In recent years John Montelus has watched the U.S. Army All-American Bowl from a spot in front of his television. He'll view next year's game from a much better vantage point.
Montelus, a 6-foot-5, 325-pound offensive tackle from Everett High School, accepted an offer to play in the 2013 U.S. Army All-American Bowl earlier this year, and will be presented his jersey during a ceremony in Everett on Thursday.
“I've watched the game since eighth grade, but I never expected I'd play in it,” Montelus said.
Montelus, the top prospect from Massachusetts in the Class of 2013, committed to Notre Dame in April. North Carolina offensive tackle Brennan Williams is the last player from Massachusetts who has played in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. Williams played high school football at Catholic Memorial. In addition, Gloucester's Jim Unis played in the 2001 game and was captain of the East squad.
The 2013 U.S. Army All-American Bowl will be held Jan. 5 at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas. NBC will televise the game live.
Despite giving his verbal commitment to Notre Dame, Montelus said he is still being recruiting by other major programs.
“Some schools still call, but you just have to ignore them,” Montelus said. “I'm not interested in any other school. I'm solid to Notre Dame. Really nothing can change my mind.”
Montelus, 17, also shot down reports that he committed to Florida and then switched his commitment to Notre Dame.
“No,” Montelus said. “It came down to Florida and Notre Dame. I really liked Florida too. It was really close, but I liked everything about Notre Dame. The coaching staff is great, as you can tell by the season right now.”
More star power: Montelus isn't the only Massachusetts player who will be playing in a national high school all-star game. Xaverian's Maurice Hurst Jr. has accepted an invitation to the Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl.
Hurst, a three-star defensive tackle, committed to Michigan in June during an unofficial visit to the school. According to ESPN Recruiting, he is the No. 2 prospect in Massachusetts
Hurst, who lives in Canton, became the fifth player from Massachusetts to commit to a Big Ten school in the last two years, joining Eric Olson (Buckingham, Browne & Nichols/Northwestern), Armani Reeves (Catholic Memorial/Ohio State), Cam Williams (Catholic Memorial/Ohio State) and Marcus Grant (Lawrence Academy/Iowa). Grant has since transferred to Boston College.
The Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl made its debut last year. The second game will be held Jan. 4 at the Home Depot Center near Los Angeles. The game can be seen on the NFL Network. Reeves and Williams each played in last year's game.
Hurst's Xaverian team will meet Montelus and Everett on Saturday at 1:30 p.m., in Westwood.
Make me an offer: Sacred Heart gave Lexington resident Korey Kajko his first scholarship offer last Thursday.
Kajko is a 6-foot-1, 220-pound fullback who is spending a postgraduate year at Wilbraham & Monson Academy in Wilbraham. He played fullback at Lexington High School during his junior year, but moved to offensive tackle as senior when George Peterson replaced Bill Tighe as Lexington's head coach and installed a spread offense that didn't utilize a fullback.
“It was good to get that first offer,” Kajko said. “Recruiting is starting to pick up.”
Kajko said Holy Cross, Rhode Island, Bryant, Massachusetts, Dartmouth and Yale are among the other schools that are showing interest.
Recruiting information regarding high school or prep school players in New England can be sent to Roger Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org.