Long Says Oregon Is "Too Good To Pass Up"

A week after an official visit to remember, Mission Viejo (CA) Saddleback College four-star offensive lineman Kyle Long makes the call for Oregon.

What made you feel like the University of Oregon was the right place for you?

"I feel like the minute that I finally got to see that offense in person -- when I went to their practice -- I thought it was a no-brainer from there. Stepping on to campus, you get a feel for the family environment that the University of Oregon is trying to implement there with their football program and with all their students. There weren't any students on campus, but it just seems like they have just a tremendous support group from everybody at the university and the people of Eugene. Coach (Chip) Kelly has done a great job with that program. This is their third straight BCS bowl, as you already know, and I feel like they're on the rise. I love their fast paced, fast tempo offense, I love the campus, everybody from the academic staff to the coaching staff to the support staff within their program...top to bottom, everybody in their program just seems like good people. They love their Ducks. It just seems like a great environment to go play football and that you would have a lot of support from your fans and the university and it was kind of a no-brainer. My parents had a chance to get up there with me and see it and we were on the same page. It was cool because I got to bounce off some of the questions that I had with them and with the people taking us on the visit. It was cool because we were all seeing the same things. My parents supported me in my decision and I just feel like [Oregon] is the best spot for me because of my abbreviated eligibility."

What exactly are the details surrounding your eligibility at this point?

"The ruling that [the NCAA] made was that I'm a one-for-one. The only thing I really pay attention to is that I have one year left to play and one year left to go to school. Right now I'm focusing on the things I can control, one of which is NOT getting more eligibility. I know that my folks have put an appeal in to the NCAA to see if they can get me an extra year of eligibility, because I haven't stepped on the playing field of college sport. It has taken me awhile to get to this point -- I've had a detour -- but I'm at this point now and I just want to be able to get the biggest opportunity I can get to succeed as a student, as an athlete and as a person. I feel like Oregon is providing me that opportunity and I'm very grateful for that. It's an opportunity I can't pass up."

What was coach Steve Greatwood's reaction when you committed? What did he say?

"I think he was genuinely excited for me. It seemed like he was excited. I called Carson York as soon as I committed because he showed me around on my visit. I called him and thanked him for the great visit my parents and I had and let him know I was committing and that I had already spoken to coach Greatwood and he was fired up. That family atmosphere and family environment is something that is very important to me and you get the sense that it's a very tight knit group. That was something that was very appealing to me."

Recap your visit last weekend. What stood out to you about the official?

"I wanted to see what a day in the life of an Oregon football player is like. I was lucky enough to be there while they were having bowl practice, so I got to see the breakfast, the practice, the academic support facilities and top to bottom, the people they had there to help out and get you geared in the right position to do things academically. I was SO impressed with the system that they had and the checks and balances that they have to go through. There's a lot of hoops that people have to jump through in order for student athletes to get the best support they can get and I feel like Oregon does a great job with that. That was something my parents were very impressed with. Getting that degree is something I'm looking to pursue and that is very important to me. Oregon seems like a place that will assist you in trying to get that degree and that's a point that they made numerous times. There are opportunities for their players after they leave, or if a guy gets injured and is no longer playing, they still have academic opportunities available to them. In today's world, that says a lot about the university and the people they have in place there. They obviously care about their student athletes a great deal."

Did you get a chance to interact with any of the other recruits that were present on your visit?

"Yeah. I got to spend most of my time with DeForest Buckner and T.J. [Daniel], the guy from NorCal. Both seem like great kids. I was SHOCKED at how big DeForest is and T.J. Both are very physically imposing guys. DeForest, I have to check his birth certificate, man (laughter). He looks like he's 30 and he's been playing in the league for three years and he's got a wife and kids. It's amazing to me how big some of these guys are coming out of high school. I remember I was a pretty big guy coming out of high school, but these guys are freaks. It's good to know we'll have some pass rushers and some guys that will scheme up a team's playbook."

Did you end up taking a trip to UCLA this weekend?

"Yeah I went on an unofficial. I just went up there and wanted a chance to meet the coaching staff. I got to see some practice and it was good experience, but it was kind of my benchmark with Oregon and I wanted something to compare it to. It's one of those things where I didn't want to make a decision based off one trip. I knew I was going to have to take a second trip, so I went to UCLA when they were in bowl practice because it was only an hour drive. I made the drive up there and it was an easy deal for me."

Are you planning on taking any other visits, or are you pretty much done with the recruiting process?

"I mean I've committed. I'm a man of my word. A commitment to me means that you're not pursuing other schools, you're not talking to other schools...A commitment is kind of like an engagement and the signing is kind of like the wedding day and I'm anxiously awaiting my wedding day (laughter)."

When do you plan on arriving in Eugene?

"I have to get my AA this spring, so I'm going to be swamped with school work this entire spring. Hopefully I'll be able to get there in the beginning of the summer."

Kyle Long profile

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