By Adrian Jauregui
Ringing in the new year, senior David Long arrived in San Antonio, Texas, on Saturday, Jan. 9, to play in the 2016 U.S. Army All-American Bowl with other top high school athletes at the Alamodome. This game showcases 90 of the nation’s top athletes, who are placed in either an East or West team. Broadcasted on NBC, the bowl game was watched across the nation with an average of 40,000 spectators each year.
As the West’s cornerback, Long stepped on hallowed ground where young prospects including Adrian Peterson, Odell Beckham Jr., Reggie Bush and Andrew Luck had once played when they were seniors in high school.
Since 1985 the All-American Bowl often sends its players to Division 1 football programs and from there, the NFL Draft. Long said, “The experience was beyond anything I could imagine, everything was first-class. From the equipment, players and staff everything was amazing.”
Long has started down a path of hundreds of NFL stars and has opened several doors through his performance.
Ranked as the nation’s eighth best cornerback by 247Sports, Long attributes his invitation to the bowl game to his performance throughout the fall and spring of his junior year. “I played really well against top competition during the season as well as during the off-season,” Long said.
Leading last year’s Cubs to a 4-6 season record, Long has improved as a player and a leader as he contributed to this year’s record of nine wins and three losses with a quarterfinal appearance at CIF.
Teammate and senior Tommy McAndrews said, “David, along with other seniors, took it upon themselves to lead the team not only by words, but also by actions.”
Long received 23 offers from Division I and Division II colleges including Stanford University, University of Washington, Notre Dame and University of Michigan. With a wide array of options, the decision was tough for the student-athlete, seeking both an education and the opportunity to showcase his talents on the field.
After months of deliberation including a decommission from Stanford University, the four-star cornerback committed to play with the University of Michigan in the upcoming fall.
Convinced by his visits with Head Coach Jim Harbaugh, Long will enter into a select group of Loyola athletes that went on to perform in college; a club that includes Stanford kicker Conrad Ukropina ‘12, UCLA backup quarterback Jerry Neuheisel ‘11 and former UCLA and current Minnesota Vikings linebacker Anthony Barr ‘10.
Contemplating his future in football, Long said, “If the opportunity presents itself, I will go pro.”
With a bright future in front of him, Long looks forward to excelling at the University of Michigan and becoming the best player possible.