The Clemson Insider had the chance to catch up with a high school head coach, who was in Death Valley this past weekend, on a recruiting trip with an elite four-star prospect in the 2023 class.
Stefan Adams, who is Luke Montgomery’s head coach at Findlay (Ohio), made sure to tag along to the offensive lineman’s visit to Clemson this past Saturday.
Ahead of his visit to Clemson, Montgomery dropped his final six schools on Thursday afternoon via social media. He’s now down to Clemson, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Penn State, Oklahoma and Michigan.
“He enjoyed it,” Adams told TCI. “He definitely enjoyed a lot of the things and reasons why he was so curious about the place for a while, the things he heard. Luke’s a very strong faith-based kid and his parents hold those and instill those values very seriously, so he takes them very seriously. I think just that, the culture, obviously the success that they’ve had and also the way that they do it, they have a process. They have the way that they go after kids and guys that they want. They are very particular about it and I think it just led to a lot of curiosity.
“He definitely enjoyed it. They treated him well, all their recruits they treat amazingly, but obviously, he was a priority guy, so he had a blast. He enjoyed it. He loved it. We had a lot of conversations on the way back about just some of the awesome stuff that happened and transpired.”
Adams, Montgomery, and his father, along with Dabo Swinney and his wife, Kathleen, and some of the recruiting coordinators all had a chance to meet about an hour before the game in Clemson’s head coach’s office.
It was Montgomery’s first trip back to Clemson since the Tigers offered him a scholarship on Sept. 2. Adams believes that Montgomery’s return visit to Tiger Town reaffirmed why he placed Clemson in his top-6 schools and why the Tigers will likely be in his recruitment until the very end.
“They check a lot of the boxes that I know he is looking for and that is high on the list of his needs to be able to fulfill his personal football wishes,” he said. “Great atmosphere, great crowd support. It’s amazing you get certain places, you get there and you can tell that Clemson’s Clemson. It’s definitely a homey feel all around… just everything, it was definitely well done. We walked away very impressed.”
Adams also came away really impressed with the way Clemson offensive line coach Robbie Caldwell has recruited Montgomery.
“Coach Caldwell, first and foremost, he’s a blast to have conversations with and talk to,” Adams said. “He’s a delight. He’s funny. He’s southern as all get out. He’s warm. He’s great. He’s done a phenomenal job of [recruiting Luke]. He’s done a really good job.”
“Been super proud to be able to connect with him and be able to talk on a personal level too,” he added. “To listen and hear the things that he’s excited about with Luke aren’t just always football stuff, it’s who he is as a person. Coach Caldwell was very, very warm and very, very friendly… he’s a sincere guy. He really believes in Luke and what Luke can be and what he can be developed to be. Coach Caldwell is an awesome dude.”
Adams believes that Clemson’s 48-27 win over Wake Forest was the perfect game for Montgomery to attend. That’s especially true when considering that the offensive line turned in its best performance of the season and Caldwell earned a game ball after the lopsided victory.
“I think that was a testament to who they are,” he said. “I was talking to them, 17 scholarships players athletes not dressing, that’s all positions. Just kind of one of those fluke football years. For those guys to be able to go out there and turn in a performance as well as they did…they really had to lean on their offensive lineman and to watch them turn in that performance they did and be able to open the holes that they did for the backs and be able to give D.J. [Uiagalelei] the time that they did, I think that was super impressive on his coaching ability…I don’t think it could have gone any better for Luke being a lineman and seeing that adversity and seeing the belief in the guys to go out there and get the job done.”
Adams definitely felt like Montgomery was made a priority throughout his time on campus.
“There’s no doubt about it,” Adams said. “Those guys did an awesome job. Just the way they moved around the whole time. There was a couple of assistants that really kind of stuck around and helped out with Luke too. It was well done. Everybody made him feel warm. Everyone made him feel a part of it. It was definitely an awesome experience and he definitely felt like he was a priority, for sure.”
Montgomery (6-5, 260) ranks as the No. 6 offensive tackle and No. 59 overall prospect in the 2023 class, per the 247Sports Composite rankings.