But after just one week of fall practice, the 6-3, 205-pound wide receiver appears ready to make a contribution on the field this fall if needed.
Long arrived at U of L this June and spent the summer months working out with rest of the team and getting acclimated to life away from home. Apparently his crash-course during summer workouts have paid huge dividends for the talented pass-catcher.
Long figures to be a future star
in Petrino's offense.
"[I didn't expect this] right away," admitted Long, who also been working with special teams. "We've got a lot of great wide receivers here – a lot of veterans. I look up to [Joshua] Tinch, Broderick [Clark] and Montrell Jones. When I signed, I thought it would be a learning role the first year. But once I got here and realized that I was going to start getting reps with the ones, I was able to adjust pretty well."
Long said his biggest adjustment this fall has been grasping the nuances of coach Bobby Petrino's offense.
"Learning the offense has been my biggest adjustment," he said. "I've been here almost the whole summer – ever since the middle of June and I've been studying my playbook since I got it when I signed."
"It was a great feeling to put on the pads for the first time," Long added. "It's a big step and a big adjustment for me to come to a school like this from the kind of high school that I went to. We weren't that good in high school and sometimes here it's a little bit harder trying to make the adjustment. But I'm trying to push through it and get after it."
He also spent countless hours with Petrino this summer watching film and becoming more familiar with the Cardinals offensive system and that effort has gone along way toward accelerating his rapid climb up the depth chart.
"Coach Petrino and I worked real hard all summer studying film together and trying to learn the offense," said Long. "I'm starting to get the hang of it [now] and I've started to get some reps with the ones."
Petrino said last week that 5-7 true freshman would likely see action this season and Long is a likely candidate to be one of those select few. However, offensive coordinator Paul Petrino didn't rule out a redshirt for Long this season when asked about his prized pupil last week.
"He could [play this season]," Paul Petrino said. "A lot of that will depend on the health of the other guys. It's kind of what we did with Mario [Urrutia]. We prepared Mario every week to play last year. Nobody got hurt, so we kept his [redshirt]. But if anyone would have ever went down, Mario would have played. And that's how we'll prepare Scott this year."
There's no mistaking Long's immense talent, though. He has an impressive combination of size and speed, runs good routes, and seems to possess very reliable hands. All qualities that figure to help him become a future star in Petrino's offense.
"Scott is really big and really fast and has a chance to be a really, really good player," Petrino said.
Backup quarterback Hunter Cantwell realized early this summer that Long was a special talent.
"Scott is incredibly fast," Cantwell said. "I remember the first time this summer we were throwing go-routes and I threw it out there as far as I could and I thought I had overthrown him, but he ended up having to come back for the [ball]."
So keep your eyes out for #84 this fall because sooner than later he's going to making big plays for the Cardinals offense on the field.