Q&A: Fast-Rising Quarterback Ryan Montgomery Says Ohio State is “Most Surreal” Offer He's Received

By Garrick Hodge on November 3, 2021 at 10:10 am
Ryan Montgomery

Findlay High School quarterback Ryan Montgomery has had an eventful freshman year.

A 6-foot-3, 180-pound signal-caller who is quickly showing he'll be one of the nation's best quarterbacks in the 2025 class, Montgomery became the Trojans’ starting quarterback in the third week of the Ohio high school football season.

He's helped guide the Trojans to an 8-3 season, including Findlay's first playoff victory in 16 years last week, and the in-state product has already picked up seven Division I offers from Michigan, Penn State, Notre Dame, Tennessee, and as of Saturday, Ohio State, who made Montgomery the first player in his class to receive an offer from the Buckeyes.

Eleven Warriors spoke with Montgomery on Tuesday night to discuss what it was like to get the offer from Ryan Day, his relationship with his brother and 2023 Ohio State offensive line target Luke Montgomery, being a varsity starting quarterback as a freshman in high school and more.  

This interview has been edited slightly for length and clarity.

Q: Take me through your visit and explain how your offer came about. What was it like? 

Ryan Montgomery: “So, coach Day called us into his office before the game. He just addressed me that they were going to offer me and that they never really offer kids my age. He said it’s really rare for that to happen. He cautioned it’s only an opportunity and he doesn’t want me to get too thick-headed. He wants me to stay humble and keep growing.

Q: Did he explain to you specifically why he was presenting an offer to you at such a young age, or what they liked about you so much? 

Montgomery: “Yeah, coach (Kevin) Wilson came to our game three weeks ago when we played St. John’s Jesuit. They were just saying how I don’t act like a freshman. What I mean by that is whenever I got hit, they saw me get right back up and I was in control of the offense. They decided I don’t really act like a ninth grader. They just really liked my potential, my size and my talent.” 

Q: You said Ryan Day already told you how unprecedented it is to get an offer from the Buckeyes this young. But has it hit you just how unprecedented this is to be a freshman and get an offer from Ohio State?

Montgomery: “Not really. I’m still in awe, I’m still speechless, man. It’s like a dream, you know?”

Q: You’ve said in the past you rooted for Ohio State growing up. You’ve gotten a lot of big offers already, but would you say this is the most surreal one to this point? 

Montgomery: “Oh yeah. It’s definitely the most surreal one to this point. Like you said, they’ve been my favorite team growing up and my dream school.” 

Q: You work with a private quarterback trainer, Brad Maendler, the same trainer that (2022 senior quarterback Penn State commit) Drew Allar trains with. How long have you been using him and how did you find him? 

Montgomery: “Actually I’ve only been with him for about a year-and-a-half. We saw him on Twitter working with a bunch of quarterbacks, and obviously he worked with Allar. I went to this QB Collective camp with him in Indianapolis and that experience really helped grow our relationship. I’ve had a lot of sessions with him. I’ve thrown with Drew a couple times, and he obviously works with a lot of quarterbacks around the Cleveland area and Ohio.” 

Q: Are you close with Drew at all since you train with the same guy?

Montgomery: “Yeah, we are pretty close. He congratulated me on Instagram after I got the (OSU) offer. We’ve been in touch.” 

Q: What’s it like having Luke Montgomery as your brother and getting to see him go through the recruiting process? 

Montgomery: “Oh, it’s awesome. I love seeing him be so successful. It’s awesome to see and he’s been such a great role model to me, making sure I stay humble and just keep working hard. Right now, the focus is obviously on our high school team as we go into the second round of the playoffs. We’ve got a big game on Friday.” 

Q: Has Luke talked to you about Ohio State or Notre Dame or any of those schools? 

Montgomery: “A little bit. Those two schools are obviously some of his top choices, and he really loves both schools, so it’ll be interesting to see where he goes.” 

Q: How special is it being able to get to play with him for the remainder of this year, however long the playoff run goes, and all of next year?

Montgomery: “It’s awesome playing with him. This is our first time playing with each other in any sport. It’s really awesome.” 

Q: A lot of times, older brothers are the ones that have their younger brothers’ backs. In this case, quite literally he’s out there to protect you playing offensive line. Do you ever give him any grief like, ‘Oh, you better not let that guy through, you better have my back’ or anything like that?

Montgomery: “I don’t usually because I know how good he is and how hard it is to get past him. But my mom definitely does. She always says if I get touched, even if it’s not his fault, it’s all his fault anyway and he’s the one to blame.” 

Q: How long have you played quarterback? When did you start playing the position? 

Montgomery: “I started in seventh grade.” 

Q: Was that your first experience playing football ever, or just quarterback?

Montgomery: “First time playing football. My dad didn’t let us play in sixth grade and fifth grade. But he caved in on our (younger brother), he played as a fifth grader.” 

Q: You took over as your team’s starter in September, what was that like starting in high school for the first time? 

Montgomery: “It was pretty nerve-wrecking. But exciting too, because I know the work I’ve put in and I know what my abilities are on the field. Our quarterback that started the first two games, he’s an amazing athlete and one of our most athletic guys. We want our best 11 on the field, so he’s definitely still a big factor on our team.” 

Q: What’s the biggest adjustment you’ve had to make since taking over that starting role? 

Montgomery: “(Getting used to) the speed of the game I would say.” 

Q: You’ve run a spread offense and you’ve run some five-wide sets. Is that your preferred style of offense?

Montgomery: “Yeah, I do like five-wide. We started that around four weeks ago and we’ve been rolling ever since. When we played (Ross), that was our first game going five-wide. We had a great game, the receivers had a great game, the line had a great game, defense had a great game, the whole nine yards. We’ve been sticking with that and rolling ever since.” 

Q: You came out last week in the first round of the playoffs against Miamisburg and threw for around 250 yards and four touchdowns while winning a tightly contested 28-26 affair. What was it like playing in your first-ever playoff game? 

Montgomery: “It was really cool, especially getting that win. That was actually Findlay’s first playoff win in 16 years. So it’s pretty cool to see. I’m really happy for the seniors right now. I know they’re having a blast and want to keep going.” 

Q: What would it mean to you and your family if you end up playing for Ohio State?

Montgomery: “That would be awesome. They’ve been my favorite team growing up, my family’s favorite team growing up, obviously every kid in Ohio’s dream is to play for Ohio State. Definitely would be surreal if that happened.”  

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