The LSU Tigers defensive end duo of Sam Montgomery and Barkevious Mingo were one of the most impressive tandems in college football this past season, and today at the 2013 NFL Scouting Combine Montgomery admitted to bets with Mingo to push each other to the next level.
Montgomery and Mingo had a $500 bet for the final game of the season to see who would get the most sacks and a $1,000 bet to see who would finish the season with the most sacks.
The duo also has a $5,000 bet on who will get drafted higher — it looks like Mingo will win that one.
A troubling fact for NFL teams, however, could be that Montgomery seemed to imply that the pair of defensive ends took plays off against the weaker competition.
“You know, some weeks when we didn’t have to play the harder teams, there were some times when effort was not needed,” Montgomery said. “But when we had the big boys coming in, the ‘Bamas or the South Carolinas, I grabbed close to those guys and went all out.
“Of course, this is a new league, the NFL and there are no small teams, small divisions, it is all Alabamas and LSUs every week. It’s definitely something I have to get adjusted to, but I’m sure with the right coaching I will be fine.”
But don;t expect a lack of effort to be a problem at the next level.
“When you are a young, you do things as a boy, but when you grow, you do things as a man,” he said. “From a maturing standpoint, and from everything going into this league that I have learned so far, I was a boy in college, and now that I am going into the league, I’ve become a man.
“Here’s the thing: Hard work, and betting like that, pushes greatness. That’s actually motivating me and Mingo. It’s not about the money, it’s about pushing us, at the combine and the drills in between. That’s what is pushing us to be the best.
“It’s always been competitive for me and Mingo and it makes us better in the end. He’s a fast defensive end, I’m more physical. We have to switch over in those realms, so putting big stakes on it makes us more dominant players in the end.”
Both players appear to be first-round prospects and should hear their names called within the first 32 picks of April’s draft.
It is nice to see their friendly rivalry, but hopefully they will be able to put the lackluster effort against lesser competition behind them and play to the most of their potential on every snap.