

Finally, of course, there are Montana's thoughts on Stanford, which he visited for its Feb. 27 Junior Day.

"I went for their spring practice and their Junior Day," he said. "I got to watch their practice and sit down with their coaches a little bit ago. I've been talking with them since, and actually I just talked with Coach [Andy] Buh two days ago."

Unsurprisingly, academics are among Stanford's primary draws in Montana's eyes.

"Definitely, academics are important to me, in case football doesn't work out, or I get hurt -- you never know," he said of his criteria in selecting a college. "And then, there's if I fit in with the kids, the environment and the campus life and what I'm comfortable with. And then there's the football program, in every aspect."

As one might expect given Joe's gridiron successes, Montana's parents have a large influence on Nick's recruitment.

"My dad and my mom are very active in the recruiting process," Nick Montana said. "They've been on every trip with me, and have a lot more experience than me. My dad has been through the process –though that was back in day – and he knows what to look for. He has insight, and can cut through all the B.S. from coaches."

While Comeback Joe might get the plethora of fans' attention in this recruiting battle, Nick reports that it's his mother who is as vocal as anyone.

"My mom is just as influential, and really is keeping me looking at the academic side," he said. "She is not shying away from that, given the free education and all. My parents, kind of together, they let me make my decision, but they'll point things out along way."

Speaking of academics, Nick reports a GPA of "around a 3.3," and that he is waiting on his SAT scores.

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