SEATTLE (AP) - Just like his dad, Nick Montana will don a golden helmet in college. Unlike his famous father, he'll be doing it on the shores of Lake Washington and not under the watchful eye of Touchdown Jesus.
Nick Montana, the son of former Notre Dame and NFL great Joe Montana, has given a verbal commitment to play his college ball at Washington. He will be a senior at Oaks Christian High School in Westlake Village, Calif. this fall. He told his coach Bill Redell Tuesday night of his decision to become a Husky after visiting the school last weekend.
"I've put probably seven, eight, nine guys in Division I programs and he's one of the top guys I've ever had," Redell said by phone Wednesday. "He'll do nothing but get better."
Montana is considered one of the top prep quarterbacks for the class of 2010, rated by Scout.com as the No. 13 QB prospect in the country. Last season as a junior, he led Oaks Christian to a 14-0 record, threw for more than 2,500 yards and 33 touchdowns.
With one high school season left, Montana is already accepting the task of helping rebuild the once proud program at Washington.
"I just felt they had the best opportunity for me," Montana said in a radio interview Wednesday with KJR-AM in Seattle.
Landing Montana is a huge boost for the Huskies, as new coach Steve Sarkisian tries to rebuild from last year's 0-12 debacle.
Last week, high school junior Jake Heaps, from Skyline High School in the Seattle suburb of Sammamish and considered the top high school quarterback in the country, spurned an offer from the Huskies and verbally committed to BYU.
Montana had offers from most major colleges in the country, including Ohio State, LSU, Alabama, Georgia and his dad's alma mater, Notre Dame.
In the radio interview, he said Washington wasn't high on his list but that changed after visiting the school with his parents and meeting with Sarkisian.
"When I got up there I just had a great feeling and a feeling I couldn't turn down," Montana said. "I knew I had to be there."
The school cannot comment on Montana's decision until he signs a national letter of intent in February. But Sarkisian wrote on his Twitter page late Tuesday, "The Dawgs are barking loud tonight!!!"
Washington fans will soon get a chance to see Montana up close. His Oaks Christian team plays at Heaps' Skyline squad on Sept. 18.
"The parents made it clear it was his decision. I don't think Joe or anybody put any pressure on him to go to Notre Dame or not go to Notre Dame," Redell said. "They left that decision up to him."