VanGorder following father to Notre Dame

VanGorder following father to Notre Dame

Quarterback Montgomery VanGorder, the son of Irish defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder, talks about his decision to walk-on at Notre Dame and describes his relationship with his father.

When his dad informed him he was taking the defensive coordinator position at Notre Dame, Montgomery VanGorder didn't really have to think twice.

"It was a pretty easy decision," VanGorder said of his decision to walk-on at Notre Dame. "I was planning on walking on at Central Florida before that, but that opened a new door. It was more of Notre Dame itself that made (the decision easy). It's such a prestigious school and a historically great football program. Having my dad there is more like a bonus."

VanGorder, the third youngest in a family of four boys, started at quarterback for Buford in Buford, Ga. his junior and senior years where they won the state title both of those years. In his junior campaign, he threw for 12 touchdowns and over 1000 yards with a 68 percentage completion rate.

VanGorder, who was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan and has lived in Georgia for the past seven years, has two older brothers, one who is a walk-on safety at Auburn (Mack VanGorder) and another who graduated from Georgia last year.

"I've definitely grown up with football always around me," VanGorder said. "I guess that's what happens when your dad is the coach."

At the Notre Dame coaches clinic in February, Brian VanGorder stressed to the crowd of coaches in attendance the importance of their jobs, pointing out that his sons' coaches were a vital piece in their lives, especially considering his schedule that involved being away from the family during the fall season.

Since taking the job at Notre Dame, Montgomery said his dad comes home "once or twice a month."

"My dad came to games when he could, but he would always offer advice," VanGorder said. "When we were little, he would yell at us a lot and was really involved, but as we've gotten older, he's let us figure it out more. He's backed off some."

"Most of the time I welcome it," VanGorder added. "Sometimes after bad games when I don't want to talk anyone it's annoying, but that's any father-son relationship I think. I have a really great relationship with my dad. He's been a great dad my entire life."

VanGorder added that his dad is tough on all of his players, not just his sons.

"He will yell," VanGorder said. "Very loudly. But, he has a great relationship with his players. Some guys don't realize he's hard on them for their own good. He always has their best interests at heart."

The 6-foot-2, 205-pound quarterback is a fan of how Notre Dame operates on offense.

"I'm a pocket-passer," Montgomery said. "I was able to watch a spring practice, and they let their quarterbacks throw it a lot. I noticed the quarterbacks didn't run the ball too much unless they were scrambling or saw something open up. It was pass-first."

VanGorder boasted scholarship offers from Murray State and Western Kentucky and a preferred walk-on spot at both Central Florida and Tennessee.

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