Montelus: 'Going against the best' at All-American

Everett offensive tackle John Montelus was presented with a game jersey for the U.S. Army All-American Bowl on Thursday. Montelus will become the fifth Massachusetts player to play in the national all-star game. Lauren Winfrey for ESPNBoston.com

EVERETT, Mass. -- Everett senior tackle John Montelus is heading to the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in January. But on Thursday, Montelus was officially recognized in a ceremony before Crimson Tide practice at Veterans Memorial Stadium.

The Army All-American Bowl, featuring the nation’s top 90 high school seniors, will be played on January 5 at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas.

Montelus will become the fifth Massachusetts native to represent at the Army All-American, joining Barry Gallup Jr., Mark Giles, Jim Unis and, most recently, Brennan Williams.

We caught up with the Notre Dame commit after the presentation of his All-American jersey:

On what the distinction means: “It made me feel great being the [fifth] guy from Massachusetts to ever make it that far, so basically that accomplishment makes me feel really good for Everett, and I’m doing it for my teammates. Since I started playing football, really since my sophomore year, I just worked really hard to get me to where I am today. I’m proud of myself, but I’m thankful to my coaches and my mom for always pushing me to be my best.”

On how he found out: “The Army invite came at the end of my junior year, before I committed and everything, basically that’s it. I got the DVD package and everything they send when you’re accepted. It was a nice little package of stuff.”

On what he’s most looking forward to in the experience: “You’re going against really good athletes. You know you’re going against the best and going one-on-one against them. It’s going to be a great experience hopefully before I head to college.”

On where he feels the Crimson Tide near the halfway point: “This week of practice has been really good for us, we’ve been going really hard every day trying to get ready for this week. Xaverian’s got a really big’ D’ line. Everybody on the offensive line is trying their best every day to get ready for them. We’re going to pound the ball, pass the ball, whatever we have to do to win. We’re looking good. The defense and the offensive line, we’ve been going one-on-one, the starting offense and the starting defense. It’s been good, there’s been a lot of trash talking going on against each other [laughs].”