Richard Davenport covers recruiting for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. He appears weekly on The Red Zone w/ JB on 92.1 FM Fayetteville, The Morning Rush w/ Tye & Tommy on 95.3 FM in Fort Smith; 96.3 FM in Hot Springs; 104.3 FM in Harrison/Mountain Home, 99.5 FM in Fayetteville and The Zone w/ Justin & Wess on 103.7 FM in Little Rock.
The Recruiting Guy:
Other schools don't compare to Arkansas, recruit says
Florida coach Jim McElwain, left, talks with Arkansas coach Bret Bielema prior to a game Saturday, Nov. 5, 2016, in Fayetteville.
Highly recruited junior cornerback Ken Montgomery Jr. had visited several schools before his four-day visit to Arkansas, but none compared to his time in Fayetteville.
“It’s not even close,” Montgomery said.
Montgomery, 6-2, 160 pounds, 4.58 seconds in the 40-yard dash, of Tampa (Fla.) Hillsborough has approximately 20 scholarship offers from Arkansas, Southern Cal, Louisville, Nebraska, North Carolina State, Tennessee and Missouri among others.
He and his father arrived in Fayetteville early Thursday and left Sunday afternoon. Montgomery had previously visited Florida, Florida State, Miami, Clemson, Louisville and Kentucky, but the people separated Arkansas from others.
“The fans, the people there are welcoming,” Montgomery said. “Everywhere I go it’s all smiles. I know I’m a good person myself, so me being surrounded by good people would be good.”
“The people are different, they’re kind and they’re nice and very welcoming. It’s very different from Florida. There’s a lot of people that respect people. That was a big thing for me.”
The natural beauty of Northwest Arkansas also impressed.
“Another thing that excited me was the hills and the trees and the environment, the nature of Arkansas was beautiful,” Montgomery said. “I think I can spend four years at Arkansas.”
ESPN rates Montgomery the No. 11 cornerback and the No. 64 overall prospect in the nation for the 2018 class. Several Razorback fans recognized him during his visit.
“There were a lot of people taking pictures of me,” he said.
Coach Bret Bielema gave him a heads up about how the fans embrace the players at Arkansas.
“Like Coach B told me when you play football you’re going to get noticed,” Montgomery said. “The whole city will know about you and I guess he wasn’t lying because I don’t even play for Arkansas yet. That was pretty cool.”
He appreciated Bielema looking out for him beyond football.
“Even though I’m not an Arkansas commit or anything, he really cares about me because like he told me he’s trying to help me build my brand by becoming a better person everyday and help me beyond football,” Montgomery said. “What he really touched on me was he really wants me to be a part of his family like I’m his own son. He really liked talking to me and he liked how I carried myself.”
His father feels like his son would be in good hands should he become a Razorback.
“One thing he told me is he can trust these coaches because I’m going away for four years …so when I’m in Arkansas he can depend on the coaches,” Montgomery said. “He loves the city of Fayetteville as much as I do and he liked the climate.”
The trip to Arkansas won’t be his last.
“We might come back for the spring game and summer,” he said. “Definitely for an official. It’s a long ways off, but if Arkansas keeps doing what they’re doing, I’ll be back.”
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