5-star JUCO defensive tackle liked visit to Tucson

The lone weak spot, if there is one, in the 2005 recruiting class for the Arizona Wildcats so far it would be at the defensive tackle position. The Wildcat coaches have so far been unable to land a natural defensive tackle, either high school or JUCO. With the uncertainty surrounding the recruitment of Ekom Udofia, the Wildcats staff brought in 5-star Fullerton College defensive tackle Gabe Long over the weekend for an official visit.

Long, who is rated at 5 stars by Scout.com, was named the Mission Conference Defensive Player of the year for his work at Fullerton College his sophomore year. At over 6-foot-3 and 280 pounds, Long is exactly the type of prospect that the Wildcats need in the middle of the defensive line.

"I like Arizona a lot, my trips was really good," said Long. "I liked it a lot out there. It is a place that I can see myself living and a place that I would want to go plat at. I felt really at home at Arizona."

Long, who is originally from Anaheim, California, was hosted by his close friend and current UA walk-on defensive tackle John Markovich.

"John is one of my best friends and he was my host," he said. "We hung out with some of the other recruits and a couple of the players there. Mainly I just saw what Arizona and Tucson was like. We went to the basketball game and that was fun, they showed me a good time. I stayed at a nice hotel and the food was as good as it gets."

Long is being recruited by running backs coach Kasey Dunn, but according to Long he felt that he connected well with head coach Mike Stoops and defensive tackles coach Mike Tuiasosopo.

"I like all of the coaches a lot," he said. "Coach Stoops is a real cool guy and he reminds me of my high school coach. He is open and honest and he tells it like it is. I also like coach Tui, I can't really say his whole name, but coach Tui is a real cool guy. He is actually good friends with the family of one of my teammates so I plan on calling them and asking them their thoughts on him."

Like many of the other recruits, Long mainly hung around with two current freshman linebackers, Ronnie Palmer and James Alford, along with Markovich.

"Ronnie was a cool guy ya know," he said. "He was a real cool guy to be around. I can see myself hanging out with him in the future."

Long had already visited Oregon State and will visit USC within the next week or two and then he plans on making his decision near or on signing day.

"I liked it up at Oregon State quite a bit, but I liked Arizona a lot more," said Long. "I just like the whole setting out there more. The atmosphere at the University is good and it is just a nice place. It is not a huge city but it is a city and it is a lot like California in a lot of ways."

Long refused to claim a favorite but he did admit that it was "pretty much" between Arizona and USC at this point.

"I would say that it is pretty much between them," he said. "I don't have a favorite but I have not been to USC yet and I don't know what their coaches are all about or anything."

On the academic side, Long said that he has some work to do but said that he is confident that he will get it done.

"While I was in Arizona, they told me what I could do to make sure that I would make it in to school there," he said. "They told me what classes I would have to take and everything and they had it all mapped out for me so I would know what I have to do. I did pretty well last semester so now that football is over I can only concentrate on my classes. I am confident that I will get done with everything by the summer."

Long has two year to play two at the Division-1 level. He plans on "most likely" majoring in Sports Medicine when he gets to the school of his choice.

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