“I’m happy that I got an offer from BYU and it’s a good thing. They’re definitely in my top six on a list that I’ll release [this] week,” said Longson. “BYU wanted to offer me a while ago but they wanted to wait until I came down to their camp. When I was there, they sat me down with Coach Mendenhall and it was a really neat experience. Then they offered.”
Sitting in Coach Mendenhall’s office with his father and grandmother, Longson was impressed in the manner in which he received his scholarship offer.
“Oh yeah it was definitely a great experience for me,” said Longson. “It was a spiritual experience. I don’t think we even talked that much about football. We talked about spiritual things and maybe talked about football once. It was awesome in that way. It’s was really cool that there is a Mormon school and that’s a great option.”
Coach Mendenhall places a great emphasis on character development and holds his players accountable to BYU’s honor code. Over the course of the conversation, Longson could tell that Coach Mendenhall was unique from other college coaches when it came to spiritual development.
“My thoughts about Coach Mendenhall are you’re not going to find too many coaches like him,” Longson said. “I would almost say that the spiritual part is bigger for him. His whole philosophy is about getting BYU really good, getting the best Mormons to go to school there, and then help people to know what Mormons are all about. He wants to use BYU football to share the values that we have and bring greater exposure to the church. That’s kind of his philosophy on it, which is really cool and kind of awesome.”
Along with Coach Mendenhall, Longson also enjoys his relationship with BYU’s Offensive Line Coach, Garret Tujague. Coach Tujague’s personality and fun-loving disposition is an aspect Longson enjoys.
“Coach Tujague is awesome!” said Longson. “I would love to play for him. He’s a great guy. He’s just so cool and a great person that you can just talk to. He’s just a really good friend who knows how to make you comfortable knowing you’re going to be away from home. He’s a great guy.”
Having LDS coaches mentor and instruct is always an added benefit for those LDS athletes looking for coaches with a commonality. For Longson, he likes the fact that a majority of the students at BYU are LDS. However, he isn’t opposed to diversity either.
“Yeah, it is a big factor but then again I live in a very diverse town,” Longson said. “If I went to a different school I would kind of be used to the diversity. At the same time it would be really awesome to be around people who have the same beliefs as I do and religion. At the same time it’s not going to be a huge factor to me.”
The large LDS population and similar values found on campus is definitely an attractive aspect BYU provides for LDS athletes looking for a wholesome environment. It is an attractive aspect about BYU that Longson enjoys.
“I mean, it’s just really interesting because where I live there aren’t many Mormons,” said Longson. “When I went out to BYU, I mean, everyone was Mormon and it was just a neat experience. It’s cool that everyone there has the same standards. Out here where I’m from no really knows what a Mormon is. Now they kind of know, but it would be cool to be at a place where everyone already knows and has the same standards.”
What exactly is Longson looking for in a FBS program? Well, he’s looking for a program that can help develop him to reach the NFL.
“I mean, I’m looking for a program that will put me into the NFL,” said Longson. “I want to also get a great education and all that, but anything that can put me into the NFL and provide me with a good education.”
Whether it’s a program that develops the talents of the athlete or if it’s the hard work and natural talent of the athlete that allows them to reach the NFL is often a question often asked by fans and athletes alike.
“I think you can get there from any program,” Longson said. “I mean, BYU has put people in the NFL and they’ve done pretty good. I mean, I have Ohio State [as an offer] as well and they’re very well known for putting linemen into the NFL. I’m going to make a list here pretty soon and BYU is pretty high up there. Any qualms I have as far as going into the NFL isn’t going to be a big deal.”
Longson currently has 10 scholarship offers on the table including Arizona, BYU, Colorado, Florida State, Missouri, Ohio State, San Jose State, Utah, Utah State, and Washington State. He is also being recruited by Cal, Michigan, Nevada, Oregon, Oregon State, Stanford, UCLA, and USC. When it comes to a final decision he’s going to wait until he takes a few trips and receives a little help in the inspiration department.
“I definitely don’t want to commit before I get my patriarchal blessing,” Longson said. “I would like to take my official visits first. It will be between those two things and pretty much just whatever feels right. Everything will be done with prayer and fasting.”