Just a couple weeks after quarterback Jake Locker decided to return for his senior season, the University of Washington received what could turn out to be more good news.
Quarterback commit Nick Montana is looking to enroll early to get a jump-start on his college career.
There were rumors about Montana looking into this, and Bob Condotta from the Seattle Times confirmed it and has quotes from Montana’s high school coach in his blog post Tuesday night.
The idea of enrolling early has become a more and more popular option for recruits as of late. It can be especially beneficial for quarterbacks. An example of this would be Tim Tebow from the University of Florida, who enrolled early and played in all 14 games for the Gators that year as a backup to Chris Leak.
Montana's situation is similar to the one Tebow stepped into, even if their skills are not. Both are quarterbacks looking to enroll early, even though their school had a senior quarterback returning.
Each quarterback also committed to a system that fit their physical tools well, but at the time was using a quarterback who did not exactly fit the mold for the school's offensive system.
Leak was a pocket passer playing in a spread option. He had to run the ball somewhat to be effective, but it wasn’t until Meyer started to put in more two tight end formations and asked Leak to run less that he has success.
Tebow, on the other hand, was ready-made to run Urban Meyer's offense. It made sense for Tebow to enroll early; that way he would be able to contribute his freshman season, which he did mostly as the running threat that Leak wasn’t.
Locker’s physical tool set seems ready-made for an offense like Meyer’s spread. Steve Sarkisian, however, runs a pro-style offense that emphasizes throwing instead of using the quarterback’s legs as a threat.
Montana's skill set matches up very well with the pro-style offense. The difference between the situation that Florida went through and this early enrollment is that Locker has established himself as a threat through the air as well as on the ground.
In that way, Montana's early enrollment is different from Tebow's; he is not coming in to fill a void. He won’t be asked to contribute right away.
What it will do is give him a head start on his college career and allow him more than a full year to get ready to take over the job after Locker’s senior season.
Even with the possibility of being there for spring practice, Montana may still redshirt after all, but in the end this will help him get ready for the next level and give him a higher chance to succeed once he takes the reins of the Husky offense.
The possibility this leaves open?
Montana could be the No. 2 to start the season and receive some game experience that might not have been available without the extra time.