What’s It Like to Play Football at a Division 3 Program?

Jake Evans talks to Montgomery Owen for the second article in our ‘What’s it like…’ series. Monty is a freshman playing football for Washington & Lee University. Monty was added to Collegiate Sports Data as a college level prospect on 05-01-2016.

JE: What made you first want to try to play football in college?
MO: Primarily I just love sports in general and football specifically. I really couldn’t see myself not being involved in athletics in some sort. So my main reason to play was just for the love of it. Next, I saw an opportunity to use my athletic abilities to help myself get into a high academic school in order to try to set myself up for my future as well as being able to continue playing.
JE: What was the recruiting process like for you, seeing that D3 schools aren’t as public in their recruiting?
MO: At the beginning I honestly wasn’t very interested in playing at a D3 school, so I shrugged their interest off at first. But further in the process, after talking with some influential people, I came to realize that D3 would be a perfect mix of school and football. I came to realize it’s not all about getting huge offers and tweeting about it.
JE: What is the transition like from high school football, to D3 college football?
MO: In high school the majority of kids are still growing and fitting into their bodies. At the D3 level, it’s a new game because everyone is a grown man.
JE: What has been your favorite part about playing college football so far?
MO: It’s been getting to know all the guys on the team. I’ve met a lot of really great people already and it’s fun being able to compete with them.
JE: What is the biggest challenge of being a student-athlete?
MO: Probably time management and organization. Being at a high-academic school, it’s pretty demanding. However, by planning out your schedule it’s manageable.
JE: What schools were you looking at while being recruited/who was looking at you?
MO: I was in contact with the majority of the Ivy League schools. Also, smaller D3 school like Williams and Middlebury.
JE: What is it like being a part of a team where no players are on athletic scholarship?
MO: It’s not really something you think about, but it shows that all these guys are playing because they want to and they love the sport.
JE: What’s been the funniest moment so far?
MO: We flew out to California to play Claremont-McKenna, and the offensive bus started smoking from the inside on the interstate on the way to our hotel and we had to evacuate the bus on the side of the road. It was a little scary at first, but in hindsight it was a funny experience and everyone was safe.
JE: What was the best/most rewarding part of the recruiting process?
MO: For me, it was getting my acceptance letter to the school. The coaches have little say in the admissions process compared to other schools so it was a relief when I was officially accepted.
JE: What is the workout/practice schedule like compared to a high school regiment?
MO: Coming from a big football high school, it is pretty similar. I would say the practices are at a higher tempo.
JE: What would be your one piece of advice to anyone considering playing D3 football?
MO: I’d say it’s an awesome opportunity and that people should consider it. Coming from someone who was hesitant at first, it has only been a great experience so far.
JE: Although it’s only been a few months, has D3 football been a worthwhile experience?
MO: Absolutely. I’ve met some of my best friends, been able to continue playing football, and have had a balanced college life.

Jake Evans is a 19-year-old Integrated Marketing and Communications major at the University of Mississippi. Lover of all things Ole Miss, Predators, Titans & Braves.