Sam Montgomery is a naturally talented defensive lineman, but questionable work ethic and attitude have made him one of the more enigmatic prospects in the 2013 NFL draft class.
He admitted to "taking plays, even games off" during his career at LSU (per ProFootballTalk), and according to Tony Pauline, "Montgomery’s attitude and personality did not sit well with a number of his former teammates or coaches." He also wrote "LSU coaches have been slamming him."
Here are the top plays from Sam Montgomery's collegiate career with the Tigers.
Working as the right defensive end against Alabama left tackle Cyrus Kouandjio, Montgomery implemented a speed rush to the outside and was initially stymied by the offensive lineman while getting chipped by running back Eddie Lacy.
However, Montgomery utilized a deadly spin move which freed him from Kouandjio and allowed him to bring down A.J. McCarron behind the line of scrimmage.
An NFL-caliber counter-move against two blockers.
After Mississippi State left tackle Blaine Clausell attempted to chop block Montgomery at the line, the LSU defender took the low hit, hopped over him and relentlessly pursued the quarterback.
Montgomery was aided by the blanket of coverage down the field, but he displayed enough closing speed to catch the Bulldogs signal-caller before he reached the line of scrimmage.
Montgomery projects to the defensive end position in the NFL, so he'll have to be stout against the run if he wants to be on the field often.
Against Alabama in 2011, in the famed No. 1 vs. No. 2 matchup, Montgomery demonstrated his strength, block-shedding ability and discipline to set the edge on a Trent Richardson run.
Initially blocked by tight end Michael Williams, Montgomery slid off the block and beat Richardson to the corner, which forced a gang tackle well behind the line of scrimmage.
Montgomery took a wide angle of attack on this pass-rushing attempt, and it ended in a sack mainly due to the tight coverage downfield.
However, his motor and persistence on this play were noticeable.
On this play, Montgomery demonstrated his burst off the line and slipped past the tight end who—presumably—was assigned to block him and keep him from getting to the corner before the Auburn ball-carrier.
Because Montgomery was so quick into the backfield, he totally disrupted the sweep before it ever materialized.
He set the edge and nearly tackled the running back behind the line of scrimmage, but his presence forced the runner to feverishly cut back to the inside, where other LSU defenders were waiting.
Montgomery didn't get credit for this tackle for loss, but he caused it.