January 29, 2012

QB, Tevin Long makes it official

When you watch quarterback Tevin Long run spread option, there are several compliments that quickly come to mind. If you are from the "old school" his moves remind you of former Chicago Bear's great, Gayle Sayers or perhaps more recent, Detroit Lions Hall of Famer, Barry Sanders and for the more current fan, it would be Michael Vick. Not to mention that Long himself is also a southpaw like the Philadelphia Eagles quarterback.

"I look up to him (Vick) as a player and Pat White (former West Virginia QB)," shared Long, who added this about his his skill set. "I'm more quick than fast. I'm the guy who will make you miss, that's my strength. I can throw fairly well, but I can improve in that area."

Army Official Visit

What sat the stage for Long was his journey to West Point for his official visit to Army. He was joined by his mother during his January 20th weekend visit, where the elusive athlete walked away reassured that Army could be the place for him.

"I liked and learned a lot, especially the military aspect as a cadet and after graduation which was my main concern," said Long who was hosted by sophomore wide receiver Jared McFarlin. "He was very cool and I had all my questions were answered."

"After my visit, my interest became very high. The facilities were phenomenal and attending one the top academic schools in the nation is big time for me."

Even during the visit, it became more apparent to Long that the Army program, offense and West Point could be the fit that he had always been looking for.

"My value would be a plus," he adds with confidence. "In that offense, you are responsible for making lots of decision and I like that. The triple option offense is a fit for me, because all the Division I schools that run the spread prefer the big 6'3" - 6'4" quarterback, says the 5-foot-10, 170 pound prospect out of Brookshire (Texas) Royal High School."

However, the shifty quarterback who has offers from Idaho State, Wolford along with Army is not opposed to using his athletic talents elsewhere on the field, if required. "I always hoped to get a D1 scholarship at a regular D1 school and probably play slot or something. I really didn't have any plans to play quarterback especially at that level. I'm willing to play just about anywhere ... wherever I am needed."

Like all prospects, there is that special time with the Black Knights' head coach, Rich Ellerson that puts everything into focus and Long was able to elaborate on his experience with the Army mentor. "I spoke with Coach Ellerson and we talked about me getting into West Point and if I decide, should I go direct or to the prep school for a year," says Long. "I think I'd like to go direct, but I probably wouldn't play this year. The prep school allow me another year to develop and get that much better."
But the Texas native knew that as much as he wasn't being pulled to say yes to Army while on his visit, he needed to take a step back and catch his breath. "I didn't want to commit to Army while I'm still on my visit or fresh off the visit, because I didn't want to make a spur of the moment type of decision," he said. "So after my visit, that's all my parents and I talked about."

The Decision

And it was that level of daily consultation that lead Long to give his commitment to the Black Knights of Army.

"I'm committed to Army on Wednesday," says the still elated Long. "First I called Coach Lyles, but he didn't answer, so I reached out to Colonel Green (academic liaison) and I told him that I wanted to commit. He was excited and then Coach Lyles called me back and then I committed to him.

"I was really excited ... to have the opportunity to go West Point and play football for Army."

Although Long is listed at 170 pounds he indicated that he is slighted under that weight. "I just weighed myself today and I was 168 pounds, but I didn't eat at that time," says Long as he laughs at his comment. "I've been lifting a lot and I know I have to get bigger ... I know that I'm small right now."

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