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So Long Seniors: Anel Montanez

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Position: DL
Hometown: Trumbull, CT
High School: Trumbull

2010 was a season when every member of the team was asked to make an adjustment. Bringing in a completely new offense and defense meant not only learning a few new plays or schemes but changing everything that had been drilled into your head during the course of your collegiate career.  Few players had more asked of them than Anel Montanez. Not only did he have to learn the new system, he had to play the role of mentor to some of the younger players.

I think guys look up to me automatically knowing that I've started for three years and been around for so long. I've seen the program grow a lot."-- Anel Montanez

Cutting over from a 4-3 to a 3-4, even a hybrid 3-4 means that the defensive tackles go from being one of four guys with pretty similar jobs to the guy responsible for owning the middle of the line. It means instead of suffering the occasional double team you are faced with a constant barrage of players hitting you. Aside from the QB few players have a bulls eye as big as the nose tackle.

"You see your life pass before your eyes about four times a game. The center hits you in the stomach, one guard gets you in the ribs, then the fullback drills you in the chest just as one of your own linebackers smacks you in the back. If you're mad at your kid, you can either raise him to be a nose tackle or send him out to play on the freeway. It's all about the same." -- Fred Smerlas, Nose Tackle Buffalo Bills

Montanez as the 'old man' on the line did his part on what would be one of the bright spots of 2010. The same work ethic that was key to Trumbull High and a conference title was key to the units success this season:

"His leadership has been solid both in the locker room, on the field, off the field."  -- Coach Jeff Quinn
In 2006 the then true freshman played in seven games, including a punishing performance against the Bobcats wherein he tallied four tackles and a forced fumble. He spent the next year as a red shirt.

The year off gave the Trumbull Connecticut native the time needed to work himself into starting form, and during the Championship run of 2008 Montanez started all 14 games. During the International Bowl Anel garnered four tackles (one for loss), a sack, and two forced fumbles, helping to keep the Bulls in the game well into the second half.

Two of his best games in 2009 (he started all 12) came against CMU and Akron. Between those games Montanez had 12 tackles and a forced fumble.

Coming out of spring ball he was put on the second team but by the time UB kicked off the season against Rhode Island he was the starting nose tackle. Once again starting all 12 games, for a career total of 39 starts and 45 games played.