September 7, 2010

Montgomery waiting for visits before deciding

MADISON - At this stage in the recruiting process, it's common to start seeing prospect trim their college lists.

Steven Montgomery, a three-star safety prospect from Florida, is no different.

"If I had to list my top three," Montgomery told Sunday evening. "I would say my top three would be North Carolina, West Virginia and Maryland."

While Wisconsin does not fall in the top three, it's definitely not lights out for the Badgers.

"It could change and I'm hoping right now (it will)," Montgomery said. "Those are just the three schools at this point."

UW is currently looking at Montgomery as a safety prospect, even though that's not always the case for the South Florida native.

"A lot of schools want me playing corner," Montgomery said. "And a lot of schools want me to play safety."

Though the Badgers aren't currently in Montgomery's top three, the senior from Miramar High School says they would be in his top five and also has plenty of good things to say about the program.

"Wisconsin is a great school," Montgomery said. "It's kind of far away from me so I would like to get out there on campus and see how it is. I really see them play a lot on television and see how the program is and stuff. It's a nice place. I really like the academic schools. Academics are a big part of it.

"The program sends a lot of people to the next level so that's also good. I like that."

With Jay Valai set to exhaust his eligibility following this season, the Badgers will have an open spot at the strong safety position. And in regards to Montgomery, early playing time is an important factor.

"I just want to find a place that I can come in and play and have an impact right away," Montgomery said. "And also a place I feel comfortable at."

Leading the charge for Montgomery's services is Wisconsin defensive line coach Charlie Partridge. A regular recruiter in South Florida, it seems Partridge has made a good impression with the young prospect.

"Coach Partridge is a cool guy," Montgomery said. "He's been in South Florida forever and he's telling me about all the players that he's recruited. He's telling me I'm one of the best in South Florida and that he really likes me. So I really like talking to him. He's always giving me tips about the game and stuff.

"He's a really cool guy."

With that mutual interest, it seems Montgomery is hoping to make a visit to Madison at some point in the near future to see the campus first hand. At this time, the senior only has two visits set up, one at Minnesota Sept. 18th and one at Maryland Sept. 25.

"I haven't gotten a chance to talk to them about setting up a visit," Montgomery said. "I'm sure I will get the chance to talk to them about it because a visit up there would be nice.

"I'm going to probably give them a call this week and let them know."

When asked whether going to a team that has a roster with South Florida influence would help his recruitment, Montgomery was quick to respond in its favor.

"That would be good for me," Montgomery said. "Being from South Florida, when you go to a college the people from Florida hang out together and the people from there hang out together. That will make me feel more comfortable because they come from the same state as I am.

"It would be easy for me to adapt."

Should Montgomery find a place he's comfortable at during one of his visits, he wouldn't be hesitant to verbally pledge. However, he says he doesn't really have a timetable to make a decision at this point.

"I'm just taking everything as it comes," Montgomery said. "I want to be able to take all five of my visits first before I make a decision. If I like a visit enough I won't hesitate with my decision.

"But I'm going to try to keep it open."

Wisconsin currently has 11 verbal commitments for the 2011 class including safety prospect Mike Caputo from Pennsylvania.

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