Longa to Play in Chesapeake Bowl

Saddle Brook (N.J.) outside linebacker Steve Longa became the four Rutgers commit invited to play in this year's Chesapeake Bowl. The Chesapeake Bowl, played at the University of Maryland, pits many of the top local seniors against each other for one final game before National Signing Day.

The calls from coaches and reporters slowed significantly when Steve Longa verbally committed to Rutgers last summer. So when an unknown number flashed across his phone last night, the three-star outside linebacker was unsure about answering.

When Longa hung up after the call, however, he was happy he took the call.

"I actually saw my phone ringing and was like ‘should I answer this?' I didn't know who it was, but I picked it up and it was an invitation to play in the Chesapeake Bowl," Longa said. "It's definitely exciting. It really is an honor. It shows that I worked hard."

Longa joins Rutgers commits Desmon Peoples, Brandon Arcidiacono and Michael Giacone in the game.

"That will be great," Longa said. "We're future teammates, so I'm excited to play with them before we even get to Rutgers."

Longa comes to Rutgers as an outside linebacker. He played running back and linebacker for Saddle Brook and will play linebacker in the Chesapeake Bowl.

Though starting as a linebacker in college, he said he is open to playing other positions.

"I don't know," Longa said on if he will miss playing running back. "I guess I'll find out when I get there. People are always joking with me that I'm going to move to running back or to safety or whatever. But I really don't care. I'm excited for Rutgers."

Longa expects to take an official visit to Rutgers in late January before officially becoming a Scarlet Knight on National Signing Day.

"I was just talking with [linebackers] coach [Bob] Fraser about it," Longa said. "I forgot about it until he reminded me. It got me pretty excited for it."

In his senior season, Longa led Saddle Brook to a 10-2 record and appearance in the state semifinals. Both of his team's losses came to Pompton Lakes by just three points.

"I can't say I'm happy about the season, but I'm proud of the way we played," Longa said. "We improved from last year, but we wanted to end it on top. Especially for me with this being my last year, I didn't want it to end that way. Mistakes killed us. We just made too many mistakes and you can't win football games playing like that."

A fierce competitor, Longa hopes a win in the Chesapeake Bowl washes out the bad taste in his mouth, he said.

"I hope that it helps," Longa said. "I still get angry thinking about that game and haven't watched the film yet. It would be good to play that one more game with high school players and have some fun."

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