"He's probably a 4.45-guy," Cougars' second-year coach Troy Kessinger said. "But being as big as he is – I went to the N.C. State coaches' clinic and watched [Long] practice and they don't have a receiver on their team that matches his size. Talking to a lot of these head coaches from other colleges, without even knowing him, they know he's got the great vitals.
"Now his forte will not be the jitterbug quickness, his forte will be the speed."
During the second game of the 2002 season, Long tore the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in his left knee while running back a punt. Then in a strange set of circumstances, it wasn't surgically repaired until over two weeks later.
"Where I come from, we would have had him in surgery the next day," said Kessinger, who along with his top assistant, migrated to North Carolina after coaching at powerhouse Oviedo High School in Orlando, Fla.
In addition to Louisville, Long said his short list of schools includes Clemson, N.C. State, North Carolina, Auburn and Virginia Tech.
Long attended the Tar Heels' first spring practice on March 15, and was invited to Chapel Hill for Saturday's Spring Game as well. However, he has decided to attend N.C. State's intrasquad scrimmage instead, which will be played simultaneously in Raleigh.
"I talked to Coach [Brad] Lawing, and he said they have a few more evaluations to go through before they're looking to offer," Long told Inside Carolina from his school on Monday. "I was impressed with the coaches. I met Coach [John] Bunting and my receivers coach [Gunter Brewer]."
But Carolina, like most of the other schools, will likely hold off on extending Long an official offer until after they have seen him play this fall. He is due to be released by his doctors in just a couple of weeks, but has been catching some balls already.
Kessinger said there is no doubt Long will be at full speed in time to attend camps this summer.