By ERIC HANSEN - Follow me @hansenNDInsider
November 11, 2012
CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. -- John Montelus made the quick 15-minute drive to Alumni Stadium Saturday night to watch Boston College play football.
Just like Eagles head coach Frank Spaziani had long hoped.
The only problem was he was rooting for Notre Dame.
The Everett (Mass.) High standout left offensive tackle had long closed the recruiting door on BC. He just wanted to see his future team play in person for the first time.
The fourth-ranked Irish were trying to take advantage of top-ranked Alabama's stumble at home earlier Saturday to move closer to a Jan. 7 national championship matchup in Miami.
"Their defense is looking real good," Montelus said.
Someday, he's expected to help the Irish offense look good. The 6-foot-5, 295-pounder projects as a guard on the college level.
"He's the best player in New England, and he's one of the best in the country," recruiting analyst Tom Lemming said. "He's athletic, tough. Their whole offensive line group in this recruiting class is incredible. They all have ability and potential."
ND offensive line coach Harry Hiestand got a peek at Montelus' ability and potential Friday night, taking in Everett's 54-20 mauling of Malden. The state's second-ranked football team heads into the Massachusetts high school playoffs with a 9-1 record.
Their only loss was to No. 1 Barnstable in triple-overtime. It's the only defeat, in fact, Montelus has ever experienced in football.
"I didn't play Pop Warner or middle school football," Montelus said. "We didn't lose as freshmen. Then when I moved up to varsity my sophomore year, we won the state championship that year and again as a junior.
"We're going to win it this year too, I think, but we won't be undefeated. We'll get our revenge."
Montelus was a basketball player in middle school, but decided as a freshman he wasn't going to play sports at all in high school.
"I just was interested in getting my education and focusing on that," he said. "But one day, the football coach pulled me out of class to talk to me. And he said, 'You are playing football. We need you. We need a left tackle. And we want you to battle for the position at camp.'''
Montelus, who verbally committed to the Irish last April after an unofficial visit to campus, plans to take his official visit next weekend, when the Irish play Wake Forest (5-5) in their home finale.
"I like the fact Brian Kelly is a Massachusetts guy," Montelus said. "Born in Everett. Raised in Chelsea. Went to high school at St. John's Prep (in Danvers, Mass.) We played them this year, by the way, and beat them. And yes, I did let coach Kelly know about that."
* Notre Dame held BC scoreless in the first quarter Saturday. That marks the 11th game in a row, dating back to last season, in which the Irish have held their opponent without a touchdown in the opening period.
* Everett Golson's two-yard run in the first quarter was his fifth rushing touchdown of the season, giving the sophomore first-year starter the most rushing TDs by an Irish quarterback since Jarious Jackson in 1999.
* Sophomore tight end Troy Niklas' seven-yard scoring reception just before halftime was the first TD of his career.
Staff writer Eric Hansen