By Nick Gray | @KYKernelGray
Even through an entire coaching staff change, wide receiver Alex Montgomery never stopped considering pulling on a UK jersey. Montgomery took to Twitter on Monday to announce that interest had evolved into a commitment.
Montgomery selected UK over Louisville and Central Florida in the second recruiting decision Monday that involved the in-state rivals.
Earlier in the day inside linebacker Keith Kelsey Jr. revealed his decision to become a Louisville Cardinal, spurning the opportunity to become a Cat.
Montgomery visited the Cardinals last weekend after visiting UK on Jan. 11 and Central Florida on Jan. 18, according to Rivals.com, but neither were able to sway the Weston, Fla., player into making a commitment.
Rivals rates the 6-foot-1, 180-pound wide receiver as the 51st best at his position in the class of 2013.
The Miami Herald reported that Montgomery caught 42 passes for 892 yards and seven touchdowns his senior season while also playing at safety for Cypress Bay, the Florida Class 8A runner up.
Montgomery had 24 catches for 450 yards and five touchdowns during his team’s playoff run, including a nine-catch, 199-yard, two-touchdown effort in the state championship game.
Cypress Bay head coach Mark Guandolo said UK is getting a quality player.
“(He) goes up for balls in a crowd better than anyone I have coached,” he said. “Alex is a student of the game. He is a very intelligent player who wants to win and lead by example. He is a big, strong, physical receiver with great hands.”
Montgomery said the difference between the current coaching staff and the previous coaching staff was selling opportunity.
“The (new) coaches talked about wanting to start something new,” Montgomery said. “They kept talking about more opportunity and more chances now to win more games and go to a bowl game. I support Coach (Mark) Stoops today in that.”
Like other commitments, Montgomery said the UK fan base’s desire to succeed also pushed him to commit with the Cats.
“The ‘Big Blue Nation’ was a big part of my decision with the way they showed support,” he said. “They tried to make it feel like home and I liked that part about UK.”
Just as fellow commit Marcus McWilson told the Kernel on Monday, Montgomery said other schools recruited negatively against UK during the process.
While he would not reveal specifically which schools did so and what those schools said, Montgomery did say “it made his decision easier.”
“I want to be around a program that wants to be positive and start something special,” he said.
Montgomery said he will not take any other visits and is firmly committed to the Cats.
He is the fourth commitment from Florida under head coach Mark Stoops, who previously coached at Florida State.
The Cats have eight commitments from Florida overall in their 17-player class.