Today marks just 32 days until the first Sunday of the NFL season, and to celebrate the season inching closer and closer, today's installment of Chicago Bears Countdown to Kickoff will focus on the life and career of the best player in franchise history to don the number 32, running back David Montgomery.
David Montgomery's path from the Big 12 to the Chicago Bears
A native of Cincinnati, Ohio, Montgomery attended the nearby Mount Healthy High School, where he developed into an elite dual-threat quarterback. As a teen, Montgomery was a three-time all-state selection and accumulated nearly 6,600 yards on the ground as the team's starting quarterback. His best year came as a senior where he was named his district's and division's Offensive Player of the Year after totaling 41 rushing touchdowns on over 10 yards per carry.
Despite shining as a high school athlete, Montgomery did not garner a lot of attention as a prospect, even though he was graded as high as the 67th-best running back prospect in the nation. Eventually, the Ohio native elected to attend Iowa State over the likes of Illinois, Purdue, and Indiana. As a Cyclone, Montgomery quickly excelled at his new position.
In his first-ever varsity season at the running back spot, Montgomery made an immediate impact in the Big-12 and finished the year with a team-high 563 rushing yards. He played in all of the team's games and even started the final four contests en route to being named Honorable Mention Freshman All-American.
His second collegiate season was even better, and Montgomery became just the 14th player in school history to post a 1,000-yard mark on the ground. He finished the season with over 1,400 total yards alongside 11 touchdowns and 104 missed tackles, the highest total since the state began tracking in 2014. After again serving as the team's leading rusher, Montgomery was named to the First-Team All-Big 12.
In his junior year, Montgomery took yet another step in his game and finished the year with over 1,200 yards on the ground and 13 total touchdowns. Montgomery had quickly gained a reputation as a versatile yet physical back who would rarely go down to first contact. He was again recognized on the First-Team All-Big 12, becoming just the fourth player in team history to earn two such awards during his Cyclone career.