Montgomery says he has no beef with shared playing time
Whether it’s with the bracelets they wear on their wrists or the flag they carry onto the field each Saturday, the Idaho Vandals always bring with them the memory of Ken McRoyal, the senior wide receiver who was shot and killed May 13 outside a Los Angeles party.
The sentiment Saturday night could be even stronger than usual.
McRoyal was a New Orleans native who moved to Los Angeles after being displaced by Hurricane Katrina, so facing LSU in Tiger Stadium would have been a homecoming for him. McRoyal is buried in Metairie.
“There is going to be a number of family members of Kenny that are going to be at this game,” Idaho coach Robb Akey said. “Just like they intended to be there to see him play, they’re still going to be there to see his family (the Vandals) play.”
McRoyal played one season at Idaho, seeing action in eight games in 2011 after transferring from El Camino Community College in California. He finished the season with six catches for 35 yards.
The former walk-on had earned a scholarship for his senior season.
“He had a very outgoing, very lively personality,” Akey said. “Very exuberant. He was always going, and his teammates loved him and miss him a great deal.”
The black bracelets coaches and players wear feature McRoyal’s name and jersey number along with the words “We Love You.”
Historically, the Vandals have carried an American flag and a battle ax commemorating the tradition of the Vandal when they enter the field on game days. This year, they’ve added a flag that honors McRoyal.
Other players like quarterback Dominique Blackman have their own way of remembering their teammate. Blackman and McRoyal played together at Carson High in Los Angeles before reuniting at Idaho.
“I’ve got a handshake we always do,” Blackman said. “I kind of do it to his locker before I leave on road games and before I go out for every practice.”
Blackman said he ordered some customized cleats with McRoyal’s name and number for Saturday’s game.
Time share for Monty
Although he is considered a likely first-round draft pick, junior defensive end Sam Montgomery did not start against North Texas in the opener and did not register any statistics. Senior Lavar Edwards got the start in his place.
Montgomery said he wasn’t bothered by coming off the bench.
“I guess coach wanted to try some different combinations,” Montgomery said. “The thing I took from it was a little bit of a humbling factor. One of those things to let me know I’m not too big for my britches. I can sit on the bench and come off and still do great things. Sometimes, you need to be humbled.”
Montgomery was back to a more familiar role Saturday against Washington, earning his 17th career start and making four tackles with one sack. But he said he expects to continue sharing time with Edwards, who has two tackles and a sack through two games.
“It really doesn’t matter who starts,” he said. “That sixth man is the surprising man off the bench who usually comes in and usually makes big plays.”
The Tigers and Vandals have met just once in football, with LSU cruising to a 53-20 victory on Sept. 26, 1998, in Tiger Stadium.
Kevin Faulk led the Tigers with 178 yards rushing and scored on runs of 1, 11 and 81 yards. He also caught a 50-yard TD pass from Herb Tyler.
Larry Foster also scored on a 50-yard punt return.
LSU is 23-1 all-time against current members of the Western Athletic Conference, its only loss coming against Louisiana Tech.