When Notre Dame kicks off against Rice on August 30, 2014, there will be two VanGorders on the sidelines. One will be new Notre Dame defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder and walk-on Freshman Quarterback Montgomery VanGorder.
Montgomery VanGorder will forgo his FCS offers to Eastern Kentucky and Murray State to walk on at the University of Notre Dame.
VanGorder is not a slouch either. He is considered a 2-star recruit by Rivals. He lead his high school, Buford, to the state title. He checks in at 6’1″ 204 lbs and runs a 4.8 40-yard dash. He reports a 3.2 GPA.
Quality walk-on Quarterbacks are completely underestimated. This year, Notre Dame will have four scholarship Quarterbacks if Luke Massa is included. Massa, VanGorder and possible another will help the Irish run the scout teams. Getting solid looks at what your opponent may do helps the team but it is never seems. Therefore, scout team player of the year usually does not get enough credit.
Additionally, preferred walks-on can grow into solid special teams and situational players like Joe Schmidt. It is unlikely that VanGorder would grow into a starter at Notre Dame. There is only one Quarterback and it is arguably the most difficult position on the field. But, even Nate Montana, a former walk-on, played for Notre Dame against Michigan in 2010 and did an excellent job.
Brian Kelly has done an excellent job working several preferred walk-ons into the mix. Also in this year’s class is Grant Hammann. Hammann had a combination of offers from FBS and FCS programs. The offers included Army, Air Force, Cornell, Yale and others. He claims a 4.34 40-yard dash. This is probably inaccurate but he is certainly fast. He should be excellent when running down on punts and kick-offs.