Four days after TheSabre.com reported the commitment, St. Anne’s Belfield junior Chris Long made it official… he has committed to the University of Virginia.
His commitment comes just days after an unofficial visit to UVa, and is the earliest known commitment in the history of Virginia football.
“He has really wanted to go to UVa for a long time,” said St. Anne’s Head Coach John Blake. “Prior to us going to visit [UVa], Chris and I chatted. I asked him what he would do if they offered. He said, ‘I would jump on it. I already know where I want to go, so why not do it?’
“He understands the opportunity. Virginia is one of the top three public schools in the country.”
The 6-4 245 pound Long, who is the son of NFL Hall of Fame defensive lineman Howie Long, plays defensive end and offensive tackle for St. Anne’s. He has been recently clocked as running a 4.8 in the 40. More than his physical attributes, Long possesses a high motor and great talent for the game.
“He might be the most explosive kid [I’ve ever seen],” said Blake. “He is so quick off the ball, and he is very strong. Defensively, he is so technically sound. He has had a great teacher, and I’m not talking about me.
“His drive and work ethic are unbelievable as well. He is beyond his years in football.”
While UVa was his first scholarship offer, Long was beginning to receive heavy interest throughout the nation before becoming the Cavaliers first verbal commitment of the 2004 recruiting year. According to Blake, over 30-35 schools from Boston College to the University of Washington had expressed interest in Long.
With the news of his commitment broken, Long now will focus on tackling Atlantic Shores (Va Beach, VA) in the first round of the playoffs. If his reputation follows suit, expect Long to come out firing on all cylinders for St. Anne’s biggest game of the year.
“Chris’s best games come in our biggest games,” said Blake, whose team lost to Atlantic Shores last season in the VISFA Division II state title game. “He played great against Nansemond Suffolk and Blue Ridge [two of the biggest games of the year]. Chris is having a great year.”
TheSabre.com will have a feature interview with Chris Long in the coming days. Currently, Chris is concentrating on gaining revenge on Atlantic Shores and moving St. Anne’s to the next round of the playoffs.