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Notre Dame Football Recruiting

Top 2023 DL Luke Montgomery Recaps 'Awesome' Return to Notre Dame

October 3, 2021
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2023 Findlay (Ohio) defensive lineman Luke Montgomery‍ made his way back to South Bend for his third visit to Notre Dame on Saturday. 

The four-star prospect was able to tailgate with some family in South Bend before the game and then enjoyed himself on campus. 

"It was awesome," Montgomery told ISD. "I know they lost, but the game day experience and atmosphere being back from COVID was really cool." 

Montgomery was one of several top Notre Dame targets on campus in the 2023 class and it was almost a reunion for many of them. 

"It was great," laughed Montgomery. "I see Sonny (Styles) almost every weekend, so it's always great to catch up with him and talk about how are Friday games went. I hadn't seen Carnell (Tate) since the summer at Ohio State. I got to talk to him and Sam (M'Pemba) about how IMG is going and stuff. 

"I had been in contact with Drayk (Bowen) electronically, but we hadn't met in person. Seeing him and building that relationship with him was pretty cool." 

The chance to form relationships with other top kids is always important in recruiting. Coaches love it because the kids form bonds and want to play together, while the recruits make lifelong friends and have the chance to start a rapport with each other before they potentially team up. 

"Building relationships with them is great," said Montgomery. "Having the opportunity to play with each other is great and I've been thinking about that. That time is coming up quick in about a year or so. We'll see what the future holds."

Notre Dame coaches also made plenty of time for Montgomery on Saturday. 

Defensive line coach Mike Elston and Director of Defensive Recruiting Chad Bowden were all over Montgomery, but the Ohio native also connected with a former Notre Dame captain. 

"I talked Coach Elston, Coach (Marcus) Freeman and Coach (Brian) Kelly," Montgomery said. "I also spoke to Khalid Kareem for a while too. That was pretty cool. He's been at Notre Dame and was a captain and now is with the Bengals. Him, Coach Elston and I spent some time together before the game talking over some things." 

The message from Elston was clear: Come play defense. 

"They really want me at the three-tech position," Montgomery explained. "I thought about it the whole day and I was really grateful for that. Coach Elston is from Northwest Ohio and played at St. Mary's. It's always great to talk to him because we scrimmage them every year. 

"He's getting inducted to the Hall of Fame at St. Mary's and that's really cool. Coach Elston is a great guy and I can't wait to see him again in a few weeks." 

Montgomery wanted to see the Notre Dame defense up close and he did just that. The 6-foot-5, 265-pounder paid close attention to the three-tech position and felt he would be a great fit in Notre Dame's scheme. 

"Jayson (Ademilola) and Rylie (Mills) did a great job and they were the main guys I watched the whole game," stated Montgomery. "The defensive line did pretty well. 

"Defensively, I thought they did great. Offensively, it was a struggle, I'm not going to lie and feel a lot of people might think that. I was pretty happy with how the defense played, especially the defensive line." 

Notre Dame is essentially the only school recruiting Montgomery for defense as other programs project him at offensive line. 

The Irish staff has let Montgomery know that if he does decide to play offensive line, they would have no issue recruiting him on offense.

As for that decision, Montgomery is still figuring that piece out. 

"I really have no idea right now," laughed Montgomery. "I want to finish out the season and see where I'm at. How my body ends up developing over the next year will probably end up making that decision for me." 

Montgomery also wasn't concerned the Irish lost on Saturday as he had more significant boxes to check on the visit. 

"I'm there to experience the culture," Montgomery stated. "I was super happy overall, win or lose. They lost, which isn't good, but that doesn't affect anything in my recruitment with Notre Dame."

The Findlay star will start to narrow things down even more in the coming months as his top 12 will likely go to a top five.  

"I think I'm going to end up narrowing it down to five probably after the season," said Montgomery. "I really want to end my recruitment in the spring, so hopefully, I can commit around then. 

Top 12:  Alabama, Clemson, Georgia, Michigan, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Penn State, South Carolina, Stanford and Tennessee. 

Ranking
ISD: 92 (four-star)
247: 93 (four-star)
Rivals: 5.9 (four-star)
ESPN: 85 (four-star)
Composite: 97.46 (four-star)

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