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Heel Tough Blog: Starting Offensive Lineman Announces His Return for 2023 Season


Andy Mead- ISI Photos

Prior to the bowl game, Mack Brown announced that senior offensive lineman Ed Montilus was going to forego his extra year of eligibility and step away from football. However, on Monday, Brown revealed that will no longer be the case.


As first reported by Inside Carolina’s Adam Smith, Montilus has had a change of heart and will now return for the 2023 season. His return means that the team will bring back the player that played the most snaps (1,054) of anyone on the team this season. He started all fourteen games for the team this season, his first as a full-time starter. In his prior three seasons with the team, he was a valuable rotational player at guard, playing in 35 games and starting 17 of those.


Unfortunately for Montilus, he may have played a ton of snaps in 2022, but they didn’t come with a lot of success. He graded out as the team’s second-worst offensive lineman, besting only reserve offensive tackle Diego Pounds, who played just 16 snaps the entire season. He allowed 31 total pressures and five sacks, the second-most of anyone on the team in both of those categories and graded out at a 52.3 according to Pro Football Focus. Believe it or not, he graded out even worse as a run blocker, registering a 46.5, a mark that was second-worst amongst offensive linemen on the team.


This was a steep drop from what we saw from him in prior years, which wasn’t exactly flawless. 2021 was easily his best season and oddly enough it was the season where his role was reduced to a rotational role. That was the only season, though, where he finished with an overall grade higher than a 60.0. It’s also the only season where he allowed less than 10 pressures.


Getting Montilus’ experience back is big, but the hope should be for him to return to the rotational role that he thrived some much in back in 2021. The team did add Coastal Carolina transfer offensive lineman Willie Lampkin in the portal and it looked like he was poised to take over for Montilis before today’s announcement. Don’t count out Jonathan Adorno, who was the rotational option this season at the guard spot, or Trevyon Green, who impressed last spring at both guard and tackle.

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