As first reported by The Missoulian newspaper, the son of former iconic Irish quarterback Joe Montana will now be part of the Grizzlies’ quarterback stable, Montana athletic director Jim O’Day confirmed Monday night.
"He’s enrolled as a student, and he started classes today," O’Day said. "Then I would assume he's a walk-on, because we have no aid as of this semester."
The transfer leaves the Irish with five quarterbacks and at the NCAA-required 85 scholarship limit.
Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly could not be immediately reached for comment.
Montana is a perennial power in the NCAA's Football Championship Subdivision (Division I-AA) and is coming off an off-year by the program's standards (7-4). Because the Grizzlies play in a lower division than Notre Dame, Nate Montana would be eligible to play for the Grizzlies in the fall of 2011 without having to sit out a season.
Nate Montana’s plans are to get into the quarterback derby in the Grizzlies’ upcoming spring practice sessions. The University of Montana’s starting quarterback in 2009 and 2010, Oregon transfer Justin Roper, has exhausted his eligibility.
Montana, a senior-to-be, will have two years of eligibility remaining because he didn’t play at a freshman at ND.
The 6-foot-4, 215-pounder came to Notre Dame as a walk-on in the fall of 2008 after very limited playing time in high school. He transferred to Pasadena City College for his sophomore season, then came back to Notre Dame in January of 2010 for his junior year.
He finished last spring's practices as the No. 2 Irish QB, and Kelly rewarded him in the fall with a scholarship. But then-freshman Tommy Rees eventually leapfrogged Montana at midseason, and this spring sophomore-to-be Andrew Hendrix and early-enrolling freshman Everett Golson figured to do the same.
Nate Montana played in three games in an ND uniform, all in the 2010 season. His most extensive playing time came in a relief role against Michigan in which he completed eight of 17 passes for 104 yards with one interception.
Staff writer Eric Hansen: email@example.com 574-235-6470