February 14, 2013
Spring notebook: Nick Montana taking nothing for granted
Nick Montana isn't taking anything for granted as he begins his Tulane career.
Joe Montana's son has been anointed the starting quarterback by just about everyone outside of the program, but he approached his first spring practice with the Green Wave as if it were a wide-open competition.
"There's competition everywhere you go," he said. "There's two other great quarterbacks that are here, and you just have to compete with them every day. The competition makes everybody better."
His competition in the spring is redshirt freshman Devin Powell, a strong-armed prospect who looked light years away from being ready when he replaced an injured Ryan Griffin for two games early last year, and walk-on Jordy Joseph. Touted Jesuit High product Tanner Lee will enter the fray in the fall.
Montana signed with Washington out of Thousand Oaks (Calif.) Oaks Christian High in 2010. After redshirting in his first year, he lost a battle with then-sophomore Keith Price, playing in six games and starting only once before transferring to Mt. San Antonio Community College in Southern California. He threw for 2,652 yards with 22 touchdowns and 11 interceptions there, then picked Tulane over numerous other suitors this past December.
"I liked the way the program is headed with coach (Curtis) Johnson and all the other coaches he brought in," Montana said. "Just being here for the month that I have, you can tell it is going in the right direction. Everyone expects big things as a team and coaching staff."
With Tulane coming off 10 consecutive losing seasons, Montana clearly trusted the coaches when they explained why the Wave was on the verge of turning around its fortunes. He has been a winner everywhere he had the opportunity, leading Oaks Christian to a 27-1 record as a starter and Mt. San Antonio to an 11-1 record last fall.
"They (the Tulane coaches)'ve been around the Saints system and they've been around championship teams," he said. "They know what to look for and they know what they're doing. I've been around a few places, but just from being here a day you could tell the organization they bring."
They literally brought him to the Saints' organization on Wednesday. With Tulane's practice field unavailable due to the start of construction of Yulman Stadium, they worked out indoors at the Saints' facility on Airline Drive. It was the first of 13 spring practices there, with the other two at Tad Gormley Stadium in City Park.
Montana said Tulane's system was different from what he ran in junior college but similar to Washington's, albeit with more shotgun snaps and more vertical routes. He hardly considers himself a finished product.
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