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CGB Hall of Fame Semifinal: (3) Mike Montgomery vs. (2) Seamus Kelly

In a Hall of Fame tournament full of tough choices, this one may be the toughest: Mike Mohamed faces Famous Seamus Kelly. Check out the most recently updated bracket here.

Ruey Yen

(3) Mike Montgomery

Bear in Mind: Mike Montgomery (via CalTV Berkeley)

NorCalNick shares his perspective:

Mike Montgomery has been at Cal for five years now, which means he has now reached the threshold of CGB hall of fame eligibility. Thankfully, Monty has been successful enough that such an achievement is very low down on the list of things he should be celebrating.

It's way too early to get nostalgic about the Monty era, seeing as how it's still going strong. But I suspect that in a decade or two, I'll look back and remember how much fun his teams were to follow. Granted, that's in no small part due to the players themselves. But how much did you love watching Jerome Randle get unleashed for two years under Monty, or how he helped turn Jorge Gutierrez from a defensive specialist into a Pac-12 player of the year? How much did you enjoy watching Allen Crabbe these past few years, and how much fun do you think Jabari Bird is going to be?

Monty has made four NCAA tournaments, won a Pac-10 title, finished in the top 4 of the conference every year, and consistently made basketball games fun, win or lose. That last part tends to get short-shrift, but this is an entertainment business, isn't it?

We might not have Monty for much longer - if he decided tomorrow to spend the rest of his life sipping wine and occasionally sitting in a Pac-12 network studio with Ernie Kent, it would be well deserved. But we still have him and he's going to have some talent over the next few years. Monty may not make the CGB hall of fame this year, but I'd like to think that he will add to his resume very shortly.

Nick was wise to cherish the time Monty was with us, as the legendary coach has since retired.  Will his retirement propel him into the Hall of Fame?  His challenger may have something to say about that...

(2) Seamus Kelly

Needless to say, the Cal Rugby program is the most dominant in the sport. Since the inception of the program in 1882, there is one accomplishment that has only been achieved once--the only player in Cal Rugby history to be a three-time captain is Seamus Kelly. That speaks volumes to the quality of character and the quality of play that Kelly brings to Witter Field.

The on-field accolades of "Famous" Seamus are endless. During his time at Cal, he was a member of two teams that won the national championship, helped lead the team to our first Sevens National Championship, was named an All-American four times, and was the 2013 RUGBYMag Men's College Player of the Year.

When RUGBYMag named him their Player of the Year, they described his greatness as follows:

In the end we chose Cal's Seamus Kelly because he was the most consistently great. He scored the dramatic try to tie the [2013] Varsity Cup final before BYU's Johnny Linehan hit the winning drop goal. He was MVP for the [College Rugby Championshps] and started for the Eagles (the US National team).

Kelly's skills are myriad. He is smart, can lead a backline, is an excellent defender at center, and very strong over the ball in the rucks. It is his skill in the breakdown that can be overlooked, but will stand him in good stead in his future.

And we haven't even discussed his attacking acumen, which is as good as anyone's.

Not only has Kelly been a key playmaker for Jack Clark's Golden Bears, but he's also started for the US National Team, the Eagles. While his rugby play is plenty incredible, he's known for his humble and team-first character and his academic dedication that will lead him to graduating with a degree in Political Economy.