Walk-on Chronicles: Chris Long

It was the chance to follow a dream for Chris Long. Long, a heavily recruited offensive lineman from Blair (Nebr.) might have been heading to Nebraska-Omaha or Northwest Missouri State. Then Nebraska came to his school. Nebraska asked Long to walk-on and while he wanted to make sure it was right by taking a trip he knew that he was going to be a Husker.

When Nebraska comes to an in-state player's school there is a buzz. Chris Long doesn't remember the exact day that the Nebraska staff was at Blair (Nebr.) to see him, but the 6-foot-4 and 265-pound offensive lineman knows what happened that day as a result.

"I think that I got the opportunity in early or mid-January," Long said. "I forgot the exact date, but Barney Cotton and Jeff Jamrog came to my school and wanted to talk to me because my coach sent them film earlier in the year.

"I got invited to visit for the Nebraska/Colorado game. I was invited to the preferred walk-on visit weekend, but I had a visit to Nebraska-Omaha that weekend so I went the 24th which was a Monday. That was an unofficial visit."

Long didn't jump at the chance to be a Husker. There were some other opportunities out there for Long that he wanted to take a look at. He needed a comparison for Nebraska to base his decision on.

"I just wanted to check out some things. My coaches wanted me to be sure too. So, I took the trip to Omaha and I was going to see Northwest Missouri State, but I made my decision before then.

"I just wanted to make sure of my decision is all, but I knew all long what I was going to do. I knew that I wanted to be a Husker, but I needed to make sure. I accepted the Thursday before I visited Nebraska."

While a bit of a foregone conclusion to become a Husker even though he didn't accept it immediately Long has thought about this day since he was young. He relishes the idea of challenging the scholarship guys for a chance to play.

"It's always been my dream since I was a younger kid to play for the Huskers. I think that it's a great opportunity. To come in as a walk-on and beat out those scholarship players, work your way in front of them, this way is a great way to play for Nebraska."

Long played as an offensive tackle at Blair, but that was a bit out of necessity. While Nebraska is talking about playing Long initially at tackle he thinks that his future will be more on the inside at either guard or center.

"I see myself either at guard or center. They told me that they were going to give me a look at tackle first, but I think more interior. I played center my sophomore year and just moved out to tackle because I was one of the biggest on my team."

There were opportunities either on the table or implied for Long to get financial assistance by a school to play football. There were two offers and a handful of other schools that might have offered had Long expressed more interest or took a visit.

"I had an offer from Nebraska-Omaha and Northwest Missouri State. South Dakota State was talking to me about it. I visited there for an unofficial. I was also talking to Missouri Western and Augustana. There were some other smaller schools too."

Long is in the middle of another season. He's currently wrestling and doing pretty good at it. In fact, Long is going to be a name to watch through the state tournament to see if he comes away with a state title.

"I am wrestling right now. I am the second in the state with a 31-2 record as a heavyweight in Class B. After that I will be working out and getting ready to head to Lincoln."

While the state tournament for wrestling is in Lincoln and Long knows that he will be there he isn't sure when he will make it to Lincoln this summer for school. There is some pending work.

"It really depends right now. I have to take a math class to be able to enroll. I took three high school math classes that transferred. It will depend when I finish that math class on when I will get there. The bridge program starts on June 6th."

Long is considering following in his father's footsteps somewhat when it comes to a career. He is envisioning something like what his dad does or something more of a program director.

"I plan on majoring in parks and recreation management. My dad is the parks superintendent in Blair. He runs the maintenance in all of the parks in the town. There is also the side of running sports programs at the YMCA or something. I carried about a 2.8 GPA."

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