STANZ: David Montgomery, college football’s (poorly kept) best-kept secret

Oct 28, 2017; Ames, IA, USA; Iowa State Cyclones running back David Montgomery (32) escapes the tackle from the TCU Horned Frogs in the second quarter at Jack Trice Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports

ESPN commentator, and rival of Iowa State fans everywhere, Kirk Herbstreit listed David Montgomery as one of college football’s best-kept secrets when he released his annual “Herbie Awards” on Wednesday.

While there were a few other things included in the awards that I found questionable, I’m not going to address those here. It was the idea of Montgomery being a secret that stuck out to me.

I’m not sure how someone who was a first-team All-Big 12 selection a first-team All-American according to Pro Football Focus and an honorable mention All-American according to SB Nation in 2017 can be considered a secret. I do not see how someone can call a player who has been the focus of features by two of the sport’s most prominent writers (Dennis Dodd and Bruce Feldman) already this summer can be considered a secret.

That sounds like one of the worst-kept secrets, honestly. Not that I would ever tell Kirk Herbstreit a secret, but I especially will not if this is what he views as a secret being well kept.

I do believe David Montgomery belongs in one of the groups Herbstreit compiled and it is the one directly above best-kept secret — Rodney Dangerfield (‘no respect’).

Frankly, it would make a lot more sense to me to include Montgomery in that category rather than Boston College’s AJ Dillon, a player who I’ve seen included on several preseason All-American teams over the last few weeks.

I’m not sure I would define a preseason All-American as someone who does not get enough respect. I can’t say I have ever watched AJ Dillon play, and I believe he is a very fine player, but the idea of him not getting any respect does not make much sense to me.

Meanwhile, Pro Football Focus remains the only national outlet heavily pushing the gospel of David Montgomery as an All-American and that is based almost purely on analytics.

Maybe I’m wrong for thinking David Montgomery doesn’t get respect and maybe my view of his exposure nationally is clouded by the fact that those of us in Iowa already know how good he is and therefore he is far, far away from being a secret and maybe I’m just feeling extra snarky today because college football is 10 days away and I’m tired of the offseason and maybe I used ‘and maybe’ too many times in this super long run-on sentence. All of those things are highly-probable and possibly true.

But, if the first two points are true, I look forward to David Montgomery blowing up tacklers and one of college football’s best-kept secrets over the next several months.

Jared Stansbury


Jared is in his seventh year covering Iowa State football and basketball for Cyclone Fanatic. He worked as the site's intern for three years while studying Journalism in Iowa State's Greenlee School of Journalism. He started as a full-time staff writer in May 2016. He took over as the site's managing editor in January 2020. Jared spent five falls covering Iowa high school football as a reporter for KMA Radio, 1460 KXNO and 1430 KASI.