Fort Lauderdale, Fla.--If you look up the definition of defensive end in the recruiting dictionary you might just find a photo of Jeremy Longo from Cardinal Gibbons High. At 6-4, 230 with good speed, strength and explosion off the ball, Longo is a classic defensive end prospect who has schools from all over the country lining up to check him out.
"There have been coaches in and out every day," Longo tells Inside The Auburn Tigers. "It kind of gets to the point where it's overwhelming. It has definitely been busy. You have a lot of coaches coming through because we've got a lot of good players on our team. It has been very surprising."
A dominating force at end as a junior for Cardinal Gibbons, Longo made 125 tackles, 17 tackles for a loss, and added eight sacks. Throw in impressive numbers in the bench press and squat as well as good grades in the classroom and you have the perfect storm in recruiting circles. Top programs have definitely taken notice and Longo says he's up to two dozen offers at the moment with the total rising every day.
Jeremy Longo shows off his vertical leap that measured 34.5 inches.
Along with that group, the Auburn Tigers were also one of the most recent offers for Longo. Running backs coach Eddie Gran and defensive coordinator Will Muschamp made a visit to Longo's school last week and the defensive end says when they left he was excited to learn that he had an offer from the Tigers.
"They are definitely a school I'm considering," Longo says. "My tight end A.J. Johnson went to their camp and has been all over. He says that's the best football he's seen as far as facilities and coaching. As far as I know, they've always had a good program. In the past couple of years they've had an excellent program. I'm really considering them."
With plenty of colleges to choose from after early offers from Iowa, Ole Miss, South Carolina, Wisconsin, Pittsburgh, Arkansas, Kentucky, Virginia and others, Longo says that while he doesn't have a particular favorite group at the moment several schools are definitely on his short list heading into the summer.
"It's still so early for me, but I like Auburn, I like Wisconsin, I like Alabama, I like Boston College," Longo says. "I haven't seen all of them yet so I really don't know."
Playing much of the 2006 season at around 200 pounds, Longo has worked hard in the weight room to become a more physical player his senior season. The work has paid off as he's now a solid defensive end in terms of size, but has also kept his speed. Running a laser time of 4.6 seconds and hand times in the 4.5 range, Longo says he has the speed to get to the quarterback, something he's anxious to show off this fall.
"This year my coach is lining me up on the end and letting me come off the end a lot more in pass rush situations," Longo says. "I think everyone will be surprised in my senior year how many sacks and hurries I have."
Unlike many of his peers, Longo says he won't hit the camp circuit this summer. Instead, he says he'll spend his time visiting campuses up and down the East Coast and in the South looking for the right fit for him. "I just want to see a lot of the schools that have offered me so I can narrow down my list."