Expect to see more of true freshman wide receiver Ty Montgomery. But not too much. Not yet, anyway.
"He is by no means ready to take over anything," said head coach David Shaw. "We’re going to be judicious with what he does ... We feel good about what Ty has added to a pretty good receiving corps."
Montgomery used Saturday's game against USC as a coming out party -- catching five balls for 87 yards. His 62-yard reception on Stanford's gadget/Wildcat/end-around got him plenty of attention, but it was his reception for zero yards that got the most laughs.
On Stanford's first possession of overtime, with starter Chris Owusu on the sidelines after taking a hard hit toward the end of regulation, Montgomery caught a pass from Luck, then pitched it on a hook-and-ladder to running back Jeremy Stewart for 5 yards.
It was a play designed for Owusu, and Montgomery had never even practiced it.
After Andrew Luck broke the huddle, he gave Montgomery a little look, as if to ask "you know what you're doing?"
"I gave him a little thumbs up, trying some ESP," Luck joked. "I just thought to myself, 'do it right.' To his credit, he's a sharp kid. He's asks all of the right questions in meetings. He has a very insightful football mind."
Said Montgomery: "It's a good thing I pay attention in practice and in meetings ... otherwise I would have no clue. I didn't have time to be nervous. Either I know what I'm doing or I don't."
And he knew.
Naturally, Montgomery's cell phone was ringing a little more than usual after the game.
"I don't let it get to my head," Montgomery said. "I understand there are guys ahead of me and they've built a certain trust with Andrew."
Montgomery first popped up on the Stanford radar during a camp after his freshman year in high school. The coaching staff was smitten.
"We all thought he was a senior," said Shaw. "He was outstanding. We've known he was going to be a special kid. We told him what it was going to take to get to Stanford. We gave him the road map and he followed up. We knew he was talented. But we have a relatively complex offense ... it's hard to get early on. Once he gets it, he's going to be a valuable guy to us."
Montgomery had already been a standout performer on special teams. But now that he's becoming more accustomed to Stanford's style of offense, he'll likely be a valuable weapon in the weeks and years to come.
"It was very difficult in the beginning," Montgomery said. "In high school, I played in a spread, so the pro-style was foreign to me. Once I figured out how the concepts work, I was able to start picking up some more things."