Montgomery leaving Cal

Cal coach Jeff Tedford confirmed this morning that running back James Montgomery is leaving Cal.

“James Montgomery asked for his release and I granted it. He felt like there would be a better situation for him somewhere else. Fortunately for us, running back is a position with a lot of depth. We feel great about our talent at that position with Jahvid Best, Shane Vereen, Tracey Slocum and Covaughn DeBoskie.”

Montgomery was listed as the Bears’ starting tailback heading into spring practice. But the competition for the spot figured to be fierce, especially if Best is completely recovered from a hip injury, which the Bears fully expect. Vereen and Slocum also are in the mix.

I’ll have more on this story later today.

Jonathan Okanes

Jonathan Okanes is in his fourth year covering Cal's football team. Previously, he covered Cal's men's basketball team for four years. He can also be followed on Twitter at twitter.com/OkanesonCal.

  • Gil

    This doesn’t make a lot of sense to me– he seemed to have a lot of promise. Is there more to this story?

  • DuxFan

    He wants to go to Oregon.

  • Lucas

    Quite unexpected. I look forward to seeing the details on this story, JO.

  • feveredbear

    Seems like we lose someone every year. How come $C — 5 deep at just about every position — doesn’t have this problem? Gotta be either the coaching or the school (and it’s probably NOT the latter).


    To be honest i was expecting this from one of the tailbacks, and it makes sense for it to be Monty. With Best’s play last year and the high promise of the youngsters this isn’t surprising. That being said good luck to James wherever he goes i will definatly be pulling for him.

  • Jan K. Oski


    I couldn’t diagree with you more. Tedford delayed practice, and it so happened that Monty would have benefited from it. Beyond that, Monty was #1, and we all know about Tedford’s commitment to his #1s of past.

    I’m optimistic that Best will be 100% by August, but I don’t see him as an every down back at this stage of his career due to his weight. I’d really like to know why J.O. opinion on who will compliment his style best. I don’t know what type of runner Vereen is, but I’ve read that Slocum and Monty have very different styles. It is a sad day for the Cal program that we won’t be able to see those for oursevles. As Gil said in another way, the timing of this is very perplexing.

    Good luck, Monty!

    Go You Bears!

  • Tyler

    Let’s hope he doesn’t go to another Pac-10 school. He’s expressed interest in Washington and Oregon, as well as Florida and Fresno State. Although Montgomery was at one time verbal commitment to Washington in 2005, the Husky Blog thinks it unlikely that he will join the team because they have no available schlorships and eight of their players are listed as running back.

  • Tyler


    So it looks like Cal now has three open schlorships with the departure of Jones, Peele and now Montgomery. Are there any new recruits out there that the Bears are interested in? I think that Brady Amack is still available. Or will they be looking at walk-ons?

  • MemorialSectionHH

    Last year, Bear fans were disturbed when we saw Kyle Reed jump ship. Until we saw Kevin Riley play and knew why.

  • CalBandGreat

    Fevered, I wouldn’t categorize this as a “problem”. Quite the opposite, in fact. To me it means we have so much talent that very talented players like Montgomery feel that they won’t play as much as they’d like. A situation that U$C has come across quite a bit recently as a matter of fact.

    Wherever Montgomery ends up I wish him the best.

    A follow up to Tyler’s Q, JO. Will Tedford be giving one of the open schollies to our placekicker?


    is MONTGOMERY scared of COMPETITION? come on! a lot of these guys that Tedford has recruited have turned out to be questionable passion guys. Peele, Jones, and now Montgomery. Last year it was the older guys, i.e. recievers, who soured the chemistry. Come on Tedford the guys your bringing in and counting on are just not earning their scholarship. Is Hill in shape or was he allowed to be relaxed like last year when we had no depth at DT?


    he knew DeBoskie was going to take some of his snaps!


    forsett NEVER BACKED DOWN from the competition even with two eventual FIRST ROUNDERS in front of him. now look he’s going to get drafted and did a great job. just sad to see MONTGOMERY take the easy way out and just leave BERKELEY!

  • Marvin

    How can you say that Montgomery took the easy way out. He worked hard and did everything that was asked of him. Wasn’t he awarded the freshman Lifter of the Year? Didn’t Tedford repeatedly sing his praise on him having a strong work ethic??

  • MoreNCsarecoming

    This kid speaks the truth and Berkley fans don’t want to hear it.

    “Cal was never my first choice,” Montgomery told RealDawg. “I didn’t feel (Cal) was a (football) school that had a lot of tradition. They were ranked sixth in the country and yet couldn’t sell out that week’s game.”

  • Eric

    Amy, do you have a life? Really, it’s remarkable how many different sites you post on with the sole purpose to bash Cal. There must be better things you have to do, at least I hope there is.

  • TorBear

    I guess the formerly high-profile recruits that have transferred from USC the past few seasons apparently did so because they realized that more NC’s AREN’T coming.

  • Jonathan Okanes

    Gil, check out my latest post to answer your question. Unfortunately, I don’t have a whole lot of answers at this point, but the news sure is startling and puzzling at the same time.
    Jan, some question if Best is an every-down back, but I’m pretty sure Cal’s coaching staff sees him as one. As far as complementing his style, neither Slocum or Vereen would provide a significant contrast, although neither is as explosive as Best. But both still are quick runners, and Slocum did some of his best running at practice near the end of last season.
    Tyler, I haven’t heard what the plans are for the open scholarships. When I get some info, I’ll be sure to pass it along.
    CalBand, that certainly is a possibility.

  • MoreNCsarecoming

    TorBear and to all bad mouthing Berkley fans

    Do you realize how bad you all look trashing a 20 year older who doesn’t want to play for your program. At USC we have the same thing going on but you don’t see or read our fans trashing players who leave. Emmanuel Moody went to Florida who we will probably see in the NC game and we wished him well. All of this trashing really doesn’t speak well of you all.

    And BTW I can’t find the score of your NIT game tonight. Did you win or lose or does anyone really care?

  • MoreNCsarecoming

    Sorry…your NIT game is tomorrow. I am only interested in the NCAA’s and that is why I got the wrong time.

  • Tyler


    Once again, it’s “Berkeley”

  • Case_Study

    MoreNCs – still trolling on your daddy’s dime? You’re so lonely and pathetic and your family knows it.

  • Eric

    Again, Amy, really, get a life. You post on so many boards, mostly to bash Cal, it’s pretty pathetic. Can’t you just stick to SC boards and blogs? Apparently not, because you are absolutely obsessed with Cal. The attention is flattering.

  • Big D

    Transfering is always a personal issue. Good luck Monty, I wish you well!

  • AMY really doesn’t mind getting showered with insults. Any attention at all is what this sorry, little worm craves.

    I imagine even mommy’s spankings bring some satisfaction to this $hit stain.

    BTW, don’t expect little amy to properly spell ‘Berkeley’. It’s a power/control thing, when she says ‘Berkley’, and ‘Cal-State Berkley’ instead.

    Since she is such a sad sack, and has proven over the years NOT to have any semblance of a life; perhaps we shouldn’t deprive her of some pleasure in her tiny little ‘cyberspace’ world.

  • TorBear

    “Do you realize how bad you all look trashing a 20 year older who doesn’t want to play for your program. At USC we have the same thing going on but you don’t see or read our fans trashing players who leave. Emmanuel Moody went to Florida who we will probably see in the NC game and we wished him well. All of this trashing really doesn’t speak well of you all.”

    How, exactly, did I trash Montgomery in my post? As for the reaction of U$C fans when they lose one of theirs, does the phrase, “I guess he didn’t want to compete” meean anything to you? I’ve read it over and over again on U$C boards.

  • jake

    I wish Montgomery the best, but he left because he knew he couldn’t beat out Best for the starting tailback position. It’s a damn shame because I was looking forward to the Best/Montgomery 1-2 punch.