The Long and Short of Tackle's Trip to PSU

A Harrisburg, Pa. Bishop McDevitt 2016 defender visited University Park with a pair of teammates Monday. He recapped the trip with Fight On State.

Anthony Long was invited to visit Penn State by its former staff. He made it for Penn State's clash with Nebraska last fall, but hasn't returned since.

Monday, the 6-foot-3, 290 pound class of 2016 Harrisburg, Pa. Bishop McDevitt sophomore returned to University Parl. This time, however, it was James Franklin, and his staff, inviting him, classmate and receiver Kobay White, and Nittany Lions' class of 2015 running back commitment Andre Robinson for an unofficial visit.

"It was good," Long said. "I felt like I needed to take a visit to Penn State it's in my home state and I want to consider Penn State."

The visit was typical; it provided a glimpse of practice, a chance to see position meetings and chat with a position coach, and an opportunity to talk with Franklin.

Looking back on it, Long said he picked up on the vision State's new staff has for the program right out of the gate.

"Basically, what I got from the coaches and what was going on up there was that even though there was a big coaching change, this is not going to be a rebuilding season," Long said. "They want players who can help the program win. That's the vibe I got."

Long was not offered Monday, nor was classmate White. The tackle spent most of the day with defensive line coach Sean Spencer. He's a coach, Long said, that is all about energy.

Spencer emulated a spirit, and passion, for the game that embodies Franklin's staff, the tackle said. He saw it in the film room, where the position coach's booming voice broke down tape. He saw it again on the practice field, where an up close and personal view of the program's ninth spring practice showed the sophomore what the line coach is like on the field.

"He was so hype and energetic," Long said of Spencer. "His energy is definitely what I noticed.

The sophomore also noticed the way the Lions' practice differs from his high school's practices, specifically how concepts shown off the field are applied on it.

"It's actually very different from what I thought it would be," Long said. "With our high school practices, they seem like we're working and practicing all day long. But, in college, there is a lot of time built around football.

"That allows them to watch film and do what they see. They can digest different type of plays, practice them, and then digest what they did and do it again the next day."

The recruiting process is only beginning for the talented sophomore who is already up to three offers. Long said he plans to visit Ohio State with Bishop McDevitt head coach Jeff Weachter sometime this spring, and is considering attending camps at Alabama, Ohio State, Florida State, and Michigan State.

Penn State was his first visit of the spring, though. It's likely he uses it as a barometer for other stops going forward.

"I don't even know how to explain it," Long said. "It was just a good situation. It was so overwhelming how we just ended up there. It made you feel special.

"I've been there before, but that was under different circumstances, so everything was brand new to me. It was a very special trip."

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