Louisville, Kentucky – Two influential veterans of the Louisville football program are back for the final ride.
Redshirt senior middle linebacker Monty Montgomery and senior wide receiver Braden Smith have both been approved for medical hardship waivers and are expected to return for the 2023 season, school representatives told the Louisville Report. I’m talking
Both Montgomery and Smith suffered season-ending knee injuries during the 2021 season. Montgomery tore his right ACL in his third UCF game of the year, and Smith tore multiple ligaments in his left knee the following week at Florida State.
This season, Montgomery played a key role in Louisville’s success with the front 7. In all 13 games he started 12 times and the 5-foot-11-pound, 220-pound linebacker was the second-most tackles on the team with 70 and third-most tackles lost. Scoring 11.0 innings, Ashton tied Gilot for his third-most. He sacked for 6.0 and 4 for most forced fumbles put him in a tie with Yasir Abdullah. He also recorded five quarterback rushes and grabbed two interceptions.
Over the past four seasons, the Norcross, Georgia native has been one of Louisville’s top sack artists and an all-around defensive asset. Joining the program in 2019 after spending a season in the JUCO ranks at Hutchinson Community College, he has totaled 160 tackles (96 solo), 23.5 tackles for loss, 15.0 sacks, 7 forced fumbles, 7 pass deflections, Scored 3 interceptions in 39 games. at UofL.
As for Smith, he found himself buried under Tyler Hudson and Armalli Huggins Bruce in terms of production, but he was a regular contributor to Louisville’s wide-receiver corps last season. He finished with 21 receptions for 215 yards (both fourth on the team) and one touchdown. A staple of the Cardinals in terms of trick plays, he completed 6 of 9 pass attempts for 146 yards and also completed a touchdown against the No. 1 at the time. 10 Wake Forest.
scroll to continue
Since arriving from Northwest Mississippi Community College prior to the 2020 season, Smith has been a consistent fixture in Louisville’s wide receiver room. The Flowood, Mississippi native has had 59 receptions for 653 yards and two touchdowns in his 29 games with Louisville.
Keeping veterans is a huge boost for both sides of the ball for Louisville. Montgomery and his fellow repeater Benjamin Perry are likely to be the starting linebackers in new defensive coordinator Ron English’s 4-2-5 scheme, and Smith has more than two years on the Louisville roster. He will be one of only two wide receivers with experience. Joined the Cardinals and Huggins-Bruce.
Louisville finished the 2022 season 8-5 overall (4-4 in the ACC), including a 24-7 Fenway Bowl victory over Cincinnati. The Cardinals hired Jeff Brohm as their next head coach after Scott Satterfield ironically left for the Bearcats in early December.
(Photo by Monty Montgomery: Eric Canha – USA TODAY Sports)
For future coverage, follow the Louisville Report. Like us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!
Facebook – @LouisvilleReport
twitter – @UofLReport
Instagram – @louisville_report
You can also follow Associate Editor Matthew McGavic at: @Matt_McGavic on Twitter