By LEE BRECHEEN, Louisiana Football Magazine
As we shift from talking about passers to spotlight the guys who defend against them, I need to proudly admit that I don’t pay much attention to who is ranked on recruiting websites. I still do old school scouting – I watch everyone play the year before. Put the time in and you find sleepers who should be ranked, kids who are just as good as those who are ranked.
Today’s interview is a sleeper defensive back, a cornerback for Airline High School. Chris Montgomery fits my model of the overlooked prospect, somebody who is all that and more, and with a breakout season this fall could be ranked rather quickly once the games begin.
I like his athletic ability combined with effort and size. Chris is over 5-11 and weighs a lean 170. He looks fast and athletic, and will probably play at 175 come September.
I think if he goes to the FBS level, Montgomery would make a great nickel back or strong safety, or if he heads into the FCS at the Southland Conference or SWAC level, he would stay at corner and play every down.
The Vikings senior runs one of those legit 4.5 40-yard dash times, so he has really good speed.
I think he’s a sleeper prospect all day long for FBS programs nearby like ULM and Louisiana Tech, and it would be a great get if he ends up at an FCS program such as Northwestern State or Grambling, both of whom have incredible histories of producing pro DBs.
Montgomery is undoubtedly of the better senior corners in the area. I had a chance to see Chris play in a full game in 2020 and 2021 for now departed coach Bo Meeks, a former QB at ULM and Northwestern who knows what it takes to play at that level, and he was impressed by the young man.
His new head coach is Justin Scogin, who came in this spring and immediately liked what he saw.
“Chris is a very physical corner with great ball skills. A guy that can be a game changer on both sides of the ball. He’s a cover guy that can play corner or safety and isn’t afraid to come down and hit. We are looking for a big season from Chris in 2022,” said Scogin.
Chris has had a good idea of what position was his best fit for some time, and he has watched college ball not only for the enjoyment, but to learn.
“The colleges I grew up watching were LSU and Ohio State. I watched them because they produce some of the NFL’s best defensive backs.
“I really like my new head coach, Justin Scogin,” said Montgomery. “He knows what he’s talking about and is willing to help his players in any way. As soon as he came in, Coach Scogin and I just clicked. My defensive back coach, Schirra Fields, is also a very good coach, person, and a good role model. When I came to Airline as a sophomore, he saw potential in me and pushed me to my limits.”
NOTES ON CHRIS MONTGOMERY: First camp he attended was UL Lafayette where the Ragin’ Cajuns are at an all-time high. His favorite team to play every year is Captain Shreve because he really respects their skills and talent. He says the best game he’s ever had was last fall against Benton when he snagged two interceptions. Chris is a cousin to former Parkway All State quarterback Justin Rodgers, who is going to TCU. Montgomery uses his speed in the spring in the 4×100 and the 100 meter dash for AHS.
Fields, his position coach, is a former Haynesville and LSU defensive back. I enjoyed talking with him four years ago at an Airline practice. Fields walked on at LSU and is a great success story for kids. Now, as demonstrated by what Montgomery says, he is a great influence for young people who attend Airline and have him for class or benefit from his coaching.