Cleared to play, Montgomery counted on to reach potential

Brian Stensaas

Many freshman athletes enter college fresh off multi-sport high school careers. In the case of Minnesota defensive end Anthony Montgomery, he came in not only a baseball, basketball and football player, he was seasoned in several positions.

In addition to his strength on the defensive line, he is also listed as a possible tight end for the Gophers. In his prep days, Montgomery played both positions while also dabbling as quarterback, defensive back and linebacker.

On the diamond, he hit 14 home runs and struck out 60 while he averaged 17 points, 12 rebounds and three assists in basketball.

But he came to Minnesota to play football, and now he finally can.

Montgomery, a 6-foot-6, 280-pound true freshman from Cleveland, received word his papers in the NCAA Clearinghouse had moved through at approximately 2:30 p.m. last Thursday. It was enough time for the stalwart to make the trip to West Lafayette, Ind., and see action in his first collegiate game.

The clearinghouse is run by the NCAA and ensures all incoming prospective freshmen athletes at Division I and II levels meet proper eligibility requirements.

“Football players are developed,” Minnesota coach Glen Mason said. “We think he’s going to be awfully good. He played well against Purdue.

“But his actual preparation started Thursday. We’ll invest some real time into him, because we’re confident we’ll got a lot back.”

A projected starter before the season, Montgomery was forced to sit out until the problem was solved.

Mason said Montgomery will play Thursday against Illinois but declined to say how much. Montgomery was not made available for comment.

Ouch

as expected, running back Renato Fitzpatrick (shoulder) and linebacker Justin Fraley (ankle) are both out Thursday night’s game. Mason would not comment on any other injuries, but when asked about running back Marion Barber III’s status replied, “I told you who was out, so if a guy’s not out he’s Ö”

Rogers breaks record

last Saturday, all eyes were on Michigan State wide receiver Charles Rogers, and it didn’t take long for him to show why.

With a 21-yard touchdown reception in the second quarter against Northwestern, Rogers broke the NCAA record for consecutive regular season receiving scores with 13 moving one past Marshall’s Randy Moss.

“Charles continues to establish himself as one of the better receivers in college football,” Spartans coach Bobby Williams said. “He’s made some great catches to keep us in games this year. He amazes everyone.”

JoePa downplays incident

following Penn State’s dramatic 42-35 overtime loss to Iowa, coach Joe Paterno showed he still has some speed in those 75-year-old legs when he scampered across the field and grabbed referee Dick Honig. The action came after two calls in overtime went against the Lions.

Tuesday, Paterno downplayed the incident.

“I told him I thought there were two lousy calls on the far sideline and then kept running,” Paterno said. “When you lose a close game like that you go inside, kick the locker, kick yourself in the head and then take a shower. The whole thing was blown way out of proportion.”