Alton Montgomery played collegiately for the University of Houston during the final years of the SWC, garnering a reputation as a physical headhunting defender, and earning a nomination for the Jim Thorpe Award. A first team SWC choice in 1988 and 1989, he played his first two years at Northwest Missississippi Junior College where he made 14 interceptions. Montgomery is well remembered for the curbstomping that Houston inflicted on the University of Texas that year; A game in which he recorded 10 tackles, 4 sacks, and 4 hits behind the line in a 47-9 drubbing. He also had a memorable 72 yard interception return of a Timm Rosenbach pass in the 1988 Aloha Bowl against Washington State.
Montgomery parlayed his accolades into a late second round pick of the Denver Broncos in the 1990 draft. The pick seemed a slightly odd one, as the team was already set with Dennis Smith and Steve Atwater playing safety, so the team listed him as ‘defensive back’ initially before officially giving him a cornerback designation. Montgomery’s combine results showed that he had great change of direction, which led scouts to peg him as an excellent man to man defender. He came along quickly as a rookie, as he racked up 37 tackles, and intercepted 2 passes to tie for the team lead. Montgomery also saw some spot time at returner, averaging 20.4 yards on 14 returns, including a 59 yarder. Over the next two seasons the team used him sparingly at defensive back and more for the return game. As the team cleaned house after the departure of Dan Reeves in 1992, Montgomery hit the free agency market and signed with the Atlanta Falcons, playing there through 1995. He is best known by Falcons fans, for returning a Scott Mitchell interception 71 yards for a touchdown against the Detroit Lions as the team won 34-22 in his final season in the league. Currently, he lives in the greater Atlanta area and works in human resources.
Alton is another member of the Action Packed Rookies 1990 club that I was after. I was pleased to add Montgomery to the Hall in a very short amount of time. An absolutely marvelous photo of the safety probably doing punt return duties, the autograph really shows up well on the embossed and dark canvas. The Score 1990 card shows him in his college threads, and while it is not in an action pose, it still resonates a strong presence with Montgomery’s stance. Alton’s Score Supplemental 1990 card is an exciting one, and easily stood out from what felt like an inferior Pro Set offering.
G/Gs 68/6 Tac 114 Sac 3.0 Int 3 Yds 114 Avg 38.0 Td 1 Lg 71t
Kr 65 Yds 1351 Avg 20.8 Td 0 Lg 64