|Height: 6-3 | Weight: 272 | College: Virginia|
Regarded by many as one of the most dominant defensive players in college football entering his senior season, Long more than lived up to those expectations, terrorizing opposing quarterbacks to the tune of 14 sacks, 23 pressures, nine pass break-ups and an interception in 2007. He also caused a pair of fumbles on sacks that Virginia recovered, leading to Cavaliers scores.
Named the Atlantic Coast Conference Defensive Player of the Year and the recipient of the Ted Hendricks Award (nation's top defensive end), Long has certainly emerged from the shadows of his father, former Oakland Raiders defensive end and Hall of Famer, Howie Long. "You want to talk about a chip off the old block? This is a young man that plays absolutely lights-out football," North Carolina head coach Butch Davis said. "Chris Long has to be one of the premier defensive linemen in the country."
Virginia head coach Al Groh also had nothing but rave reviews on Long, stating, "It's hard to imagine there being a better player at any position than Chris Long. A guy would have to be one of the Transformers to be better than Chris. When you've got one of the best players the school's ever had and he's only interested in helping the team win, it puts an exclamation point on what you're trying to do." Groh was amazed that Chris did not receive more Heisman Trophy consideration: "If they're ever going to invite a defensive player to New York in December for the Heisman Trophy presentation, you'd have to think it was Chris Long."
Long was well-known to college recruiters, especially after a stellar career at St. Anne's-Belfield School, where competed on both lines for the state champion squad. The Super Prep and Prep Star All-American received a four-star prospect rating from Rivals.com, a service that rated him the sixth-best defensive end in the prep ranks. Tom Lemming ranked him eighth in the country at defensive end and College Football News placed him 11th at that position.
Long was a member of Rival.com's Atlantic East Amazing-80 team and he was an honorable mention All-South choice by the Orlando Sentinel. He was named 2003 Gatorade Player of the Year in Virginia and rated as the second-best player in Virginia by the Charlottesville Daily Progress "Gold List," third by the Roanoke Times and fourth by Super Prep and Rivals.com. He was also a three-time first-team All-State selection on offense and defense.
The Central Virginia Defensive Player of the Year by the Daily Progress as a senior, Long was a three-time first-team All-Central Virginia defensive lineman by the Charlottesville Daily Progress and earned first-team All-Central Virginia honors his senior season as an offensive lineman as well. He was selected Conference Defensive Player of the Year his final two seasons and was selected Student Sports Junior All-American in 2002.
Long registered 91 tackles (44 solos) as a senior to help lead his team to an undefeated season and the state championship, as he had 23 tackles for loss and 15 sacks that season. He also recorded 72 pancake blocks on offense. As a junior, he posted 85 tackles with 12 sacks and more than 20 tackles for loss. The three-time first-team All-Conference choice finished his career with 43 sacks and 66 tackles for loss. He also played basketball, lacrosse, and baseball during his high school career, winning the 2003 YMCA Slam Dunk Contest for high school students.
Long would hold the rare distinction of having his jersey retired at St. Anne's Belfield School and also at the University of Virginia, where he played in six games during his freshman year in 2004. He posted five tackles with an 8-yard sack before being sidelined due to a bout of mononucleosis.
As a sophomore, Long took over right defensive end duties, starting all 12 games. He totaled 46 tackles (22 solos) with 1.5 sacks and had 7.5 stops for losses, along with 26 pressures and seven pass deflections in 752 plays. In 2006, he earned All-State honors, helping the team rank 17th in the nation, allowing just 289.5 yards per game in total offense. He collected 57 tackles (32 solos) with 4.5 sacks, adding 9.5 stops behind the line of scrimmage to go with 21 pressures in 715 defensive snaps.
As a senior, Long received countless postseason honors, including consensus first-team All-American and unanimous All-Atlantic Coast Conference first-team accolades. He ranked second on the team with 79 tackles (36 solos). The defensive captain tied for third in the nation with 14 sacks and was 14th nationally with 19 stops for losses. He had 23 pressures with an interception and nine pass deflections while blocking one kick and causing two fumbles.
In 43 games at Virginia, Long started 37 times. He recorded 187 tackles (93 solos) with 70 quarterback pressures, three forced fumbles, a 25-yard interception return and 17 pass deflections. He ranks tied for seventh in school history with 21 sacks for minus-171 yards and is sixth all-time in Virginia annals with 38 stops for losses totaling 211 yards. He also blocked one kick while participating in 2,432 defensive plays.
Positives: Has long arms and large hands, with good upper body muscle tone, tight waist and hips and shows good lower body thickness Uses his long reach well to keep blockers away from his body, also utilizing it, along with good timing and leaping ability to bat down a fair share of passes at the line of scrimmage What sets him apart from most young defensive ends is his keen knowledge of the game and his uncanny ability to read block pressure and quickly locate the ball Quick-twitch athlete who shows good quickness, agility and flexibility, showing good knee bend Builds to top acceleration nicely in long pursuit and shows good redirection skills in his pass rush off the edge Lacks an explosive burst, but has good leverage and reach to separate from blocks and close on the quarterback Shows solid football instincts and is able to learn and retain information easily, showing the quick instincts to locate the ball through trash Plays and practices hard and with a purpose, showing good effort and toughness throughout the play Leads by example, as well as with his voice, as the coaches encourage the younger players to emulate his great work ethic Can handle tough coaching and is harder on himself than the staff is when he fails to make a play or blows an assignment Has active hands and feet, showing outstanding quickness off the ball and natural movement ability to close Comes off the snap with good pad level, getting into the blocker quickly with a solid hand jolt to rock the opponent back on his heels (needs to do a better job of staying on the lead blocker to clog the rush lane, though) Has very crisp plant-and-drive agility to make quick change of direction moves working down the line One of his better assets is his lateral agility Has a good feel for blocks and knows what to do to avoid in pursuit Defends the run well, using his hands and extending at the point-of-attack, as he has the hand punch to quickly shed blockers and has developed into an efficient, physical, hip-roll tackler working in-line When he extends his arms (and keeps them active), he plays with good leverage and can hold ground at the point of attack vs. the isolated blocker (struggles some vs. double-teams) Has better leverage than strength to anchor, knowing how to use his lower body Has enough size and strength to hold up at the point-of-attack and the flexibility to sit in the crease and hold his ground or get off blocks When he keeps his hands inside the framework, he can keep separation from the blocker (exposes his chest when his hands get too wide) Moves very well laterally and displays good effort in pursuit, as he has the knee bend to slip by blockers in-line High energy type who had better success disengaging in 2007 than he did in the past, thanks to clearing his feet and chasing hard to run down plays in pursuit Shows adequate flexibility to fight off cut blocks (needs to protect feet better still, but has improved), as he takes good angles when pursuing downfield Physical tackler who can bend, roll his hips and drive through the ballcarrier Might not generate explosive hits, but he has the strength to push the pocket Makes a good effort to arm tackle His above average lateral quickness is utilized well in his back-side pursuit Does a good job when asked to wrap up and drag down the ballcarrier in space and he has the functional strength to generate inside pressure vs. offensive line-man's outside shoulder Shows good body lean coming off the snap and has developed a solid inside counter move to generate pressure Has the upfield speed, along with swim and rip moves to go with the inside counter and bull rush (asset needed for a potential move to defensive tackle) Uses flexibility and a good burst to collapse the pocket and displays the quick hands and feet, along with good hip-flex to turn the corner on edge rushes Can keep separation vs. the run when he uses his hands to control, and when he takes dead aim on the quarterback he shows good intent to get there With his leverage, he can beat the blocker in and out to close on the passer, as he demonstrates good hand placement and the ability to separate from blockers.
Negatives: Lacks suddenness off the snap to surprise a lethargic blocker Best when taking angles to the quarterback, as he does not have the foot speed to take the wide loop in pursuit Needs to be more active with his hands, especially when executing counter moves, as he struggles to shed when a blocker locks on to his jersey Susceptible to the low block and needs to do a better job of slipping off double teams (must execute his spin move more) Might be a better fit as a defensive tackle in a 4-3 alignment, so as not to expose his adequate closing burst Does not use his reach or counter moves with consistency and can be engulfed by the larger blockers Plays better on the move (can get stuck on the bigger blockers at the X's).
Compares To: AARON KAMPMAN-Green Bay Like Kampman, Long is not the fastest, nor is he the strongest defensive end you will find. He lacks the blazing speed you look for in an edge rusher and will struggle to shed blocks at times, but like the Packers standout, he has great field savvy, vision and determination. He knows when he needs to avoid blockers rather than try to overpower them, as he really doesn't have that blow-up strength (good, not great) to dominate, anyway. What he does is take good angles in pursuit and display excellent lateral range working down the line. In a scheme that will let him press the outside shoulder of an offensive tackle, he will have good success. With his pad level and in-line instincts, he could also earn quality minutes as a defensive tackle in a 4-3 alignment, but is more ideally suited to play defensive end in a 3-4 formation.
Long's 21 quarterback sacks tied Sean Scott (1984-87) for seventh on the school's career-record list, topped by Chris Slade (40, 1989-92), Darryl Blackstock (27, 2002-04), Mike Frederick (26, 1991-94), Patrick Kerney (24, 1995-98), Stuart Anderson (23, 1978-81) and Duane Ashman (23, 1993-96) His 14 sacks in 2007 tied Chris Slade (1991) for third on Virginia's season-record list behind Slade's 15 in 1992 and Patrick Kerney's 15 in 1998 His 38 tackles behind the line of scrimmage placed him sixth on the school's career-record chart, surpassed by Chris Slade (56, 1989-92), Mike Frederick (50, 1991-94), Darryl Blackstock (45, 2002-04), Stuart Anderson (42, 1978-81) and Jamie Sharper (41, 1993-96) Long's 19 stops for losses in 2007 rank fifth on Virginia's season-record list behind Chris Slade (21 in 1991 and 20 in 1992), Mike Frederick (21 in 1993) and Patrick Kerney (21 in 1998).
Unanimous All-American and All-Atlantic Coast Conference first-team selection Named ACC Defensive Player of the Year and recipient of the Ted Hendricks Award, given to the nation's top defensive end Finished tenth in the voting for the Heisman Trophy, as he received one first-place vote Was the Dudley Award winner as the top collegiate player in the state of Virginia Named Richmond Touchdown Club Defensive Lineman of the Year
Finalist for the Vince Lombardi Award, the Bronko Nagurski Trophy and the Ronnie Lott Trophy Had his jersey retired prior to his final home game Two-time ACC Defensive Lineman of the Week Named the coaches' defensive player of the week in six contests
Ranked tied for third in the nation with fourteen sacks for minus 122 yards, as the team captain started all thirteen games at right defensive end Also ranked tied for 14th nationally with 19 stops for losses totaling 122 yards Added 23 quarterback pressures while leading a team that ranked 213th in the nation in run defense (106.92 ypg), 16th in scoring defense (19.69 ppg) and 23rd in total defense (332.46 ypg) Caused two fumbles, returned an interception 25 yards, blocked one kick and deflected nine passes Saw action in 898 defensive plays.
|2007 Game Analysis|
Wyoming Opened the season with seven tackles (4 solos), including two sacks of QB Kasten Sween for minus 22 yards and had six QB pressures, the second-highest total of his career "Clearly, there's no better player in college football than Chris Long. He performs like a star but doesn't act like a star," said head coach Al Groh Head to Head Competition -- OT#71-Ryan Otterson (6:05-286).
Duke Shared the team lead with eight tackles (2 solos), twice sacking QB Thaddeus Lewis for losses of 10 yards, adding three pressures and a pass break-up After the game, head coach Al Groh stated, "When you've got one of the best players the school's ever had and he's only interested in helping the team win, it puts an exclamation point on what you're trying to do." Head to Head Competition -- OT#74-Cameron Goldberg (6:06-284).
North Carolina Intercepted a pass early in the fourth quarter to set up what ultimately became UVa's game-winning field goal Added four tackles and sacked QB T.J. Yates for a 6-yard loss while also deflecting one pass "You want to talk about a chip off the old block? This is a young man that plays absolutely lights-out football Chris Long has to be one of the premier defensive linemen in the country," said Butch Davis, North Carolina head coach. "They have some really physical guys that make it difficult to run the football. Chris Long is as good a pass rusher as probably is playing in college football today."
Head to Head Competition -- OT#72-Kyle Jolly (6:06-302).
Georgia Tech Led the team with nine tackles (3 solos), the fourth-highest total of his career Also sacked QB Taylor Bennett for a 9-yard loss, pressured the passer twice and broke up three passes "It normally takes more than one (blocker to stop Long). He's a great player. I saw his daddy for a lot of years. He's got a lot of the same traits. He has excellent technique, great strength, leverage, quickness," Chan Gailey, Georgia Tech head coach stated Head to Head Competition -- OT#64-Andrew Gardner (6:01-298).
Pittsburgh Panthers offensive tackles Jeff Otah and Mike McGlynn held Long to a season-low three assisted tackles "He's the best defensive lineman that I've seen on tape. He's a playmaker. He does it all. He plays the run well. He knocks balls down, and he plays all over the place. He'll be outside as an end, and then he'll move inside as a tackle. He's quick, and he's strong. And he plays so hard. He's got it all, and in my opinion he'll be a first-round (NFL Draft) pick," Dave Wannstedt, Pittsburgh head coach said, when asked to access Chris Long Head to Head Competition -- OT#76-Jeff Otah (6:06-343).
Middle Tennessee State Blocked a Middle Tennessee field goal in the second quarter that was important in UVa's two-point win Posted five tackles (4 solos) with a pair of stops behind the line of scrimmage, including a 9-yard sack of QB Dwight Dasher and also came up with five pressures "Chris Long is really, really good. You guys make sure you watch him play, number 91. He plays extremely hard. He's physical. He can run. He's exactly what you look for in a football player. He's fun to watch," said Rick Stockstill, Middle Tennessee head coach Head to Head Competition -- OT#54-Franklin Dunbar (6:05-323).
Connecticut Delivered four tackles, including a 7-yard sack of QB Tyler Lorenzen, and caused a fumble on that play, as Virginia handed Connecticut its first loss of the season
"Long has got ability, but the other thing is he's very relentless. He's just playing all the time. He's got a big motor, he's got good technique and he's got good strength," Randy Edsall, Connecticut head coach said Head to Head Competition -- OT#64-Wiliam Beatty (6:06-306).
Maryland Long had a tremendous effort in the win over Maryland, when he tied his career
high with ten tackles (4 solos) to earn ACC Defensive Lineman of the Week honors He was in on five tackles for loss (two solo, three assists), including two sacks of QB Chris Turner for minus 18 yards and broke up a pass One of his sacks led to a safety that proved to be the difference in UVa's 18-17 win "With Chris Long, you really have to do your homework to prepare for him. If you've got a weakest defensive lineman, you can pretty much count he's going to be on him. In that light, I feel they're fairly predictable, but it does make it difficult to find out where he is and where he's going to be. They do a good job," Ralph Friedgen, Maryland head coach stated Head to Head Competition -- OT#77-Scott Burley (6:05-324).
North Carolina State The right defensive end made five tackles with two pressures and sacked QB Daniel Evans for a 20-yard loss "That daggone Long guy, Howard's son. I wish he had twins and sent one our way. Boy is his good. He puts on a clinic every time he plays. Every snap is a clinic. He plays the game like it's suppose to be played," said former North Carolina State head coach Chuck Amato "Basically you know where he is on first and second down and they move him around on the third down package. You have to pay special attention to him, especially in a pass-rushing situation and in a long-yardage situation. I think people have tried to chip on him or double him; that's the best thing you can do," stated Tom O'Brien, present NC State head coach. "He has tremendous explosive power and plays with a great base. He's low in coming off the ball. Obviously, you can see a lot of the techniques he has, he's worked with his father. He looks like a miniature version of the way his dad [Howie] used to play. Basically, you know where he is on first and second down. They move him around in the third-down package and I guess we'll figure out who our worst pass protector is because that's where he'll line up." Head to Head Competition -- OT#70-Jake Vermiglio (6:05-317).
Wake Forest Long earned ACC Defensive Lineman of the Week honors, delivering ten tackles (3 solos), with a 3-yard sack of QB Riley Skinner, two stops for losses of 5 yards and a pressure "I don't think we'll play a better defensive player than Chris Long," said Jim Grobe, Wake Forest head coach Head to Head Competition -- OT#78-Louis Frazier (6:04-315).
Miami Long was limited to four hits (3 solos) and a stop behind the line of scrimmage "I really like Chris. He plays the game well, he's fast, he plays with tenacity and he tries to make plays all the time. In pass rush situations, he gets after it," Randy Shannon, Miami head coach said after the game Head to Head Competition -- OT#64-Jason Fox (6:06-291).
Virginia Tech Long had his jersey number (#91) retired prior to the game and then went out to deliver six tackles (5 solos), two pressures and a pass deflection, as he also sacked QB Sean Glennon for a 13-yard loss in the third quarter, causing a fumble that Virginia recovered to set up a 2-yard touchdown run by Cavaliers QB Jameel Sewell His other sack dropped Tyshod Taylor for a 5-yard loss on third-and-8 late in the third quarter, forcing Tech to punt "He won't be denied. You can block him for a few seconds, the ball can go to the other side of the field and he's running, going to the ball. I admire players like that, but at the same time, you've got to block them. It's a real big challenge,'' said Tech offensive tackle Duane Brown. "He has a motor like nobody I've seen before." Head to Head Competition -- OT#76-Duane Brown (6:05-308).
Texas Tech (Gator Bowl) Closed out his career with a pair of pass deflections, four tackles and one pressure Head to Head Competition -- OT#74-Rylan Reed (6:07-314).
The team captain earned second-team All-Atlantic Coast Conference honors He was also a first-team All-State choice by the Virginia Sports Information Directors and the Roanoke Times and a finalist for the Dudley Award, presented to top player in the state of Virginia
Received three awards at the team's annual awards banquet-Ned McDonald Award as UVa's top defensive player, the Colonel F.C. McCue Award as team's outstanding interior lineman and the Joe Palumbo Award honoring UVa player for self-sacrifice, dedication and enthusiasm Started all twelve games at right defensive end, recording 57 tackles (32 solos) with 4.5 sacks for minus 29 yards, 9.5 stops for losses of 43 yards and 21 quarter-back pressures Caused one fumble and deflected a pass while participating in 715 plays.
|2006 Game Analysis|
After being held to just one tackle in each of the team's first two games vs. Pittsburgh and Wyoming, Long posted ten tackles (3 solos) with a 3-yard sack vs. Western Michigan Had three solo tackles and two pressures vs. Georgia Tech, adding two more pressures, three hits and a stop behind the line of scrimmage vs. Duke Totaled nine tackles (7 solos),, a 3-yard sack of QB James Pinkney, causing a fumble on the play and had three pressures vs. East Carolina Posted six hits (5 solos), two pressures, a 7-yard sack and two stops for losses in the Maryland clash Followed with seven tackles (3 solos), a 3-yard sack and a pressure vs. North Carolina Registered three solo tackles, sacked QB Daniel Evans for a 13-yard loss and posted five pressures vs. North Carolina State Added three pressures and three tackles vs. Miami Had seven tackles (2 solos), including one for a 4-yard loss and a pressure vs. Virginia Tech in the season finale.
Moved into the starting lineup at right defensive end, participating in 752 plays Posted 46 tackles (22 solos) with 1.5 sacks for minus 12 yards, 7.5 stops for losses of 27 yards and 26 quarterback pressures Tied for the team lead with seven pass deflections.
|2005 Game Analysis|
Made seven tackles in his first start vs. Western Michigan with three coming in the backfield. No UVa defensive lineman has had more than seven tackles in his first start since 1987 Added three tackles, a pass break-up and five pressures vs. Syracuse Had four tackles, including two for loss, vs. Duke Posted six tackles, two for loss and a sack, vs. North Carolina His only tackle in the win over Temple was a sack Had an outstanding game in a big win over Georgia Tech, as he finished with three tackles and made life difficult for quarterback Reggie Ball with ten quarterback pressures Produced five tackles vs. Virginia Tech Was dominating, particularly in the second half, in the Music City Bowl win over Minnesota, as Long made a season-high nine tackles, including one in the back-field.
Played in six games, missing five midseason games due to a bout with mononucleosis Finished with five tackles (3 solos), a sack for an 8-yard loss and two stops for minus 9 yards Made his first career tackle in the North Carolina game Had another the next week vs. Akron before being sidelined for five games Recorded his first tackle for loss in his return game vs. Miami Made two tackles, including his first sack, in a road win over Georgia Tech.
2004: Sat out the Syracuse (9/25), Clemson (10/07), Florida State (10/16), Duke (10/23) and Maryland (11/06) games due to mononucleosis.
Campus: 4.78 in the 40-yard dash 370-pound bench press 640-pound squat 374-pound power clean 32 1/2-inch arm length 10 1/8-inch hands Right-handed 34/45 Wonderlic score.
Attended St. Anne's-Belfield (Charlottesville, Va.) School, playing football for head coach John Blake Competed on both lines for the state champion squad Super Prep and Prep Star All-American choice Received a four-star prospect rating from Rivals.com., a service that rated him the sixth-best defensive end in the prep ranks Tom Lemming ranked him eighth in the country at defensive end and College Football News placed him 11th at that position Member of Rival.com's Atlantic East Amazing-80 team Honorable mention All-South choice by the Orlando Sentinel Named 2003 Gatorade Player of the Year in Virginia and rated as the second-best player in Virginia by the Charlottesville Daily Progress "Gold List," third by the Roanoke Times and fourth by Super Prep Three-time first-team All-State selection on offense and defense Central Virginia Defensive Player of the Year by the Daily Progress as a senior Three-time first-team All-Central Virginia defensive lineman by the Charlottesville Daily Progress and earned first-team All-Central Virginia honors his senior season as an offensive lineman as well Selected Conference Defensive Player of the Year his final two seasons and was selected Student Sports Junior All-American in 2002 Registered 91 tackles (44 solos) as a senior to help lead his team to an undefeated season and the state championship, as he had 23 tackles for loss and 15 sacks that season Also recorded 72 pancake blocks on offense As a junior, he posted 85 tackles with 12 sacks and more than 20 tackles for loss. The three-time first-team All-Conference choice finished his career with 43 sacks and 66 tackles for loss Also played basketball, lacrosse and baseball during his high school career, winning the 2003 YMCA Slam Dunk Contest for high school students.
Sociology major Son of Diane and Howie Long Father was an All-American defensive end at Villanova and was drafted by the Oakland Raiders in 1981. He played in the NFL for thirteen seasons and was inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame following seven Pro Bowl appearances, two defensive player of the year awards and a Super Bowl ring Born Christopher Howard Long on 3/28/85 in Santa Monica, California Resides in Ivy, Virginia.
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