Long ready to impress at RB

Warren Long understands NU's depth at running back. And he's not fazed by it. In this Purple Wildcats Insider update, Long talks about his career plans and his preparation for Northwestern football.

When Warren Long signed his letter of intent to play for Northwestern on National Signing Day, he knew the running back position was deep. Eight halfbacks are listed on the spring roster alone. Those include seniors Venric Mark and Mike Trumpy.

"I'm not too worried about it honestly," Long said. "I'm just going to try as hard as I can as soon as I get there and we'll just see how it goes."

Offensive coordinator Mick McCall served as the lead recruiter for the three-star back out of Union City, Calif., ranked 91st at his position by Scout. As a California player, he expected the Pac-12 looks, but Northwestern offered something different.

Long verbally committed prior to the 2012 season. Naturally, it was exciting for him to watch the Wildcats spring into a 10-3 season including a Gator Bowl victory.

"I'm really happy with how everything worked out, I mean I'm lucky I guess," Long said. "When I signed they weren't ranked or anything and then it all went really well and some of the other schools I was interested have gone in the other direction. It all works out."

As with many Northwestern signees, the school's strong academic record was a big draw for Long. This season the Wildcats ended up at number one on the New America Foundation's "Academic BCS," ranking the academic performance of the top-25 teams.

"The school itself was definitely a big thing for me, that's always meant a lot to me," Long said. "A couple of the schools I was looking out were still smart schools, but Northwestern is really great. I'm just excited to start those classes."

He's not kidding. He says he will spend a lot of time working out in preparation for his freshman season, but the next few months also have something else in store – reading lots of books.

He will also be looking to grade well on the field. He does have one specific individual goal for his collegiate career. He noticed a tweet during the 2012 season from Tyrell Sutton, a former Northwestern running back. Sutton congratulated Venric Mark on completing the first 1000-yard rushing season since his own in 2006.

"I took a picture of that tweet because, in just a couple years, I want Venric to tweet at me welcoming me to the 1000-yard club."

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