"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."