QB Diaries: Long's Season Ends

AJ Long's high school career came to an end with a road playoff loss. He reflects on his time in high school and looks forward to his time at Syracuse inside.

Syracuse quarterback commit A.J. Long was hoping to repeat as state champions during his senior season. Unfortunately, things ended prematurely in a playoff loss.

"Well, our season is over," Long said. "We lost 42-14 to St. George Independence School. We started off the game, we kicked off to them and held them. They went three and out. We got the ball and got a first and then another first down. On two plays back to back, we picked up about 40-yards. The third play, we got another first down but it was called back on holding. It all went down hill from there. Our offense was basically shut down the rest of the first half. The next time we got a first down was at the end of the first half.

"After halftime, we score to make if 29-7. Then they scored again, we got the ball back and scored to make it 36-14. Then after that they just held us."

Through an up and down senior season, Long will have fond memories of his time in high school as he looks towards college life.

"My senior season, it was fun because I got to play the sport I love," Long said. "But I didn't enjoy it the way I was expecting to because of the injuries I had and how the season went as a whole. It's been a ride to be able to accomplish all of the things I wanted to accomplish.

"Surpassing every goal I ever set for myself by a substantial margin. I'm happy but at the same time, I'm nervous because my high school career is over and I'm getting ready to go to college. It's something that I don't know, and I have to get a better understanding of what I'm being thrown into. I'm stepping right into it in January."

Enrolling in January will be important for Long, who is hoping to earn the starting job right away.

"It gives me an advantage," Long said. "Not as much learning the play book, because that's my strongest asset. My mind. Picking up play books and understanding them. But more just learning the timing with the guys. That's one thing he's going to have to learn is not only be play book but the timing.

"Whereas with me, I'll already know the play book and have the timing. That's a substantial time to have and click with the guys. That's six or seven months you have ahead of guys you're competing with that will be coming in and only have a month or two."

Despite his apprehension, Long is enthusiastic about his future with the Orange.

"That excitement is overwhelming my nerves," Long said. "I can't wait to get up there. I'm taking every day in stride because I only have a little time left in high school and I'm going to enjoy it.

"I'm excited to see how well I do in college, despite what everyone says about nerves. I'm excited to get up there and start school and football. I'm going to meet people that I'll hopefully keep for the next 40 or 50 years of my life."

As he looks to join his future squad within the next couple of months, he believes a strong finish is in order for Syracuse.

"They're going to finish the season 7-5," Long said. "I'm expecting them to play in the Music City Bowl. Because that's where they're projected right now to play against Georgia."

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