In just his sophomore year, running back David Montgomery racked up over 1100 yards of rushing and 11 touchdowns for the Iowa State Cyclones.
But the folks over at the Sporting News still have Montgomery at No. 12 in their list of the best backs in the country, and he checks in at No. 3 in the Big 12. Oklahoma’s Rodney Anderson and Oklahoma State’s Justice Hill are ahead of him.
“Montgomery typified substance over style in 2017, forcing a record 110 missed tackles, according to Pro Football Focus,” Zac Al-Khateeb wrote. “He averaged 4.4 yards per rush, but he’ll need more help from his quarterback in 2018 if he wants to replicate that success.”
It’s true that Montgomery’s stats are either equal or just slightly lesser than Hill (1,467 yards, 15 touchdowns) and Anderson (1,161 yards, 13 touchdowns). But those backs had the advantage of playing in hi-octane offenses, with plenty of talent around them. Montgomery was the focal point of the Iowa State attack, and defenses were keying in on him nearly every play. For Montgomery to put up those numbers despite those odds is a serious accomplishment.
He’ll have plenty of chances to improve on his standing with the national media in 2018 as the Cyclones try to build on a surprisingly successful season. And with quarterback Kyle Kempt returning, Montgomery should have some talent to take attention from opposing defenses away from the run game.