BUILDING A LEFT TACKLE
Montgomery's father is a builder, too — but a different kind.
Jon Montgomery made a career building offensive linemen. He was a college coach for two decades at places such as Cincinnati and Grambling State.
His son might be his most impressive design yet.
Obviously, Mildren would have been big, whether his father was a football coach or a computer engineer. You can't teach a kid to be 6-foot-5 with a 7-foot wingspan.
But Mildren has been learning the details of the left tackle trade since he was little.
“Mildren was sitting in meetings with my linemen since he was big enough to crawl up in the chair,” Jon Montgomery said. “Everywhere I've ever coached, he's been coming to practice with me, sitting in there watching film.
“When he was about 4, he came up to me and said, ‘Daddy when I get bigger, I'm gonna bwock.' He couldn't even say ‘block' yet,” Jon said. “So I told him to show me how he was gonna block, and he put his little right hand down on the ground. I said ‘No, no. You gotta put your left hand down.'
“He looked at me and I said, ‘One day you'll be glad I taught you that.'”
That day has arrived. Montgomery has been one of the most sought-after offensive linemen in the state this year, settling on Texas Tech last June. For two seasons he has anchored the Douglass offensive front.
“He has great feet for a kid with his size,” Douglass coach Willis Alexander said. “He's so long. He has the upside to be one of the best around here, one of the best to come out of this place.
“We continue to challenge him. The fact that he has to go up against (LSU commit) Deondre Clark in practice has been good for him. He's not a stranger to hard work, and he's very humble, nice, polite kid.”
And while his LEGOs — and greater architectural aspirations — will always be there, Mildren understands the opportunities football can offer in the more immediate future.
“My dad has always told me I had a body made for left tackle,” he said. “I've always seen myself as being the next Anthony Munoz. A great left tackle in college football, or maybe even in the NFL.
“And as all this has happened with recruiting and everything, I've started to understand what I can become.”
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