Bryan Strickland Senior Writer
Charlotte, NC March 16, 2013 – At some point during media interviews at the NFL Scouting Combine, every player is asked to state his measured weight.
Media members that regularly covered Louisiana State defensive end Sam Montgomery weren’t surprised by his answer to the question but were intrigued when he weighed in with further details.
“A slim, trim 263,” Montgomery said. “At LSU I was 262, but it was all flab.”
Montgomery, who hails from Greenwood, S.C. – the hometown of Panthers players
But since making the decision to forgo his senior season and enter the NFL Draft, Montgomery has rebuilt his body.
“Now I have time to train and put on muscle mass so I have a nice figure,” Montgomery said. “My strength and my measurable quickness have increased, and I think my footwork has gotten better. When you put on the right weight, you can be so much more mobile and make yourself into a diverse player.”
Montgomery is rated as one of the top pass-rushing defensive ends in the draft but now feels like he’s versatile enough to play linebacker as well. He certainly looked comfortable and anything but flabby at defensive end for the Tigers last season, when he recorded eight sacks and 13 tackles for loss to earn All-America honors for the second consecutive season.
It made Montgomery’s decision to leave school early relatively straightforward, especially in light of his family situation. Greenwood County saw its poverty rate double between 2007 and 2010, the largest increase in the nation.
“I think it was my time due to family conditions, and I think I did everything I could at LSU,” Montgomery said. “It was a decision me and my family had to make. The standard of living for them isn’t looking too good, so I wanted to step up and be a man and take care of them.”
Montgomery draws inspiration from his family. His older brother, John Darrell Adams, was murdered during Montgomery’s junior year of high school. Soon after, Montgomery adopted the nickname “Sonic,” the name of a video game the brothers spent countless hours playing together.
In the gaming world, Sonic is known for being speedy and aggressive, and that’s what Montgomery is striving to bring to an NFL team. He admitted at the combine that he didn’t always bring his best effort against some of LSU’s lesser opponents last season but understands that there’s no such thing in the NFL.
“It’s all Alabamas and LSUs every week,” Montgomery said. “When you are young you do things as a boy, but when you grow, you do things as a man. From a maturing standpoint and from everything going into this league that I have learned so far, I was a boy in college. Now that I am going into the league, I’ve become a man.”