Jackson, Tennessee star returns to Starkville with a decision date in mind

Mississippi State hosted one of Tennessee's top defensive back prospects for the 2017 signing class this past Friday in Liberty Tech High school star Alec Long. The versatile safety recently named the Bulldogs as part of his top five. The Bulldogs are battling it out with Kentucky, Memphis, Missouri and Texas A&M.. After attending the Big Dawg camp, Long had nothing but good things to say about his time in Starkville.

"It went great. I am not sure if it could have gone better," Alec Long said. "I really had a great time. We did a lot of drills. I got to see everything and spend time with all of the coaches."

While many prospects have an area recruiting coach and/or a position coach that play a large role in their recruitment, Long reports that he has spent time getting to know a trio of Mississippi State coaches over the course of his college courtship.

"It has been pretty serious with Mississippi State from the very beginning," Long said. "I have a great relationship with Coach (Peter) Sirmon, Coach Mo (Maurice Linguist) and Coach Buck (Terrell Buckley). I have talked with all three of them and I like all three of them a lot. They have told me several times that they feel like I would be a good fit for their defense."

Finding the right fit is key in any prospect's decision. For Long, he believes the Bulldog coaches have a niche already carved out for him.

"They are talking about me playing the Star position," Long said. "It's sort of like a strong safety position that walks up and plays some in the box. It's more like an outside linebacker type position. They want to move me around some and put me in a position to help the team."

The Bulldogs are one of five schools who made the cut in advance of Long's college decision. While there is no firm time frame for the decision, the good word could come at any moment.

"I don't plan on making any other cuts to my list," Long said. "I am about ready to make my decision now. I am not sure when I am going to commit, but I know that it's going to be soon. I just want to take a little bit longer and think  about things to be sure."

Of his finalists, Long has visited just two schools, Memphis and Mississippi State. The talented defensive back reports that the other three programs are still very much in the mix.

"I haven't had the chance to visit all of them, but they've all been in touch with a me a lot," Long said. "I feel like I have a good idea about what everyone has to offer. I can always take a visit later and see the campus up close. I just know that I have some great relationships with the coaches at each school.

"I am just looking for the place where I feel the most at home. I felt some of that this past weekend when I was at Mississippi State. I want to be comfortable and feel like I a part of a family. That's probably the most important part of it for me."

In the coming days, Long will make his college decision, a decision that he expects to be final. A family trip to Starkville this past weekend was the second for the rising star. Could the momentum of that experience push the Jackson, Tennessee standout to Starkville or will he follow friend and teammate Elijah Harris to Memphis? Only time will tell.

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