South Rowan (China Grove, N.C.) punter Marshall Long had scheduled official visits to Georgia and Virginia Tech the weekends of January 22-24 and January 29-31. The 6’4″, 225-pound senior has decided, however, that he doesn’t need those visits after all. Earlier this evening, Long, a U.S. Army All-American, announced he will attend Virginia Tech.
After much prayer and thought, I am blessed enough to say I've committed to Virginia Tech… https://t.co/BwSwtbXYWh
— Marshall Long (@marshall_long) January 15, 2016
Long impressed former Virginia Tech head coach Frank Beamer at camp in the summer of 2015, and last month he received a scholarship offer from new Hokies head coach Justin Fuente. Meanwhile, Georgia offered a recruited walk-on spot and was considering a scholarship offer. A gut feeling put Tech over the top.
“I decided to commit because Blacksburg felt like home,” Long wrote in a Twitter direct message to TechSideline.com. “I can see myself there for the next 4 years under coach Shibest and Fuente. I’m excited to get there.”
The 2015 season was only the third year punting for Long, who turned in an excellent senior season performance. The product of natural talent and hard work, he averaged 46.5 yards per punt with a long of 75 yards.
“I would say [punting] came natural because my dad punted in high school, but I also worked really hard over the last three years to be one of the top punters in the nation,” wrote Long, who estimates he has competed in 25 camps the past few offseasons. “Hard work is something my dad showed me and I knew that was the only way to succeed. I couldn’t rely solely on natural talent.”
Virginia Tech now has 18 recruits in the class of 2016. Eight of those prospects are expected to enroll in the spring semester, which begins next week. Long becomes the first special teams prospect to commit to Tech in this class.