Nick Montana, son of NFL Hall of Famer Joe Montana, says he is serious about Georgia. He told the AJC he wouldn’t be flying halfway across the country if he wasn’t.
The 6-foot-2, 177-pound Montana is one of the nation’s top college prospects and plays football at California’s Oaks Christian High. Montana and his legendary father toured the campuses of Alabama and Georgia this weekend.
He has a dozen scholarship offers, including South Carolina, Stanford, LSU, Ohio State, Florida State, Nebraska, Notre Dame, North Carolina, Georgia, Maryland, Alabama, and Arizona. He also has serious interest from Tennessee, Southern Cal, and Oklahoma, among others.
Montana spoke with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution about the recruiting process:
Q. How was your visit to Alabama? A. It went really well. We had a day full of meetings. They talked a lot about academics, and we got to look around campus and see the dorms. We met with Nick Saban twice and got a lot of questions answered. He’s a great guy, and we enjoyed talking with him.
Q. What do you like about Georgia? A. They have great coaches. I’ve heard a lot of great things about Georgia’s academics and business school. I’m looking forward to learning more about the business school, and watching Georgia play on TV next year.
Q. What appeals to you about Georgia football? A. Their style of offense. Matthew Stafford played at Georgia, and he has got a great chance to be one of the first players taken in the NFL draft. If Georgia is turning out first-round draft picks like that at quarterback, then I think anyone would take a close look at Georgia. They just put a lot of guys in the league. I also like that Georgia wins. They were ranked No. 1 at one point last year.
Q. What do you know about Georgia coach Mark Richt? A. He’s a great coach, and has done great things with the program. I heard from one of my high school coaches that he is really strong with his spiritual beliefs. I think that’s great. He’s a positive influence on his players. I was raised Catholic, so [spiritual matters] are a plus. However, while it’s important on [a personal level], it’s not going to be a big influence on my college decision.
Q. How did Georgia get involved with you in the first place? A. They sent me a scholarship offer out of the blue. I didn’t really know about Georgia. Once they offered, I started looking into Georgia more. I liked what I learned about them. My family decided after doing the research that we wanted to take a trip and check out Georgia, along with Alabama.
Q. Your QB coach in high school is former Tennessee QB Casey Clausen. What’s the latest with Tennessee? A. Tennessee hasn’t offered, but I’m still thinking about them. I haven’t really heard from them in a while. We send emails back and forth every once in a while, but I haven’t talked to them on the phone in more than a month. I couldn’t tell you what’s really going on. I don’t know. All I can say is that I’m really concentrating on schools that have offered me, like Georgia, Alabama and some others.
Q. Southern Cal is another school that many are waiting to see if they will offer you. What’s the latest with USC? A. Yes, they haven’t offered yet. They’re telling me to keep in touch. They said they haven’t offered any quarterbacks. They are trying to take one quarterback [for 2010], but they want to make sure it’s the right one.
Q, How serious are you about leaving your home state of California to play college football? A. All these schools I’m taking trips to, I’m very serious about. I’m completely wide open. My parents and I are trying to get to all these schools and campuses to figure out which one would be the perfect fit for me. I don’t know as much about the colleges outside of California, that’s why I’m taking these trips to find out which school is the best for me. Going away from home for college doesn’t really bother me. I think it would be exciting to see another part of the country.
Q. What’s your timetable with your college decision? A. I’m not waiting on any particular schools. I’m happy with the offers I have. When I find the school that’s right for me, then I’m done with recruiting. I’m done.
Note: Montana is one of three celebrity sons that play at California’s Oaks Christian High, along with the offspring of NHL legend Wayne Gretzky and Hollywood actor Will Smith. [Click here for more on that]