Isaiah Montgomery Picks Up Wrestling To Make Up For A Lack Of Football

Isaiah Montgomery
Offensive Lineman, Class of 2022
Landstown, Virginia Beach, VA
6-5, 280

With no fall high school football season in Virginia, Landstown (Va.) 2022 three-star offensive lineman Isaiah Montgomery had to get creative. Yes, there’s a seven-on-seven season, but that doesn’t apply to linemen.

So, Montgomery took a rather unconventional way to get in shape: he took up a new sport, wrestling. He still hasn’t had his first match yet, but already, he’s had a transformation. Montgomery said he dropped his weight from 310 pounds to 285, in order to wrestle in the heavyweight division.

“That’ll keep me in shape,” he said. “Wrestling, I’ll have to say, that’s a tiring sport. That’s a different type of fit than I’m used to. It’s all new to learn and I barely know the rules. But it’s still fun.”

Montgomery is also in good shape in his recruitment. He’s now at 11 scholarship offers, after NC State joined last week. But while Montgomery is also being proactive with a few in-person visits, he’s not ready to narrow down the focus of his recruitment.

“I’m really looking at the feel of the campus and the vibe I get off the coaches,” he said. “That’s the main thing. I don’t really care about location, and I don’t have a major in mind yet.”

Montgomery, Rivals.com’s No. 17 guard in the 2022 class, said he plans to be at Virginia Tech either this weekend or possibly next week. That will be his first trip to Blacksburg, but he has some familiarity with the school and the football program.

“I know they have a large campus,” Montgomery said. “I know that for sure. They said it’s a very big college town. If you live in Blacksburg, you have to root for Virginia Tech. I’ve seen bits and pieces. I haven’t seen the whole campus so far. I saw the indoor field, but that’s about it.”

Assistant coach Darryl Tapp has been the primary recruiter thus far, but he hasn’t been the only one working on Montgomery for the Hokies.

“I talk to almost the whole staff, definitely Coach Tapp the most,” Montgomery said. “But I also talk to Coach (Vance) Vice a lot and Coach (Justin) Fuente. Their whole program is a big family-type of feel. I don’t really know how to put it, but I like the vibe they give off.”

A couple of weeks ago, Montgomery said he and his family went to Virginia just to look around. Because of the ongoing NCAA dead period, recruits are unable to meet and communicate with coaches in-person, but can still take visits on their own accord.

“It’s a very, I won’t say old, but it looks up to date, but has an old feel,” Montgomery said. “It’s a nice place. I like the campus. I liked walking around. I saw the big building in the middle that’s’ circular, that was cool. I like how all the students were living in the old classrooms. I thought that was cool. It’s a big campus and we got a little lost, but it was still fun seeing everything.”

The only other school Montgomery said he’s seen in-person is Old Dominion. His sister is currently an undergraduate student there.

“I like the distance from my house, so my parents can always see a game,” Montgomery said. “I’m pretty sure they’re building a new stadium, but I haven’t been over there recently.”

Football, largely, has taken more of a backseat this fall for Montgomery. That, coupled with the inability to fully experience colleges and football programs has tampered the speed of his recruitment a bit.

“I’m kind of getting a feel for who I like and don’t, but it’s still the beginning,” he said. “But it’s my first time really looking at colleges and seeing if I can go there. It’s more than just going with my sister for a tournament, going somewhere for basketball, or what I have that day.”

Montgomery said he’ll likely play basketball when he’s allowed to for his school. But in the meantime, it’s the wrestling mat that he’s become most familiar with. His abbreviated wrestling season begins next month.

“It’s really not that hard for me, honestly,” Montgomery said. “The wrestling, their workouts are running, conditioning, (running) the stadium (stands), running to the visitor’s side, then lunges down the field, bear crawl. It definitely gets you right.

“Wrestling makes you really aggressive. The whole sport is going after the other person in the match for six minutes.”

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