Montana Making Name for Himself

The name has a familiar ring, epecially for a quarterback. But Nick Montana, the 6-2, 180-pound junior from Westlake Village (Calif.) Oaks Christian, is making a name for himself as a legitimate college prospect, with one offer from a Pac-10 school and plenty of interest from programs around the country...

Westlake Village (Calif.) Oaks Christian quarterback Nick Montana (6-2, 185) has fit in just fine with the Lions offense.

The junior quarterback has helped the Lions to a 5-0 record in 2008, despite rarely playing in the second half of what ends up being routs.

"It's always great winning, but when you pull out at halftime, or before halftime, it gets a little frustrating, because you practice all week and want to keep playing. But we're winning so that's what matters," said Montana.

And Montana knows a thing or two about winning, with Nick's father, Joe, having won four Super Bowl titles with the San Francisco 49ers.

Now the younger Montana is finally getting to lead an offense of his own, and the Lions are prohibitive favorites to win yet another CIF-SS title.

The rapid development of Montana has also gotten his name added to the list of the top quarterbacks in the class of 2010. Stanford has already offered Montana, with several more schools in contact with him.

"UCLA, Oregon, Arizona, a lot of Pac-10 schools, have been talking with me," Montana said. "A bunch of people are thinking I'm stuck on Notre Dame, too, because my dad went there and my brother is going there right now, and I'm pretty interested in them. But there are a lot of SEC schools I'm interested in, like Alabama and Tennessee and Big 12 schools like Oklahoma and Texas."

In other words, Montana has a wide range of schools he's interested in, and is in no real rush to make a decision. Montana said, "I just want to get out and see some schools I haven't gotten to see. I'm definitely interested in the California schools like Stanford, USC and UCLA. But I'm thinking it will take me a while. I want to see a bunch of different schools. I'm definitely not going to rush my decision."

Over the weekend he got to see one of the schools he's been hearing from when he took an unofficial visit to Oregon. Montana said: "I actually just got back from Oregon this past weekend. I went up there to watch them play UCLA. I liked it a lot. Their facilities are awesome and the whole town was fired up for the game. One of my best friend's brother is T.J. Ward, their safety. So it was a cool experience. I met Coach (Mike) Bellotti this weekend and some of the coaches are going to be coming out to one of our games."

This weekend, Montana will be at the Rose Bowl when two teams he's interested in, UCLA and Stanford, play. "I'm going to see UCLA this weekend when they play Stanford and I'll probably go up to Stanford later and see the school more," said Montana. "Coach (Rick) Neuheisel and Coach (Jim) Harbaugh are both personally recruiting me."

When the Cardinal became the first program to offer Montana, he was pretty excited about that. "Yeah, Stanford offering was definitely cool," said Montana. "It was the first one and it was more excitement then relief. It is hard to describe but it was a great feeling. I went to a camp there and Coach Harbaugh told me they were offering me."

With Palo Alto being just south of where his dad made his mark with the 49ers, and where he spent the majority of his childhood, Montana is plenty familiar with Northern California.

But the move down to SoCal has been welcomed by Montana. "I love it down here," said Montana. "I love the weather, the beach is real close. I can't complain. Being at Oaks, it's definitely a lot more fun getting to throw a little more, too."

As for his dad's involvement in his recruitment, Montana said he's handling it like any regular father would. "For the most part, he's leaving it up to me," said Montana. "He'll ask me what I think and just maybe give me his two cents here and there. But pretty much, he's not pushing me towards anywhere. My brother is at Notre Dame and I think he'd like it if I ended up there, but it doesn't matter to him where I go. "

Academically, Montana is carrying a 3.3 GPA with plans to take the SAT later this fall.

Through five games, he's averaging over 200 yards a game and has thrown 12 touchdown passes, despite playing sparingly in the second half.

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