Utes add big time player

Arizona's loss was Utah's gain. It is not often that a five-star recruit is available this late in the process, but that is exactly what happened for the Utes. They add a top-rated defensive tackle in September.

Junior college transfer Gabe Long was an academic casualty at Arizona but has been cleared to this season at Utah.

Long, a five-star recruit by Scout.com, signed with Arizona last December but academics forced him to wait until fall to join the program. He was forced to take a battery of summer courses to gain his eligibility but even after getting the correct number of credits, he was denied admission to Arizona because a few of his courses did not meet the school's criteria.

The coursework was sufficient for Utah and Long has joined the Ute program.

It has been a long path to Utah for Long. Long enrolled at Fullerton College after a high school career at Esperanza in Anaheim. He was a two time all-Mission conference selection and one of the nation's top JC prospects.

He committed to USC in 2004 but could not qualify and re-opened his recruitment when he settled on Arizona.

Long is a big, physical defensive lineman who has the size to hold off offensive linemen and the quickness to get by them and fill the gap. He is a workout warrior, but has been away from football since the fall of 2004, so he'll need to get into football shape. His role with the team has not been defined.

In addition to being a two-time All-Mission Conference selection, he was the League Defensive MVP as a freshman in 2003. He was named team MVP in 2003 with 13 sacks and had eight sacks in 2004. He was rated as the top JUCO player in 2004 by collegefootballnews.com.

Ute Zone Top Stories