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Montgomery admits bets with Mingo, lack of effort at LSU

Sam Montgomery, AJ McCarron

LSU defensive end Sam Montgomery (99) celebrates after sacking Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron (10) in the first half of an NCAA college football game in Baton Rouge, La., Saturday, Nov. 3, 2012. (AP Photo/Bill Haber)


Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o wasn’t the only high-profile college star creating as many questions as he answered Saturday.

LSU defensive end Sam Montgomery detailed hundreds of dollars worth of bets with teammate Barkevious Mingo while they were in college, and a $5,000 bet on which one is drafted higher (which he’s almost certainly going to lose).

But the thing NFL teams will want to know about was his admission that he took plays and games off while at LSU.

“You know, some weeks when we didn’t have to play the harder teams, there were some times when effort was not needed,” Montgomery said. “But when we had the big boys coming in, the ‘Bamas or the South Carolinas, I grabbed close to those guys and went all out.

“Of course, this is a new league, the NFL and there are no small teams, small divisions, it is all Alabamas and LSUs every week. It’s definitely something I have to get adjusted to, but I’m sure with the right coaching I will be fine.”

Asked if NFL teams might be concerned about his ability to flip the switch from not trying all the time, Montgomery said he has matured in the months since he left LSU.

“When you are a young, you do things as a boy, but when you grow, you do things as a man,” he said. “From a maturing standpoint, and from everything going into this league that I have learned so far, I was a boy in college, and now that I am going

into the league, I’ve become a man.”

Montgomery said he and Mingo (who many expect to be a top-10 pick, while Montgomery is projected as a late-first) had a $500 bet on who had more sacks in the final game, $1,000 on season sacks along with the big wager on draft status.

“Here’s the thing: Hard work, and betting like that, pushes greatness,” Montgomery said. “That’s actually motivating me and Mingo. It’s not about the money, it’s about pushing us, at the combine and the drills in between. That’s what is pushing us to be the best.

“It’s always been competitive for me and Mingo and it makes us better in the end. He’s a fast defensive end, I’m more physical. We have to switch over in those realms, so putting big stakes on it makes us more dominant players in the end.”

Setting aside the friendly bets, teams are going to wonder what they have to do to motivate Montgomery once they’re the ones paying him.