Those who have worked with Montgomery know well what he could bring to the Bears. That includes Louis Ayeni, previously Iowa State's running game coordinator and now Northwestern's running backs coach.
"With a guy like this, you got somebody special," Ayeni said on the Bernstein & McKnight Show on Monday morning. "Not just a special player but a special person. He's got some make-you-miss ability that I think has been documented that's really, really impressive. He's did a lot of things in the pass game too. I think they got a steal in this draft."
Montgomery rushed for 2,925 yards and 26 touchdowns over three seasons at Iowa State. He was also a threat in the passing game, hauling in 71 receptions for 582 yards.
What the Cyclones came to appreciate about Montgomery was the way he worked. He would famously work out at midnight, a movement that spread to the other players and eventually much of the team.
"He was the catalyst for our turnaround at Iowa State," Ayeni said. "He knew he had to grind to get where he wanted to go, and that was in the NFL. He wasn't satisfied being a 3-9 football team. He wanted to do whatever he could to change the program. It started by him working out at midnight by himself.
"You can just feed off his attitude, his work ethic, his energy. The best part about it is when your best players are your hardest workers, it can change a program. That's what it did there."