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Hillsborough CB Ken Montgomery finds perfect fit with Maryland

Hillsborough four-star cornerback Ken Montgomery picks Maryland. (Kelly Parsons, Special to the Times)
Hillsborough four-star cornerback Ken Montgomery picks Maryland. (Kelly Parsons, Special to the Times)
Published Feb. 7, 2018

Hillsborough's four-star cornerback Ken Montgomery was courted by several schools — most notably Maryland, Louisville and Nebraska. But when the senior Terrier and his parents traveled to College Park, Md., on Jan. 26 for his final visit, the Montgomery clan had a different, indescribable feeling they hadn't had at any other.

"There's just a comfort level there we had with the University of Maryland," Montgomery's father, Ken Montgomery Sr., said. "Usually with kids, it's a feeling they get. And you can see it on their face. It's an expression that, yeah, this fits for them."

Despite his gut feeling, the younger Montgomery took a couple days to mull everything over once he left College Park. He said it was a relief, though, when he finally got to stand on the auditorium stage at Hillsborough High on Wednesday, microphone in hand, and place a Terrapin cap on his head.

"I just felt like it was the right place for me, especially with the academics and stuff like that," Montgomery said. "The coaching staff, I was pretty comfortable around them, too."

At 6-foot-2, 165 pounds, Montgomery had more than  40 Division I-A offers. While at Hillsborough, his time's been split between football, basketball and track and field, for which he earned Tampa Bay Times' all-Tampa Bay distinctions in the triple and long jump.

Montgomery said he plans to be back on campus for the Terrapins' spring game before he flies to his new home for good on May 26. Hillsborough coach Earl Garcia expects Montgomery to benefit greatly — especially in the weight room — from getting to focus on just football once he gets to Maryland.

"I think the University of Maryland football staff showed more interest in Ken than anybody else," Garcia said. "My next door neighbor's a Maryland fan, and he's ecstatic. I told him last night."

But perhaps the most excited person in the room was the elder Montgomery, who watched from the audience as his son made the commitment that's been a long time coming.

Ken Montgomery Sr. and his father also played football for Garcia during their time at Hillsborough, making Montgomery a third-generation Terrier.

But now, Montgomery Jr. is turning a tradition into a family legacy, and that brings an even bigger smile to his father's face.

"It's surreal. He played for Coach G, I played for Coach G," Montgomery Sr. said. "To see him fulfill something I wasn't able to do, to see him fulfill his dreams and aspirations, it's a wonderful thing."