Spartan Nation caught up with MSU class of 2017 commit Dominique Long. Long is a safety out Westerville South in Ohio. Most recognize the on the field talent of Long, but what some may not know is the talent Long has in the academic world.
Dominique has a 4.75 GPA and has received multiple A-pluses on AP courses, including AP physics. When asked about his academic success Long said, “I take my school work very seriously.”
Once he arrives at Michigan State, Long plans on majoring in mechanical engineering. On picking a major, Long told Spartan Nation, “I love math and science, and have always had a knack for building things and helping out. Mechanical engineering just seemed like the most interesting field in engineering, so I decided to go along with that route.”
As well as hitting the books, Long likes to hit the film to study and learn about his fellow athletes. He believes one can gain a lot by simply taking the time to study others players and their techniques. As well as film watching, Long named his game time focus one of his strengths, and continues to work on his foot work and getting stronger. He believes his biggest weakness, currently, is his inability to calm down. He explained that sometimes he gets a little too hyped come game time.
Having good character is important to Long, and he prides himself on being a well-rounded person. When asked where his emphasis on character comes from, Long explained, “Honestly I think it’s the community that raises a child. My family, I grew up with, drilled principals into me, academics are very important, in athletics there’s moral character. All my teachers growing up, starting with elementary and middle school, they’ve always also drilled those core values into me. I just want to be a well-rounded individual.”
When looking at his fellow commits and the class of 2017 as a whole, Dominique believes they all have the character to be a great team. When asked to discuss Michigan State’s disappointing 2016 season, Long said, “Definitely a bump in the road, I mean all season we’ve been dealing with injuries. I mean we’re a young team and we’ll turn that around once we get up there. We stayed because we love the coaching staff, as a class we love each other – we talk to each other, balance each other -- we hung out and that connection was instantaneous. The school also is a fantastic place; the football program is still a great program regardless of what happened this season.” Long confirmed that a major theme amongst the 2017 class is the bond they share and the good morals and character they try to instill in their day to day lives.
Head Coach Mark Dantonio played a major role in Long committing to Michigan State, and partly because the two share some common personality traits. On Coach Dantonio, Long stated, “He was a major part of why we went to Michigan State. He’s a Christian man, he’s surreal – my family and I all clicked with him. Honestly all the coaching staff, especially Harlon Barnett and Coach Tressel, we had a quick connection with each other. I agree that Dantonio and I are alike, and once again, that’s why we were very attracted to him and Michigan State.”
Dominique Long ended his interview explaining what it meant to him to become a Spartan, he eloquently added, “It’s all about character, all about smarts, and integrity. It’s applying that to the football field – we’re not afraid of anyone, being hard hitters, being excellent football players, agile, strong, fast, and good moral human beings. All well-rounded in every aspect of our lives.”
You can hear Long’s entire interview with Spartan Nation publisher Hondo Carpenter at the top of this article.