The Cincinnati native announced via twitter Sunday morning that he would forgo his last year of eligibility to enter the NFL. His 2018 season was one of the best individual defensive seasons in WVU history. The junior amassed 111 tackles, 19 tackles for loss and seven sacks. He was voted First Team All Big 12 and a Second Team AP All American. Additionally, he was selected by the Big 12 coaches and the AP to represent the conference as Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year.
Even as a true freshman, Long was a standout on the field. As a sophomore, he missed four games with a leg injury, however, his persistence paid off to finish third on the team in total tackles. Long’s shortened season was enough to earn him second team honors on Pro Football Focus’ All American Team.
As a Mountaineer, Long has put up prolific numbers, clearly making his mark in West Virginia history. During his career, he amassed a daunting 250 tackles and 40 tackles for loss. He will forever be remembered as someone who had an innate football sense, knack for shedding blocks and making game-changing plays in the backfield.
Long’s talents will be greatly missed in Morgantown as West Virginia turns toward to the 2019 season. The Mountaineers will next take the field against James Madison on August 31st.