G&BB had the privilege to speak with one of the anchors of this year’s incoming class. 4-star offensive lineman recruit, John Montelus, showed exactly why he is a perfect fit for the Irish, and why Notre Dame will, once again, be considered elite. His quiet confidence was clearly evident through the following phone conversation:
Jake: We saw that you hurt your shoulder in the All-American game. How’s that feeling now?
John: Not good, man. It’s pretty rough right now. I can’t workout; I can’t even do a push-up. I had an appointment set up, but my mom went on vacation. This doctor is real hard to get setup with, but we finally got an appointment on January 29th to hopefully figure some things out.
Jake: Well, we’re all hoping for a quick recovery.
John: Me too. Thanks, man.
Jake: Notre Dame is one of the biggest stages in all of college sports. It provides about as much exposure for a college kid as possible. With the spotlight constantly on you, what can ND Nation expect from you as a football player and as a man?
John: As a football player, everyone should expect me to do my very best every day…to give more than 100% on the field. As a man, people know me as being really friendly. So, I’ll be able to show that throughout my time there.
Jake: Football is not an easy sport to just pick up and play. What motivates you to do your absolute best day in and day out?
John: I love hitting people. I really love it. Also, I play to win. In my entire high school career, I only lost one game. So, going out there and knowing that giving my best might get us a win is motivation enough.
Jake: I’m going to be honest…I’ve never played organized football. But, I could tell you a whole array of emotions I feel while watching Notre Dame play. What feelings do you get when you’re in the midst of playing?
John: Man, it’s crazy out there. But, I just have to care about my assignments and constantly stay focused on what I’m supposed to be doing. I don’t have much time to think about emotions. I just have to get a block and make sure I hit someone.
Jake: Has there ever been a time in your life where you had to overcome a major obstacle?
John: My sophomore year is when I started getting serious about playing football. Ya know, like, learning techniques and whatnot. So, it was the game right before our playoffs, and I messed up my ankle pretty bad. At that point, our backup wasn’t that great, so I had to keep playing if we wanted a shot at winning. The trainer taped it up a ton, and I popped, like, 5 Tylenols.
Jake: Did you win?
John: Of course!
Jake: Every difficult circumstance we face should be viewed as an opportunity to learn. How are you able to apply that story to your life today?
John: I think it taught me to never give up. I don’t quit. I always have to push. Obviously, if it’s a serious enough injury, you have to limit yourself, but who cares if it’s a small one? I just taped the ankle heavily and never backed out. Even with my shoulder, I still played three series in the AA game. Never quit no matter what!
Jake: Notre Dame needs that tenacity, man.
John: Yeah. You better believe I’ll always be trying.
Jake: 6’5”, 295lbs sound about right?
Jake: A lot of sites have that wrong. But, 6’5”, 325lbs is no joke! What does your daily routine, as far as eating and working out, look like to maintain that size?
John: Well, obviously right now, it’s tough with my shoulder. So, after school, I just come home and do my homework. But, when I’m all healed up, I’ll be at the gym from 2:15 (when school gets out) til about 5:00. I usually run on Sundays, and hit the treadmill on Wednesdays. But, I don’t want to lose a lot of weight, obviously, so I don’t do that much running. When I was in 7th grade, I ran too much and ended up getting a 6-pack at one point.
Jake: Yeah, slow down on that treadmill, man. We already have Hercules at tight end. So, how about your diet, then?
John: Well, I’m an only child, so my mom cooks just for me. I lose weight really easily, so she cooks me up a lot of good food to maintain my size.
Jake: Can’t complain about that!
John: No sir.
Jake: Obviously college ball is a lot tougher, much quicker-paced than high school ball. What things do you feel you need to work on in order to become elite at the next level?
John: I need to just practice a lot. Take in as many reps as I can. I think going against great players like Nix and Stephon are going to help me a lot. Basically, when I get to college, I want to start over and take everything in as new so that I’m two times as good as before.
Jake: You keep that mentality, you’ll have a very successful career, I guarantee that. So, with that then, where do you see yourself three years from now?
John: Well, I plan on still being in school and playing on the field. And in three years, I’m hoping to have at least 2 National Championship rings by then.
Jake: Don’t we all.
John: Haha, I sure hope so.
Jake: The thing people keep going back to with this recruiting class is how tight-knit you guys are. Talk about your relationship with the other Mob members.
John: Well, I got to meet up with Doug (Randolph), Greg (Bryant), Corey (Robinson), and Steve (Elmer) in Texas for the AA game, and we hit it off real well. We’re always in contact with each other…always keeping in touch. We just see ourselves as a big family. So, needless to say, we’re all pretty excited to get up there in the summer.
Jake: Obviously, having talent on a team is important. But, it’s hard to win with talent if you don’t have camaraderie. With the closeness you guys already have, it’s going to be hard to stop that.
John: Oh, no doubt. That’s what we’re hoping, too.
Jake: What kind of legacy do you and the Mob plan to leave Notre Dame with when you graduate in four years?
John: We plan to leave as the best Notre Dame team ever.
Jake: A quiet confidence. That’s exactly what Coach Kelly always preaches. Is there anything else you’d like to say to ND Nation before I let you go?
John: Yeah. Just know that I’ll be in full effect very soon. Don’t worry about me. I’ll be ready to give it my all once I’m healed up.